Forget print ads, TV spots, and Google sponsored links. Art Marcovici says marketers can make money off money itself.
Marcovici, an artist, wants to put ads on the back of U.S. bank notes. As he sees it, we’re frittering away perfectly good billboard space on lame etchings of stoic buildings and foliage and all-seeing-eye pyramids, when we could be turning them into little talismans of profit–Cashvertisements, he calls them. The aesthetic would stay more or less the same. They’d just happen to say “Mattel” or ‘Campbell’s’ or hell, even “Halliburton.” Why not? It’s not like Halliburton isn’t already all over our money.
Think about it: The average 100-dollar bill changes hands three times a week for 7.4 years. That’s 8,000 people who’d see your advert with little upfront cost. All in all, not bad returns. (The smaller bills circulate for one to two years, but they’re also handled more often, so they’d probably be decent investments, too.)
What’s more, Cashvertisements would generate money for the government, whose U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing would take care of production and, we assume, sales. They’d be priced at $1 a pop, bringing in, according to Marcovici’s estimates, $14 billion a year–enough to wipe clean a few state budget deficits.