Zillow says 'to move is to grow' in new brand campaign tapping into pandemic-fueled surge

The push includes two very different spots, highlighting its tools and helping propel the brand forward

Published On
Apr 06, 2021

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As spring home buying gets underway, Zillow is hoping to capture attention with a new brand campaign “To Move Is To Grow.” The work, which includes two 60-second TV spots, is meant to highlight the Seattle-based real estate company as more than just a real estate search tool.

“We know the place we want to be—moving from searching and finding to helping you throughout the process,” says Aimee Johnson, chief marketing officer. “Now is the time we as a busines are placing that stake in the ground.”

In “Journey” (below) which will air in longform on digital channels, a young girl travels with her toys to a new home in a touching scene reminiscent of children’s films like Pixar’s Inside Out and Where the Wild Things Are. Filmed in Prague, the spot was directed by Martin De Thurah and includes a score by Jonny Greenwood.

The second spot, “Susans” (below), takes a humorous look at the delicate dance of buying and selling a home and the personalized thought process that goes with it. Jim Jenkins directed and Gavin Cutler edited. 



Johnson notes that the first commercial should connect with customers on an emotional level, while “Susans” demonstrates all of the tools Zillow has to offer buyers and sellers.

“We wanted to make sure we were doing big brand ‘We feel you, we understand you and here’s where we are,’ and also connect it to the products and services that Zillow has to help you get there,” says Johnson.

As consumers became more comfortable using technology during the pandemic—ordering grocery deliveries and setting up virtual health care appointments, for example—Zillow accelerated its own roll-out of online tools customers can use in the home-buying process. Such tools include 3D home tours and interactive floor plans.

Zillow worked with New York-based Fig on the new campaign. Their relationship began in early 2020, just before the pandemic forced millions to re-evaluate their home situations.

The decision to take two different approaches was “very deliberate,” according to Scott Vitrone, partner and chief creative officer at Fig. “Both have the same theme—'the emotion and vulnerability of moving'—just played two ways. The ‘Susans’ spot has more product while ‘Journey’ is more anthemic.”

With millions stuck at home, Zillow has seen its popularity soar. The company reported 9.6 billion app and website visits in 2020, a 540% increase from 2019. “Zillow surfing” was even parodied in a memorable SNL spoof ad with actor Dan Levy.

The new work will air on national TV this week, as well as on streaming, online video and social platforms. UM handled media buying.