Billboards are everywhere.
Newspapers, radio, TV, your phone are loaded with ads and apps.
With its cars covered, tire-to-roof, in sponsor names, along with its driver’ uniforms, a NASCAR race on TV actually may have less advertising during the commercials.
Pro golfers have become storefront marquees, with ads on their hats, shirts and bags.
Arenas are named for corporations, stadiums re-dubbed for product makers, university buildings re-designated for donors, movies purposely planted with wayward paying products.
These days, Bloomington-based State Farm, always a good neighbor, also is like a neighbor with 12 kids — they’re everywhere — with signs on stadium walls, behind college basketball hoops, on the ice rink wall as Apolo Ohno skates past.
And so it goes that today we are introduced to what may be the next step in a world gone advertising-crazy: The front of your home.
See that picture of the garishly painted house with the biz logos dotting the front?
Try not to wince.
It could be nearer than you think — literally.
“We’ve already had 27 applications from Bloomington,” says David Le.
Even better — or worse, depending on your view — is that it’s an intriguing idea that, in the midst of a stale economy, could help a few money-pinched homeowners out from under foreclosure.
The idea: If you will let Le and his Buena Park, Calif.-based company (“BrainiacsFromMars.com”) paint ads on your place, they will pay your mortgage while the ads are up (up to a year).
At the end of the term, they promise to repaint your house a more conventional shade — like, say, maybe even white.
More money is made and, as they spin it, fed back into the program by supporters who go to the company’s web site — www.indiegogo. com/brainiacs — and sponsor “Paint My House” projects in towns.
To be confronted, of course, are local ordinances — like those in both Bloomington and Normal — that restrict neighborhood advertising and also have billboard-sized restraints that would include, say, entire homes.
"In cities where codes prevent the ads,” says Le, “we just go in with broccoli green and sunrise orange paint ... colors that have the same effect, bringing attention to the home.
“Our goal is to generate buzz — at our core, we’re a marketing company — and also help people who may need a little help with their mortgage payments.”
That, says Le, is also how this all began, late last year, when his boss and company founder — a man named Romeo Mendoza — was driving his daughter to school in a neighborhood hit especially hard by the economy. His daughter asked, “What’s a foreclosure?”
Mendoza answered the question, says Le, and was hit by his own reality — his company pays so much for advertising, if it instead bought ad space on homes, it would then become “win-win.”
Having painted their first house in April, Fox News got wind of it and did a story.
CNN and CNBC did, too, and Jay Leno began spinning lines about it in his monologue, spawning, says Le, a wave of interest from homeowners across the U.S., including B-N.
“We’re definitely interested in painting a few homes in Bloomington,” he says.
And so be it. Perhaps.
Just like a good neighbor, “BrainiacsFromMars.com” could be painting your good neighbor, too.
Bill Flick is at firstname.lastname@example.org