Moved by Moving: Century 21 Content Plays on Home Buyers’ Emotions

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Century 21 has made some interesting moves in its category lately, such as skipping the Super Bowl and supporting Detlef Schrempf’s foundation via a Twitter campaign.

Its latest move? An online campaign, “Moved by Moving,” which combines moving boxes and stop-motion animation to produce a series of three one-minute online videos similar to the Claymation-style “Gumby & Pokey” and “David & Goliath.”

The new ads are part of Century 21’s effort to make its mark with its 2015 marketing campaign, which has already seen a huge brand presence in NCAA March Madness commercials and promises to unfold throughout the year in partnerships ranging from the Little League World Series to the Latin Grammys on Univision.

brandchannel talked with Mike Callaghan, vice president of brand marketing for Century 21, about “Moved by Moving” and how it aligns with the brand’s high-profile marketing.

brandchannel: Your press release says this is “the world’s first video series created entirely with moving boxes.” What other innovations did you incorporate?

Mike Callaghan: We understand that moving can be emotional, stressful and exciting. One thing many home-buyers can relate to is the uncertainty of moving to a new city or location. This campaign taps into those naturally emotional moments, and does it in a way that again highlights Century 21 agents as the hero, guiding and assisting in the process every step of the way.

The first video, “New Friend,” features a family moving to a new city with a dejected child. The boy didn’t have a friend in this new city and a Century 21 agent helps bring a friend into that equation.

The second video, “New City,” shows a young woman moving to a new city. She’s not finding what she’s looking for but a Century 21 agent opens up her eyes, and she sees things that remind her of home to bring to the new place.

And the third, “New Nest,” features an older man who’s also an avid birdwatcher and ends up delighted to find that he can pursue his hobby in his new place.

We think the use of moving boxes as material, with stop-motion animation, helps continue that spirit of innovation that Century 21 has achieved in the social and digital arena.

bc: I noticed all three spots show someone moving from a suburban or rural environment to “the big city.” Why is that?

Callaghan: We felt that was something more folks could recognize and relate to because of the stark contrasts between rural and suburban life versus an urban setting. That starkness helped us achieve what we were looking for—it evoked those emotions. Are they going to find something that reminds them of home or can become their new home?

bc: Interestingly, amid all these cardboard-brown hues, the Century 21 agents stand out through your use of some bright yellow clothing.

Callaghan: Actually, it’s our brand’s iconic gold color. But we had to go a little lighter with it because of the color of the cardboard boxes.

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bc: Why aren’t you using your long-running “Bolder. Smarter. Faster” tagline here?

Callaghan: We continue to use that in our TV advertising, and it’s something we’ll continue to showcase throughout 2015. We completed the launch of our new campaign during the NCAA tournament and advertised two new spots with that tag line.

With “Moved by Moving,” we’re drawing on the emotional side of things. “Smarter. Bolder. Faster” allows us to position our agents as very confident and tech-savvy and has a bit of a swagger to it. We wanted to tone that down for this campaign to draw on emotions in a different manner.

bc: Are you also continuing your recent efforts to be timely and relevant via social media?

Callaghan: Yes, we’re on Facebook this week, for instance. One of our goals is to make sure that as we develop this type of content, Century 21 agents can share and leverage it across their spheres of influence, their sets of conversations with their clients and their prospects.

We have established a relationship with Hootsuite, so our agents have access across all their social networks to share for business. They can also share links to our full library of social content and imagery that we’ve developed for a wider reach and more relevance.

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