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Google takes note of ABQ advertising startup

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Get paid to watch ads? Sounds easy, right? Well, that’s the concept behind Albuquerque-based startup AdWallet.

It’s a simple idea, and one that Google apparently thinks has potential.

AdWallet has been selected to join the Google Ads Advantage Program, an invitation-only program designed to help brands accelerate their growth and reach. Every quarter, Google invites 10 companies to join the program, and one or two of them are startups, according to Adam Greenhood, CEO of AdWallet.

“As soon as I created my AdWallet account, it was easy to see the potential for mass appeal on this platform,” Fizz Ahmed, a digital consultant for Google, said in a news release. “AdWallet’s value proposition is clear and simple.”

Greenhood began the company earlier this year and rolled out the product in August.

The company pays customers 50 cents each time they view a commercial online. Customers can download the AdWallet app or go directly to the website, where they sign up for an account, answer a few questions and are then sent commercials to view each day. At the end of the commercial, the customers answer a question proving that they watched.

They are offered an extra 25 cents for sharing the ad on social media and are given the opportunity to receive discounts and coupons from the advertiser.

AdWallet received its first call from Google three days after it launched, according to Greenhood. After a monthlong approval process, Google notified Greenhood that AdWallet was welcome to use the Advantage Program, with access to Google resources and strategists for a 90-day period beginning at a time of Greenhood’s choosing. Greenhood elected to begin next week.

“We figured that we should use (the program) now because whatever works in Albuquerque, we have those tools in place to roll out nationally,” Greenhood said.

After the 90-day period, AdWallet will still have access to Google strategists, but Greenhood said that for those 90-days, AdWallet will have Google’s full attention.

Google will provide Greenhood with its full range of marketing tools, including customized learning content, planning tools and resources that are usually reserved for Google’s top clients.  AdWallet will also be provided with a team of Google strategists who will work closely with the startup to maximize brand reach.

AdWallet is undergoing BETA testing in Albuquerque and has had more than 7,000 active daily users in its first month, according to the release.

Users can sign up for free and download the app here. Advertisers can get set up on AdWallet online by uploading their ads to the site, selecting their target demographic and specifying how much they want to pay.