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Why we love Zillow’s new tv ad, have mixed feelings about Redfin’s, and hate C21’s

Zillow has just launched a new tv ad that prompts us to look at the most recent batch of tv spots. Take a look and let us know your thoughts.

tv commercials

This year, real estate companies have stepped up their television commercial game, and produced some memorable ads – some for good reasons, others for bad. We’ve been meaning to opine on some of these for a while, and Zillow’s new ad pushed this editorial to the forefront.

Whether you like it or not, as a real estate practitioner, your brand is in the hands of whoever has the most money and can get in front of more households, representing real estate (be it search, brokerage, or otherwise). That’s not always a bad thing, as you’ll see in Zillow’s new ad:

What’s so amazing about Zillow’s new ad?

Zillow’s ad is one of the most touching we’ve seen in real estate. Truly. This knocked it out of the park, because they tapped into the fact that home is more than an address, it’s a culmination of experiences within those four walls. We mark years by where we lived, and when life changes, we have to adjust. If you don’t choke up watching this one, you’re a monster.

Very well done, Zillow.

And then there’s Redfin – a hit and a miss

We love the first half of this Redfin ad, and like viewers, we’re left inspired, but then the Realtor comes in and we get angry… watch, and see if you can spot it:

There is a better way, and the subtle showcasing of Matterport technologies is impressive. But did you catch that agent? She was as discerning as the buyers, and willing to be honest about a home rather than sugar coat for a commission. But what gets under my skin is that any agent worth a damn is going to either (a) know a home before viewing it, based on being the neighborhood expert, or (b) have previewed homes before wasting a client’s time.

Either way, this one irked me after all, because the agent wasted the buyers’ time (and their own), and inadvertently asserted that Realtors don’t know their product, even if their one of those feel-good-so-honest agents.

Oh, and the Century 21 bomb

We were a little surprised by C21’s 2015 ad lineup which included the following bust:

So did homey do that startup and make money or did his agent somehow make him rich? It’s kind of confusing, but mostly stupid and stereotypes tech startup founders as morons in a basement. Nice.

It was surprising to us, given that their social media team recently knocked it out of the park with their “little things” campaign, reminding consumers of how personal a home is.

While the tv spot above was a jumbled mess, another in their ad package was actually really fun and amazing and made up for the stupid basement boy ad:

Don’t forget’s “Real People” ad

While it doesn’t have the punch or pizzazz or heart strings pulled as Redfin or Zillow’s ads, what we love about NAR/Realtor’com’s “Real People” campaign below is that (a) they use real people, so duh, that’s awesome, and (b) it isn’t smarmy or overly sales, it just hits the right notes and reminds consumers of what’s really important.

This ad does a superb job of asserting one of the brand’s value propositions, check it out:


Coldwell Banker put out an ad that features doggies. It’s kind of unfair – you can’t lose if you feature the puppies!

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

So tell us, which ads in this roundup do you love, hate, or have mixed feelings about?

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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