LONG & FOSTER REAL ESTATE

Remember the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe? She’s moving, perhaps to a low-slung house that “looks like a loafer to me.” And preoccupied as she is with motherly tasks, she’s an ideal customer for Long & Foster’s HomeLink service, which includes a Personal Move Coordinator who’ll help with the details of getting out of one house and into another. The campaign’s humor is fairly cornball, as when the Old Woman says she’d like to find a house “with nice, high arches” or when her kids create predictable mayhem around her. But this client is wise to employ a spokesperson who’s so memorable. We make brand decisions all the time about soap and beer and clothes and the like, but we go years at a time without giving a thought to real estate brokers. When we suddenly need one, few of us can draw on a fund of personal knowledge and opinion. As such, we’re ill-equipped to respond to a conventionally rational case for Brand A vs. Brand X. We’re more likely to feel comfortable with a sales pitch that has the emotional simplicity of a nursery rhyme. By the way, people who recall the whole tale maywonder whether the Old Woman is a suitable spokesperson in our enlightened age: Confounded by her surplus of children, “She whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.”