NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Here’s an interesting idea: A firm in Orange, Calif. will help pay your mortgage if you allow it to paint its logo on your home. The company is called Adzookie, and it’s already receiving a flood of applications to get its paint on.
The gambit echoes a slightly similar offer from Ecko, which offers consumers a 20% discount for life if they get a tattoo with the company’s logo (under its “Branded For Life” program).
Adzookie’s deal is a bit different, however. You don’t have to get a tattoo on your skin – you have to paint your house. The website has a Photoshopped image of what you can expect that tattoo to look like, and when you do it the company will pay your mortgage for three months to a year. When the arrangement ends it will repaint your house back to its original colors.
The company makes no bones about what the deal involves:
“We're looking for houses to paint. In fact, paint is an understatement. We're looking for homes to turn into billboards. In exchange, we'll pay your mortgage every month for as long as your house remains painted,” the website states, adding “if you're prepared for the bright colors and stares from neighbors, just complete the submission form below.”
The firm is certainly getting a great deal of media attention over its guerilla advertising campaign. CEO Romeo Mendoza recently told CNN that his firm had received 1,000 applications for the deal within hours of its rollout on April 5.
"It really blew my mind," Mendoza said. "I knew the economy was tough, but it's sad to see how many homeowners are really struggling."
As usual with these kinds of deals, there’s a strong whiff of “too good to be true” about it. The company only has $100,000 budgeted to the campaign, and $8,000 of that goes to painting each house that’s approved for the deal. Adzookie has also placed a one-year limit on the deal, so it’s not like you’d get the deal for the life of your mortgage.
Also, you’ll need to check with your local zoning laws to see if you’re even allowed to have a house-sized piece of advertising on your property.
Adzookie hasn’t actually painted any houses yet, although Mendoza says the 16-month-old company is set to break out the paintbrushes within a few weeks. But the company has already won in the all-important court of media outreach. CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo and many other major media platforms have already directed their spotlight toward Adzookie and its paintbrush campaign as a proxy for the struggling housing market.
Considering the amount of money available and the particulars of the deal, some struggling U.S. homeowners may not appreciate being led on by a company that likely won’t help them make their mortgage payments at all, let alone for three short months.
In other words, don't let Adzookie's brushtrokes paint a different picure than the real story.