In its first work for Realtor.com, Huge crafts culturally savvy commercials that spoof the glitzy, overblown houses seen in reality TV shows and social media feeds.
For example, the half-minute clip below opens with scenes of artsy poseurs partying poolside at a mansion in the hills. "While ridiculously entertaining, the homes shown on these real-estate shows are also just plain ridiculous," we're told. "Real homes don't have helipads, vitamin-C infused rain showers, or names."
Such is the stuff of "gazillion-dollar listings," and average folks don't have that much coin lying around. Luckily, the narrator concludes, "when it's time to buy an actual home, Realtor.com has millions of them that don't cost millions."
"Who doesn't appreciate when a brand gets real with us?" Huge global creative chief Jason Musante tells Muse. "We felt comfortable, and research told us, that this approach would be a breath of fresh air for most home buyers who were tired of being overpromised on how easy it is to find and buy a new home."
Other spots in the series warn us that house hunting can be an involved, often time-consuming process—"not a perfect 30 minutes where a perfect family is shown three achingly perfect New England properties and then a flow chart on the pros and cons of crown molding."
In light of such circumstances, Realtor.com positions itself as the go-to resource for real-world buyers, not 1 percenters "who throw drinks, insults and costume-clad lapdogs across the stage."
As for those kickin' kitchens on culinary channels, well, they're just sets cooked up in Hollywood. (You're unlikely to find similar fare on location, location, location.)
"We chose to take a stand, making Realtor.com the champion of finding real homes for real people, which are, in most cases, more fulfilling than those fantasy TV dream homes," says Huge global executive creative director Fede Garcia.
The campaign continues Realtor.com's run of funny ads, which were fashioned in recent years by Pereira O'Dell. That work often featured Elizabeth Banks, and included an extremely odd effort from 2016 where she popped into homebuyers' dreams.
Huge wisely softens such wackiness for these new ads. The satire feels familiar (reality TV's an easy target) and fairly restrained, giving the brand message room to breathe.
While the end line, "Homes, for the real of us," sounds a tad awkward, it works well in context.
"Our campaign reinforces that people want and need real information and expertise during their home search," says Realtor.com head of brand and creative chief Andrew Stickman. "Real is in our name. It's in our DNA. That information and expertise is exactly what Realtor.com offers."