Online real estate site realtor.com is launching a new campaign in the season two premiere of Hulu’s Emmy Award winning original series The Handmaid’s Tale.
Realtor.com is one of four exclusive sponsors for Handmaid’s Tale. The others are Discover, Universal Pictures and an unnamed company in the auto category.
The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a totalitarian state, making it an unlikely environment for warm and funny spots about finding a new home. But Andrew Strickman, head of brand and chief creative for realtor.com said Hulu offered an attractive audience and a unique advertising platform.
“It is really a marriage of not only beautiful but award-winning content with an enormous audience and enormous talk value,” he said.
Hulu also offer an ad load that’s smaller than traditional TV. “The fact that we’re one of four exclusive sponsors for this season means that we are going to have a much better platform from which to be seen with these advertisements,” Strickman said.
“The Hulu audience has proven to be incredible valuable for us and we have a lot of data from our site and our media performance to demonstrate that and so when we were presented with this opportunity, particularly as we are launching a new creative campaign [Wednesday] and they are launching [Wednesday] it made a lot of sense,” he said.
After the first three spots in the campaign appear in The Handmaid’s Tale, the campaign will also run on networks including ABC, NBC, HGTV and Bravo and on shows such as American Idol, 60 Minutes, Survivor and the NBA playoffs.
For an online site, TV has proven to be a big business builder.
“Television has been a phenomenal reach play for us,” Strickman said. “We’ve grown our site’s traffic over the last five years from around 20 million unique users a month to upwards of 60 million now. Television has been a big part of that increase in performance and the velocity of that increase.”
Strickman declined to say how much realtor.com is spending on the campaign, but he said TV spending would be up, and that with the site’s awareness now at high levels, digital spending will be increasing 80%.
That digital spending includes Hulu.
“We see the audience that Hulu Is currently attracting as very important to our target of potential first time home buyers,” he said. “We’re reaching a lot of people on Hulu that we aren’t reaching on TV and that’s why they’re such an important part of our media mix.”
The realtor.com campaign uses the slogan “The Home of Home Search” and takes a back-to-basics approach, according to Strickman.
“We’re really telling the story of why a consumer needs realtor.com when they’re even just dreaming about what their next home could look like,” he said. “Realtor.com is the place you should start your search. No matter what it is you want, realtor.com can help you find it.”
There are 12 spots in the campaign. They feature a warm, humorous tone and flip home searches on their head.
The spots show the results of the search-- a nearby grocery store for teenage boys who are constantly hungry, a chef’s kitchen for when you learn to cook, a backyard where your dog can act like a dog--then transitions to the specific realtor.com feature that helped them search, demonstrating how much the buyer needs realtor.com.”
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