Austria is offering free transport for a whole year, as long as you get one of its flash designs tattooed on your body for life. Seems fair, right? Targeting festivals across the country, the campaign promotes the 'Klimaticket', which encourages environmentally conscious travel via shared public transport.
However, the campaign has been met with backlash, with some arguing that it encourages impressionable festival-goers to get inked impulsively, and with a selection of rather juvenile designs, we're not sure it's worth the lifelong commitment. (For some ink that's a little more inspiring, check out this collection of the best tattoo designs).
A variety of designs are available for the public to choose from – some more creative than others. While some flash pieces play on traditional tattoo motifs such as sacred hearts and flaming dice, others are a little more unique, to say the least. Representing the campaign's eco-conscious message, some of the more out-there designs feature a flaming car with text that reads "go green" and even a footprint fashioned out of leaves.
For those who want to show their support in a less illustrative way, there are text-based flash designs too. One offers the phrase "no planet B", while another simply features the "Klimaticket" name, in warped Old English style font. Some designs are even more on the nose, featuring 'ignorant style' illustrations of the Klimaticket (at least you never have to worry about losing it).
Naturally, a lot of Austria's residents have been a little hesitant to commit to the ink, stating that the campaign is plain propaganda, but the mastermind behind the operation, Green MP Leonore Gewessler, has defended the move. According to the Independent, she told a local television station: “This has been carried out with great care. It is only done during daylight and only offered to people over the age of 18.”
That being said, whether it's day or night, many festival-goers are going to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages, and ink and drink definitely don't mix (even if it's for a travel pass worth more than €1,000). What's more, with banners above the pop-up parlours reading: “Aktion geht unter die Haut” (Action that gets under your skin), it seems that the campaign was marketed as an impulsive opportunity for a little rebellious activism.
While we love the idea of more accessible eco-conscious travel, getting permanently branded for a year of free transport is perhaps a little too dystopian for our liking. The strange array of tattoo designs, alongside the potential to get swept up in the festival atmosphere and make an impulsive (and permanent) regrettable decision, suggests that perhaps there are more responsible ways to show that you care about the planet. For more tattoo-inspired campaigns, check out Heinz's odd tattoo ink collab.