After nearly two decades with the award-winning independent ad agency, Most, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is changing horses and has officially teamed up with Boston-based Arnold Worldwide to handle creative, digital, brand activation, and strategy. This shift comes after a months-long review that narrowed down 18 agencies (including Most) to one.
The selection of Arnold Worldwide is a major shift for NAR, indicating their “interest in moving in a different direction,” NAR SVP of Communications, Stephanie Singer tells Adweek. This new agency is a clear sign that NAR is serious about going after millennials, and Singer says the agency’s prowess with that demographic was a key factor in its selection.
You already know their work
Arnold Worldwide has experience with digital and social appeals to millennials for clients you know like Progressive (who doesn’t know Flo or that sprinkles are for winners?) Carnival Cruise Lines, Jack Daniel’s, and even the CDC (yes, they fashioned the painful “Tips from former smokers” campaign).
Agency President, Pam Hamlin told Adweek that millnnials are key because they have “grown up in the technology age, where the role of the Realtor has become diminished as the online search process has evolved. Arnold is tasked with helping NAR reclaim the Realtor’s role in the overall home-buying process, and to educate millennials on what a Realtor does and the value they can provide.”
You’ll likely begin seeing the efforts of this new partnership in the fourth quarter, and Hamlin notes the agency intends to “target millennials through a truly integrated cross-chanel campaign, which will center primarily on television and digital activations.”
The vulnerability of the industry
There is a large segment of the population that believes the key role of the Realtor is to help them search for a home, and that the internet has disintermediated that. We have long maintained that the Realtor’s role is that of negotiation and protection – no website can hold a buyer’s hand the way a Realtor can, and no portal will ever have the negotiation skills of a seasoned Realtor.
It is our strong hope that Arnold Worldwide does what they’ve set out to do for NAR – reclaim the Realtor’s role in the transaction, because our readers already know that a Realtor’s value proposition is not holding a giant set of jangling keys to open any house in the land.