A highway outside of Santa Fe, N.M., was the recent scene of a bizarre advertising stunt involving an online advertising resource, a car dealership and a 12-year-old milk cow named "Specs."
Operators of the Paintedcows.com Web site decided to create the world's first "ad cow" to promote the launch of their venue last year.
Paintedcows.com partner Scott Karlson found a local Ford dealer who was willing to advertise on a cow. The red and yellow logo of Capitol Ford was applied in nontoxic face paint on one side of the cow, while the black and white icon of Paintedcows.com covered the other flank. Specs was then placed in an enclosed pen near the highway to act as a bovine billboard.
With the wisdom and experience of one ad cow behind him, Karlson said newcomers to this medium should be prepared.
"We didn't consider a few things," Karlson said. "We found out this cow not only had very sharp horns but had to be tied to a fence" for the seven-hour paint job.
His trade secret? "We gave her a warm bath before painting, then she settled down. She acted like a pet by the end of the ad campaign."
--J. Dee Hill