BOSTON — While President Obama and Mitt Romney debate over the best way to fix the economy, a California advertising company is offering a different — and more immediate — approach.
Brainiacs from Mars wants to help you pay your mortgage, even if it’s underwater. In return, the company asks only one thing: your exterior walls.
Brainiacs uses terms like “non-traditional,” “high impact” and “alternative” to describe its marketing. That only begins to scratch the surface of what your house could become if you enter an agreement with the Braniacs. They want to turn your home into a massive, neon green and orange, house-shaped billboard.
For each month your house remains painted the company will pay your mortgage. When you decide you’ve had enough, it will return your home to whatever color you want.
The California-based company says neither presidential candidate is offering a clear plan on how to salvage the struggling housing market. So it created one. Brainiacs seems to be on to something: The company says it’s received 44,000 applications and plans to paint 3,000 homes in 2013.
Brainiacs CEO Romeo Mendoza says there has been plenty of excitement from Massachusetts residents — 192 homes in Boston, 33 in Springfield, 14 in Lawrence and 19 in Worcester have applied.
Mendoza says the idea came to him while he was driving his 6-year-old daughter home from school.
“We were driving by a house, and she saw a sign that said ‘foreclosed’… that’s nothing I thought I’d ever have to explain to her, but the fact of the matter is that we’ve had friends, we’ve had family, a lot of the nation is going through it,” Mendoza said. “So, I explained it to her. But being a dad, you always want to take a negative and see what you can do about it. So we were thinking of ways to help.”
The duo turned a corner toward home and saw a two-story house he says looked like a “completely blank slate.” As an advertising executive, Mendoza easily made the leap from selling ads on smartphones to placing similar ads on homes.
“We buy ads as a company all the time,” he said. “Why don’t we buy ads on this guy’s house and we can pay for his mortgage?”
Mendoza says he’s not looking to end foreclosures, but hopes the idea can help struggling families.
The company argues that painting homes to keep them out of foreclosure will reduce crime, keep the values of neighboring homes up, and, most importantly, help struggling families keep roofs over their heads.
So far the company has only painted one home, in Orange County, Calif. But Mendoza says it hopes to paint 3,000 homes across the globe next year.
— Here’s a time-lapse video of the painting: