Adzookie has received "thousands" responses (including one from a church) to its offer to pay the mortgage for homeowners who let it brand the exterior.
Romeo Mendoza, Adzookie's founder and CEO, told MSNBC he wants to help cash-strapped homeowners, although he originally intended to paint 10 houses. Now, he's hoping to find other advertisers willing to join in on the gambit so he can fund 100 billboard/houses.
It's all, of course, a bid to build brand awareness (accomplished) as Adzookie seeks to gain market share for its mobile ad network.
“We’re already seeing a big movement into mobile advertising. As smartphones become smarter, ads will literally reach out and touch customer’s senses,” says Mendoza.
The scrappy startup is making a lot of noise in order to take on bigger mobile ad networks including Google’s AdMob and Apple’s iAd network, and independents like Millennial Media, Chalk and Mojiva.
With the Paint My House deal, there are a few caveats: “You must own your home. It cannot be rented or leased. We'll paint the entire outside of the house, minus the roof, the windows and any awnings. Painting will take approximately 3 - 5 days. Your house must remain painted for at least three months and may be extended up to a year. If, for any reason, you decide to cancel after three months or if we cancel the agreement with you, we'll repaint your house back to the original colors.”
"People are having a hard time out there," comments Mark Oskorus, VP marketing for Adzookie. "It's hit a really interesting nerve. It's a really sensitive subject, making ends meet."
In addition to homeowners, at least a dozen businesses, seven restaurants and one church had applied yesterday.
The budget for the promotion is only $100,000, to be spread over painting the houses with advertising and repainting them their original colors if a customer opts out or the promotion ends — hence the desire to bring in other advertisers.
The house-painting stunt isn't Adzookie's only marketing gambit.
Users who let Adzookie place location-based ads on their mobile websites can use the credit to buy ads on the network. "We're going through the [venture capital] process right now," adds Oskorus, hoping their mortgage promotion will attract money, advertisers and colorful buzz in order to realize its vision for the smartphone of the future: