Can't pay your mortgage? Get your house painted as a billboard

If you're looking for a sure way to alienate your neighbors, a fledgling advertising firm based in Southern California just launched this promotional offer: AdZookie.com says it'll pay your mortgage for up to a year, if only you'll agree have your home painted -- as a massive billboard.

Don't laugh. CEO Romeo Mendoza tells Marketplace that just a day into the offer, the flood of applications for the paint job is up to around 3,000, including one from a church.

The deal is, the house must remain painted for at least three months to qualify for having your monthly mortgage picked up by AdZookie, for as long as the billboard is on display. The home must be owned, not rented or leased. The company says you can have the mortgage paid for up to a year, and after that, AdZookie promises to return the house to its original colors.

Just don't confuse this with an endorsement. Paint me kind of put-off by the idea.

Mendoza says applications have come in from all over the U.S., and as far away as Canada, the U.K. and India. He says his company doesn't want to run afoul of local laws, so it won't go into neighborhoods with zoning restrictions.

Now, the bottom line: The small, upstart company's budget for the program is just $100,000, and Mendoza figures just painting the houses could run around $8,000 each. You can do the math. Still, he says he's looking for brands to partner with AdZookie, to pay for more of the home-billboard advertising.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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