Opendoor brought a giant empty nest to Family Weekend at UCLA to talk to parents about downsizing

Alma’s activation reminded parents that the grief of empty nest syndrome can turn into the joy of opportunity

Published On
Nov 10, 2023
A giant empty bird's nest next to a real estate sign that reads "Parents can leave the nest too"

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Kids aren’t the only ones who leave the nest—parents can as well.

That’s the message that Opendoor memorably delivered recently during Family Weekend at UCLA, featuring an impressive prop—a huge empty bird’s nest—to engage parents who may be going through the grief of empty-nest syndrome.

Orchestrated by Alma, the activation served as both a photo opp for families and a backdrop to record interviews for the spot below, where parents get truly emotional talking about their kids moving out. The ultimate message being that Opendoor can help you sell your home if it’s suddenly a little bigger than you need.


The campaign, called “Empty Nest for Sale,” was built around the insight that empty nesters, typically 55+, are the most likely group in America to sell their home right now. The behavior change that Opendoor is seeking, at its core, is first an emotional one—getting parents to see how children “leaving the nest” can open a world of possibilities. The action of home selling could then follow.

The activation took place outside the Rose Bowl, where UCLA was playing a game.

“Creating a giant bird’s nest was one of the more interesting tasks of my advertising career,” Jorge Murillo, executive creative director at alma, told Ad Age. “It took about two weeks to create, and was actually built out of trees that were scheduled to be chopped down by the city. We wanted to make sure we kept sustainability in mind, so we used those natural materials and modeled the construction after how real bird’s nests are made. In the end, the nest was impossible for the families to miss, and easily tied together the message of the campaign.” 

Murillo said the interviews were truly authentic. They were real parents, not actors, and nothing was scripted. “We were actually really surprised with how they all became so emotional when we interviewed them. As a dad, I even I teared up listening!” he said. “They all perfectly captured the spectrum of emotion parents feel and we couldn’t have asked for better engagement.”

“Opendoor simplifies the home buying and selling process, letting you prioritize life’s most important moments,” added David Corns, chief marketing officer at Opendoor. “Using Alma’s impressive audience-first approach, we wanted to reassure empty nesters that their new life chapter doesn’t have to be stressful. The result—a empty, human-sized bird’s nest that brought home this idea, and really captured the optimism for what’s ahead.


Nov 10, 2023
Client :
Agency :
Chief Marketing Officer :
David Corns
Marketing Lead Brand Creative :
Tirza DiOro
Director & Head of Creative Marketing :
Lauren West
Marketing Manager Content :
Lauren Stobbs
Co-President/Chief Creative Officer :
Alvar Sunol
VP Executive Creative Director :
Jorge Murillo
Executive Creative Director :
Christian Liu
Art Director :
Valentina Woll
Strategic Planning Director :
Jorge Becerra
Group Account Director :
Karen Udler
Account Director :
Jose Hawayek
VP Digital Content & Experience Strategy :
Mike Soleto
Sr. Content Creator :
Miguel Clark
Executive Producer :
Jay Rivera
Project Manager :
Tesi Sanz
SVP Managing Director :
Ana Bermudez
Media Production :
Baby Lion Media
Founder & Director :
Jerry Digby
Founder & Executive Producer :
Ramon Nuñez
Producer :
Brett Annese
Producer :
Rose Krane
Editor :
Drew Umland
DP :
Afshin Shahidi
Production Design :
Michael Graham

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