ROCKFORD, Aug. 19 — Paul Fowler and Brad Marshall, creators of AdsOrTails®, formally launched their innovative online advertising platform at a news conference held at the new NIU EIGERlab CoWorking space, located at NIU-Rockford.
Rockford-based AdsOrTails is a website and mobile web app that offers Rockford-area consumers a chance to win gift cards and earn coupons exclusively to locally-owned businesses. To qualify for these rewards, just spend a minute or two learning about and providing feedback to Rockford-area businesses and organizations.
Here’s how it works: Rockford consumers browse the nearly 40 businesses and organizations currently working with AdsOrTails such as Lucha Cantina, Rockford Roasting Company, Pearl Bistro, and The Canine Crunchery, for the chance to walk away with a $10 or $15 Gift Card or an exclusive coupon. To earn either reward, the consumer must view four quick ads from the pool of local businesses, select a first impression response for each ad, and answer a quiz question to prove they gleaned something from the advertisement. Afterward, the consumer can play one of four simple 30 second games for the chance to win the gift card or simply accept a coupon like “$5 off a $25 purchase at Rookie’s Pub & Grill in Rockton.” This feedback is immediately sent to the local business owner’s AdsOrTails account providing invaluable answers to the questions: who saw my ad, what did they think of it, and did they get the message?
As AdsOrTails CEO Paul Fowler explained, “These certified ad views support the local business’ online exposure and decision making, while the gift cards and coupons increase foot traffic and eventually sales.” Rookie’s owner Ryan Asta said, “Being a new sports bar, we are utilizing AdsOrTails as a unique advertising route to customers.” Molly Fisher, owner of Yolo’s Sweets, a newer bakery located in downtown Rockford, is a perfect example of the impact AdsOrTails’ advertising efforts can provide. Fisher commented, “I frequently have new customers exchanging AdsOrTails gift cards or coupons.”
AdsOrTails is fresh off of a third place finish in NIU EIGERlab’s 2015 Fast Pitch Competition, an annual event that provides entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their business ideas, network, connect with potential investors and win cash prizes; similar to ABC’s “Shark Tank.” FastPitch event organizer Sherry Pritz said, “Paul and Brad are one of the FastPitch success stories. In 2014 they presented the concept of AdsOrTails without a live product and were named Finalists. This year, to finish 3rd place out of 40 startups from the Rockford Region, Chicago, Chicago suburbs and Wisconsin, speaks volumes about their business.”
Since AdsOrTails business model is scalable, it’s similar to Groupon. Once the business is fully established in the Rockford area, Paul and Brad plan to launch the site in more communities. This city by city development is similar to Groupon’s growth ten years ago—they now employ over 10,000 people. The partners aim to make Rockford home of “the next big thing,” resulting in a strong community impact. Their mission is to have all local consumers create free accounts on AdsOrTails.com and support Rockford-owned businesses!
Paul and Brad would like to sincerely thank the awesome teams at: NIU EIGERlab, the Small Business Development Center, Joshua Binning, owner of Lucha Cantina, Ray Montelongo, owner of Montel Technologies, Professor Steven Wong and the RVC Marketing Department, Cathy McDermott, Administrator at the Rock River Development Partnership, White Leaf Creative, and their families for all of the support. A special thanks to each of the businesses that utilize AdsOrTails to support the online exposure of their organization for their time, support, and confidence.
View the press release here.