Manimal has been forced to cancel a promotion offering free Manimal for life to Hawaiians willing to get a tattoo of “Major”, the company’s mascot, displayed in a prominent place on their bodies. The company claims it was unprepared for the number of fans wishing to participate, as well as complaints about a handful of teenagers getting tattoos in order to receive free drinks. Company CEO Spencer Kane says he regrets having to end the program, and hopes customers will understand.
The promotion was supposed to be simple. Get a tattoo of Major. Post a picture of it on social media tagging the company. Get 30 cans of Manimal every month for the next 100 years. However, the company was caught flat-footed just weeks after the initial announcement, when they were flooded by fans of tasty energy in a can, proudly displaying their tattoos. Over 10,000 Hawaiians got inked in the first few days alone, forcing the company to end the offer. “We were a victim of our own success,” says Kane.
“First and foremost I want to give a shout-out to everyone who was willing to permanently show their love for our drink on their body. To be honest, we were super surprise that so many of you were willing to have Major looking back at you in the mirror. In addition, we didn’t think it was physically possible for so many of you to get tatted up so quickly. Our bad. I know that we haven’t always had the best batting average with some of our promotions, but I feel like we hit this one out of the park. Unfortunately, it drifted foul. I’m meeting with our marketing and legal teams all week to figure out how we’ll make it up to everyone who got inked. Don’t worry; we’ll take another swing at it soon.”
While the promotion has been breaking the Manimal bank, it has been a boon for the island’s tattoo parlors and artists. Well-known body modifier and artist Rowan Hardy says his shop has been fully booked since the promotion began, but says he has mixed emotions about today’s announcement. “There’s no doubt that business has never been better. We haven’t even had time for walk-ins for months. It’s just too bad that everyone wants Major on their body for some free drinks. As an artist, it’s a little disappointing to see people fill in their canvas with something so commercial. When they come in I try to convince them to get forehead studs, a tongue splitting, or a full neck piece instead. You know, something they won’t look back on with regret down the road, but you have to please the customer. I just hope Manimal makes it right. There’s a lot of angry advertisements walking around Lahaina right now.”
Hardy isn’t exaggerating. Social media has not been kind to Manimal, or Kane himself following the cancellation announcement. The Manimal website has been down all day due to an attack, and many are threatening to sue the company for removal of their tattoos, as well as punitive damages. A handful of Hawaiians say the promotion caused their underage children to get Major tattoos, with one Lahaina resident saying her child’s Manimal tattoo forced her to leave her home.
Shelby Pio says she was livid when her 16-year-old son came home with a Major tattoo
“I think Manimal has to take some of the responsibility. This promotion has turned our home upside down. The company is obviously targeting impressionable and impulsive kids. When Eric came home with that thing tattooed on both cheeks, I just about lost it. His father and I couldn’t believe that he’d do something so stupid for an energy drink. Worse yet was when our HOA president saw it. Tanager Lane rules have a provision barring anyone with a face tattoo from residing in the neighborhood. Eric and I have been forced to stay at my sister’s house until we can get it removed. It’s very troubling that the company and Mr. Kane seem unwilling to acknowledge their culpability in this matter, almost as troubling as having your teenager come home with a face tattoo.”