Omahan Offers Forehead As Billboard

With all the advertising around us, it's not always easy coming up with a message consumers will notice. One Omaha man wants to use his head to get the word out.

They're everywhere, from billboards to inside magazines to the sides of buses. Some people even wear them on the street. The average American is exposed to more than 1,600 advertisements each day. If you think ads already appear everywhere imaginable, look again. One self-proclaimed "average Joe" has come up with a new place for an ad, atop his head. Twenty-year-old Andrew Fischer is leasing his forehead on e-Bay. "I'm basically going to be a billboard for 30 days." The highest bidder will have the rights to put any company name, logo, or message on his forehead. "It's really not a normal thing." As of Sunday, Fischer has had close to 30 bidders and dozens of questions from potential clients. "How big is your forehead? It is a big one, no pun intended on big."

"In some ways it's just a logical extension of what we've already been exposed to," said Jonna Holland, a marketing professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, who isn't surprised by the notion of a forehead ad. "The key is to do something that pushes the envelope, that someone is creative to get the consumer to notice the message and break through the clutter." But Holland said creativity alone doesn't necessarily make for a successful advertisement. "Just catching someone's attention is just the first step and obviously the most crucial. But once you've got the consumer's attention, if the message doesn't make sense to them or doesn't stay with them or hasn't moved them, it hasn't done any good." Fischer said he's happy with the response, even if his parent's aren't nearly as thrilled. "What would you think if your son said he was going to advertise on his face?"

Professor Holland is concerned about the direction we're going. If advertising on a forehead is someday no longer considered outlandish, then perhaps using any body part may be acceptable, including those some may find distasteful.

At last check, the top bidder for Fischer's forehead was $172.50.