When Innovation Is So Bizarre, It Must Be From Mars

Not on my block!  Though I do give Brainiacs From Mars credit for capturing the spirit of the times by offering to cover the mortgages for struggling homeowners, their idea is one that’s sure to raise eyebrows – if not fists of fury from the occupants of neighboring houses. The mechanics of their bizarre marketing product is that they will paint your entire house (except the roof, windows and doorways) with whatever brand has engaged their services for anywhere from one to twelve months.  During that time, the homeowner’s mortgage payments will be paid by the company.  In the midst of these financial troubles, it could be the perfect solution for someone who is struggling to make their payments or finds that their mortgage is under water. But, the true cost for the homeowner – and the advertised brand – could be  a million times more than it is worth.

As municipalities are taking measures around the world to curb the proliferation in advertising and the cacophony of imagery and messaging that comes with that, these executions could be quite steep. The happiness in São Paulo, Brazil continues to spread since they passed a law cracking down on visual polution  and, while the citizens had something to complain about before the crackdown,  their ad placements weren’t even close to the brazen disregard for visual decorum that this product provides.

The folks at Brainiacs From Mars are smart, though, in how they may be able to control the prices they have to pay for placement.  For instance, they will most likely only be agreeing to paint homes that are on well trafficked roads.  Those houses are typically cheaper than the houses that have little to no traffic or are well covered by a wall or flora.  While it might be enticing for a homeowner with a 3 or 4K+ monthly mortgage to have a few month’s of paid support, their homes will most likely will not be in play. The houses that are selected for participation will naturally have considerably lower costs and higher visibility. Brainiacs founder, Romeo Mendoza, hopes to paint up to 1,000 homes.  We’ll have to see if their realized numbers come close and how the mix nets out.

Those painted houses will attract a lot of attention – good and bad – and will most-likely cause a stir and even further regulation and community guidelines.  Even with the crazy nature of this one, I place it behind the rooftop QR codes I wrote about a couple months ago in the “What are they thinking?” category because of its real visibility.

John Cougar Mellencamp caused excitement when he offered to paint MTV’s Party House pink in 1984 for some lucky winner. Sadly, I don’t think this is going to have that same type of excitement.  Surely, there could be some buzz if someone actually agrees to paint their house with a brand, but the brand should think long and hard whether they want to be a part of it. The portrayed brands will definitely be at the forefront of people’s thoughts. It seems unlikely that those thoughts will be kind. As for me, I’ll be happy to have a house branded in my neighborhood – when I’m living on Mars.

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