financial services

Coldwell Banker Spends Big On NBA, Hulu

Coldwell Banker Real Estate is allocating half of its spending to the NBA and 20% to Hulu for a campaign breaking tonight.

Coldwell Banker CMO David Marine shared with Marketing Dailyhow the brand reimagined its strategy because of COVID-19, including why the NBA’s 23.7 million-plus viewers and Hulu are ideal audiences for the real estate brand.

Q. The spot talks about returning to normal. Is that a calculated risk to take when many states are still seeing rising cases and it appears that some states may be shut back down again?

A. We intentionally did not use the word “normal” anywhere in our ad because, as we’ve all experienced, “normal” or the “new normal” is not quite defined yet. What we did want to emphasize is the fact that even though we’ve spent more time than ever in our homes, it still is one of the best places to be. Our homes protected us and the people we share them with. 



Q. What is Coldwell Banker’s new digital strategy and ad spend? Why are the NBA and Hulu both ideal audiences for the brand?

A. Our original plan was upended when the NCAA basketball tournament was canceled. This actually allowed us to reimagine our strategy with a continued focus on digital, streaming and TV. Our new strategy was carefully planned to best target individuals within ideal home-buying demographics.

A balance between television and streaming services was one key consideration. Another was to find an audience that is equally male and female, which is why we decided to target the NBA and Hulu. 

The NBA is a great venue for us because audiences are craving the return of live sports, and the ability to advertise on appointment-viewing programming is a valuable media outlet. Additionally, according to the NBA, over 23.7 million of their fans are within the common home-buying and selling age group, and they search for homes online on an average of 24 million times each month.

Streaming platforms are seeing tremendous audience growth since the beginning of COVID. Through Hulu, we were able to target female-skewing programs to get us closer to a 50/50 split, since the NBA’s audience tends to skew male. 

To achieve those target goals, we allocated 50% of our entire spend to the NBA, and 20% of it to Hulu.

Q. You had big plans for the NCAA basketball tournament. It must have been disappointing to see them foiled by the pandemic. What did you learn from that experience and how did you pivot?

A. We’ve learned a lot! This latest campaign is the final piece of a pivot that started immediately after our original media plans were undone.

My team has talked a lot about how we can pave the “road to recovery” by continuing to deliver consumer messaging that can support our network of agents and engage with consumers throughout our current climate.

We adjusted our “Guiding You Home” ad to address the COVID environment, and it was incredibly well received, along with a number of social activities that we focused on.

But we’ve been building plans toward making a larger splash when the real estate market started to show signs of opening up. We had a bit of an aha moment, realizing that our nation had been spending more time in their homes than ever before. Our homes, quite literally, have been keeping us safe in quarantine.

Q. The new spot is emotion driven. How did you compile the videos and how was the spot created given COVID restrictions? Is there any original footage? Who was the agency? 

A. Just like our earlier campaigns this year, we continued working with Siltanen & Partners. They had to adapt to new production methods to prioritize safety and social distancing, without sacrificing the quality and emotional impact of this new spot’s message. 

We were able to craft a timely yet timeless message of how much our homes have done for us, through several original and authentic home videos. We drew inspiration from TikTok dances, social media challenges, and many other fun, goofy and heartfelt posts trending on the internet, showing the boredom-turned-to-fun that so many families experienced in quarantine.

Since we all have cameras in our pockets these days, we looked to our network of 94,000 agents to share original videos of their most special moments in quarantine. We were able to compile several touching clips to bring our message to life. 

Q. Is this still a precarious time to be running new ads?  Are you looking at how COVID is affecting different parts of the country and adjusting your media plan accordingly?

A. Of course, we are carefully analyzing and remaining sensitive to how different parts of the country are affected by the daily challenge that this pandemic brings and adjusting accordingly.

While ads that make light of the situation are not advised, the earnest intent behind "All We Have" is what’s key. We also think there’s a good chance the ad will bring a smile to some faces! For Coldwell Banker, we simply wanted to spotlight the silver linings found in the protection and family time within our homes. 

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