Recent Wake Forest graduates Jack Carey and Michael Cassidy, the founders of AdWap and former Wake Forest roommates, want to put the power of giving into anybody’s hands.
AdWap, which stands for Advertising with a Purpose, is a company that aims to change how people watch advertisements. The idea is simple; the money that is made from people’s advertisement viewing time gets split three ways. A third of the money goes to a charity of the viewers choosing, a third goes to the advertising company and the last third gets entered into a sweepstakes to win money back. AdWap was launched late last year and is currently an app and a website.
Carey and Cassidy were intrigued and moved by how much social media draws attention to issues around the world. The team saw that actions such as changing a profile picture after the 2015 Paris attacks or participating in the ice bucket challenge drew attention to those issues, but they were not creating actual monetary donations. With AdWap, however, you can make an actual donation in the same amount of time it would take you to change your profile picture or complete the ice bucket challenge.
Besides the giving aspect of the company, it also takes a unique spin on advertising and provides an actual benefit to the companies. Users can give to something they care about for free if they just watch the advertisements. This motivates the participants to actually watch the video’s. The website guarantees that the viewers watch the ads all the way through, something that is very important for the companies but usually very hard to control. At the end of each video there is a “give” button that the viewer has to click to show that they watched the video. The Wake Forest alumni wanted to change the stigma around advertising that it is a “one-way street.”
AdWap allows you to watch a maximum of ten videos a day, which takes no more than five minutes. Instead of watching a five-minute commercial, viewers can watch five minutes’ worth of AdWap video’s and give back to a worthy cause, all while potentially winning money for themselves.
The founding of the app and website did not come easily to Carey and Cassidy, however. Neither founder knew how much went into incorporating a company. They had over 100 pages of legal documents and had to deal with long and expensive technology development. Both of them agreed that the technological side of developing the company was the hardest part. From finding someone reliable who would develop the app and then gaining the rights to the idea, it was a long and tedious process. But when they finally found a development team who would develop the app, it was all worth it.
AdWap has begun to expand, starting out with three employees and growing to five. They also have college ambassadors on about a hundred different campuses around the country trying to get the word out.
The original idea behind the company was “wealth creation” for the viewers, advertisers and charities. They wanted to invent a social enterprise which exists by doing good for others, and that is what they have created.
“There seems to be an appetite for it,” Carey and Cassidy said.
In the future, they hope that AdWap becomes a primary and permanent fundraising vehicle. One of their goals is to make AdWap a part of everyone’s daily routine and have as many users using the app and website as possible.
Carey and Cassidy were both active members in the Wake Forest community and still share a lot of love for the school. Carey was a psychology major and on the baseball team while Cassidy was a business major, basketball manager and involved in Greek life. Both of them graduated from Wake Forest in 2013, however, Carey went on to graduate from the MA program in 2014.
When asked about what they love about Wake Forest and their advice for students, Carey responded, “be as social as possible; the people are what make Wake Forest great. Always be active and look to meet people and step out of your comfort zone.”