Giving new meaning to “loud neighbours”

6 Apr

The way the story goes, the CEO of Adzookie, a free mobile advertising company out of California, was driving by homes with “Bank owned” signs on them. He hit on the idea of paying peoples’ mortgages while they allowed their homes to become monster advertisements for his agency.

He launched the self-promotion on Tuesday and had 1,000 applications by the end of the day.

Could you live in your house if it looked like this?

While I applaud the agency’s ingenuity in self-promoting, the way I see it “Ad agency owned” is not a whole lot more comforting than “Bank owned.”

Plus you have to send your kids to school with paper bags on their heads.

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15 Responses to “Giving new meaning to “loud neighbours””

  1. Amy April 6, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    A few years ago, I think this would have been unthinkable, but with the staggering amount of foreclosures happening now, I think that people will do anything just to keep their house. I would hope that these days fewer people would judge them for it too.
    But, that being said, I don’t know if I could do it. Maybe if the company offering to pay didn’t make my house look like a circus tent.

  2. dougbrowncreative April 6, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    You bring up a good point Amy. To what degree would Adzookie allow customization of their advertising on homes? That would be an interesting way for the agency to have a tiered price structure. Say for example, the more muted the advertising, the less of the mortgage the agency covers. Alternatively, customization could become a premium service.

  3. Louisa April 6, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    I really don’t see the problem. You get paid for as many months as the ad stays up and they paint your house over when you end the contract. Plus we all know that “the neighbours” will actually stop seeing the ad after just a weeks…ad blindness. When you think of the alternatives, taking in boarders or students, getting a second job etc, this really seems like small potatoes to me. I can imagine even considering it if you weren’t in dire straights. Take the money from your mortgage payment and take a family trip to Disneyland. Then you can send your kids to school with Mickey Mouse ears on their heads.

  4. dougbrowncreative April 6, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I love an optimistic comment Louisa. But do people actually become blind … to ADS??? What?! Shirley you’re having me on.

  5. Michael Tension April 6, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Do you think they would keep up your lawn as well? They wouldn’t want the ad surrounded by weeds, unkempt grass and piles of dog dirt.

  6. dougbrowncreative April 6, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Excellent question. I would love for Adzookie to answer that. You wouldn’t want your ads running in crappy publication either.

  7. tom hammarberg April 6, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    I have a big problem with it. The agency is obviously going to select homes where there is the potential to reach customers. Commuter routes, for example. They’re not going to choose homes in low-traffic, or poorer areas with little or no potential to attract business owners. The result, I suspect is that they’re going to raise a lot of false hope and turn away the overwhelming majority of desperate homeowners, dashing their hopes of a lifeline for a few months. For me that price is way too high for the 1 or 2 successful applicants of the 1000 that applied to date.

  8. dougbrowncreative April 6, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Yup, that’s a good point Tom. And following on from Michael’s, they are probably going to vet the applications by how presentable the house and its landscaping is. As the CNN article points out, the company has set $100,000 aside for this program and the owner will no doubt be vetting by advantage. They are not going to want to pay the mortgages on a crack house.

  9. Murray Kirk April 6, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    And thus the laws in BC concerning 3rd party advertising (assuming the company is not in fact situated at this location), first nations lands notwithstanding, in which case, God save the Queen 🙂

  10. dougbrowncreative April 6, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Can you imagine how the Oak Bay Residents Association would react to this!

  11. Murray Kirk April 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    It could inspire a new militancy movement supported by Facebook and driven by covert funding from the makers of Ensure, WETA, Woe-be-tied Elders Targeting Advertisers

  12. Monica Rossa April 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    As neat as this idea is it wouldn’t be able to expand to markets in other locations. For example, London, Ontario is the snow belt. You would never see the advertisements and the company would be paying for a snow covered advertisement.
    Also, what happens when your mortgage is paid? Do they paint over the ad? How would you continue?

  13. dougbrowncreative April 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    > Murray, are you suggesting targeted advertising messages on adult diapers? Or am I getting that wrong…

    > Monica the maximum term for the advertisement is 3 months, so paid-out mortgages will probably not be an issue. But I sure agree with your first point. As Tom above pointed out, this is not egalitarian media. There will be winners and losers. Thanks for the comment.

  14. Mike Fromowitz April 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Could you imagine having to live next to that?

  15. dougbrowncreative April 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    You know Mike, to the first commenter Amy’s point, it would hurt probably less than living next door to the same people who had just handed their keys over to the bank. Neighbours are usually friends. I would take this over that.

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