The newest thing in out-of-home advertising might be on-the-home advertising. Homeowners who are worried about making their mortgage payments can now tap a new source of income by turning their homes into ad platforms, courtesy of a company called Brainiacs from Mars.
As weird as they are modest, the company promises to pay the monthly mortgage of any homeowner who allows them to advertise on their property -- like Scott and Elizabeth Hostetler, a couple whose home in Buena Park, California, now bears a nine-foot-tall Brainiacs from Mars logo on its side.
The offer is good for up to a year of mortgage payments.
It’s not just a simple matter of appending a logo; the entire outside of the house is actually painted (minus the roof, the windows and any awnings), often in the most eye-catching colors imaginable -- orange and green, in the case of the Hostetler’s house.
Millions of homes have been forced into foreclosure since the housing bubble began to deflate toward the end of 2006. Hundreds of thousands more foreclosures are still to come, and 2.9 million U.S. properties received foreclosure notices in 2010 alone. More recently, 230,678 U.S. properties were reported to be in some stage of foreclosure or bank ownership in October 2011, according to RealtyTrac, falling slightly to 224,394 in November, and 205,024 in December.
Considering that millions of homeowners are probably at risk of defaulting, this translates into a lot of potential billboard space for Brainiacs, notwithstanding government attempts to stem the tide of foreclosures. Brainiacs founder Romeo Mendoza, who hopes to festoon up to 1,000 homes across the country, gave this pragmatic explanation: “The government is doing all they can, but the money is in the private sector.”
Mendoza added that the company takes into account issues like housing ordinances, neighborhood covenants and homeowners association rules when planning and executing home billboard projects.