Desired but often hard-to-find home amenities like washers, dryers and bathtubs are the stars of New York City real estate rental and sales platform StreetEasy’s latest campaign, titled “It’s Okay To Look.”
Aimed at a broad target audience, the campaign messaging addresses the common frustrations inherent in finding a suitable place to live. It comes to life via pulp noir-like illustrations reminiscent of romance novels, spread across some 30,000 out-of-home media placements, including bus shelters and subway platforms.
Launched in 2006, StreetEasy is an online platform that lists properties for rent or sale in New York City and New Jersey.
“In New York City, whether we’re renters or buyers and no matter what borough, it’s a pretty tough search process, and there are a lot of things that are hard and expensive and compromising about it,” Amory Wooden, senior director of marketing at StreetEasy, tells Marketing Daily.
“But there are also elements that are thrilling and exciting. You could get that washer and dryer. You could get that backyard. It’s positive and actionable.”
The OOH messaging depicts a range of coveted amenities—from bathtubs to doormen to “landlords that won’t judge your domestic partners,” as in cats, dogs and other critters.
The campaign strategy evolved from a deep dive into StreetEasy’s database, which unearthed what urban apartment seekers have searched for over the last 13 years.
“Renters and buyers, at a wide range of price points, are all looking for the same things. These are commonalities we see across our entire audience,” adds Wooden.
For the creative, Austin-based agency Preacher tapped artist Sam Spratt to invoke the sentiments of romance novel covers. The Brooklyn-based illustrator, whose background is rooted in oil paintings, has worked with myriad celebrities, entertainment brands and publishers.
“It just felt to us that it stands out from all of this kind of pastel, vector line-art illustration that you see in a lot of subway ads, especially in New York,” says Krystle Loyland, founder and CEO of Preacher and a former New Yorker.
“Anyone who’s lived in New York knows that the apartment search can be extra challenging. We wanted StreetEasy’s brand message and campaign to be one that would excite rather than exhaust.”
StreetEasy worked with consultant Karen Phillips on all offline media planning and buying, while handling digital and social media in-house.