Growing real estate company Zillow has selected New York shop Fig as its lead creative agency following a review run by Mercer Island Group that kicked off in July.
Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Deutsch Los Angeles was Zillow’s previous creative agency of record since 2012. The agency crafted the Seattle-based company’s 2013 “Find Your Way Home” effort; its 2016 campaign “Home” and 2017's “Finding Home” national TV campaigns that highlighted customers’ experiences buying, selling or renting homes through the platform. Deutsch L.A. declined to comment, so it is unclear if it pitched to defend the account.
The review comes as Zillow shifts its business model from an online real estate network to an end-to-end service platform for renters, home buyers and sellers. Zillow, founded in 2006, entered the home-flipping business in 2018 with the launch of Zillow Offers. That segment was the main driver of the company's 117 percent sales hike to $745 million in its recent third quarter, which was reported in November.
“Our team at Zillow has been working hard to find the right creative partner to help shepherd our brand through this critical period of transformation,” Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Aimee Johnson said in a statement, praising Fig’s “sharp strategic point of view” and “artfulness that they bring to storytelling.”
In an interview with CNBC following its third-quarter earnings, Zillow CEO Richard Barton explained the company's foray into the house-flipping business despite certain investors criticizing it as a bad decision that carries too much risk. Barton told CNBC that his ultimate vision for Zillow is to provide customers with an "almost trade-in experience with your house."
Fig Partner-CEO Judith Carr-Rodriguez called Zillow the “original disruptor” in real estate. “So when we were approached to pitch the account, we jumped at the chance, and felt a great sense of partnership from our very first meeting,” Carr-Rodriguez added.
The partnership is already underway, with Fig currently working on a brand strategy and large-scale campaign for the company. It's unclear when that campaign is expected to debut.
According to COMvergence estimates, Zillow spent $63 million on measured media in 2018 and $47 million during the period of July 2018 through June 2019.
Fig, founded in 2013, celebrated its fifth anniversary by rebranding from Figliulo & Partners (originally named after its co-founder Mark Figliulo). Its other clients include Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Benjamin Moore, Casper and CNN (for which it created the “This Is an Apple” campaign). In May 2019, Diageo named Fig its global agency of record for its Kettle One Vodka brand.