Interest rates are rising and properties are in short supply. It may not be the best time to buy a home, but for Trulia, it's an optimal time to run a new ad campaign. The San Francisco-based real estate company will debut its first national TV campaign since its acquisition by Zillow two years ago.
Called "The House Is Only Half of It," the new work aims to position Trulia as a source for neighborhood information for buyers searching for a home, as well as differentiate it from the larger Zillow brand. Trulia uses map overlays with data points cataloging schools, kid parks, dog parks, criminals and more.
"Trulia's sweet spot is not just about the house and its four walls, but it's also about the neighborhood of blocks and the community of people," said Alissa Reiter, VP-marketing, who joined 12-year-old Trulia last year. "Trulia was founded on this mashup idea of real estate and maps and we found that what people love best about it is the way we help you not just understand the house but the area around it."
The campaign will include two 30-second spots, which will begin running on April 17. Shorter versions will also air and post online and on social media. In one commercial, a family looks beyond the house they'd like to buy and spots a random goat, a collapsing swing-set and band of delinquent neighbors setting things on fire next door. Needless to say, they chose a different home. Trulia, which found through research that 84% of homebuyers consider the neighborhood just as important or more than the property itself, will run the campaign through the summer.
"This insight that the neighborhood is just as important as the house itself made for a really exciting creative challenge. There's an inherent tension built into it, and we immediately started thinking about all the fun ways we could bring this to life," said Bob Cianfrone, exec creative director at Deutsch. "Best of all it was grounded in something Trulia can deliver on, and it starts to carve out a unique position in the category."
Last June, Trulia ran a digital-only campaign starring rapper MC Hammer. The brand has also run a series of brand activations, like a haunted house on Halloween. Its last big campaign, which included TV, was in 2014 and cost a reported $45 million. Reiter declined to say how much the current effort will cost, but noted that it is Trulia's biggest since the Zillow purchase. Trulia spent about $240,000 on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.
"TV is so tried and true and proven as a way to get the word out quickly and effectively," Reiter added.