A Mecca for Home Designers

HomePortfolio Reaches Upscale Consumers With Emotion
BOSTON–Since launching its Web site with a print-based ad campaign last fall, HomePortfolio has listened to its consumers, conducted focus groups, tracked results and weighed site usage.
Now, a second round of advertising for the dot.com company created by New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners seeks to connect the rational attributes of the site with emotional. The campaign’s new tagline is, “Where dreams become homes.”
“Design nirvana” is how HomePortfolio vice president of marketing Linda Lewi describes the site, which aggregates dealers of products ranging from furniture to bathroom fixtures to molding and hardware. Visitors to the site can view and price products, locate dealers and place orders.
Breaking in April magazines, double-page spreads contain richly photographed empty rooms. The copy gently goads the reader to imagine what the space could be.
“The tease is sometimes so much more important than the please,” said KB&P executive creative director Bill Oberlander of the photos taken by Jim Cooper. The spreads are immediately followed by single-page executions that highlight products offered on the site or in listed showrooms.
The absence of adornment should make the pictured rooms and patios stand out in magazines such as Architectural Digest, Coastal Living, Elle Decor, House & Garden and Martha Stewart Living, as well as in general interest publications, Oberlander said.
“We want to make the target audience feel empowered,” he said, “and turn that anxiety into excitement.”
HomePortfolio will seek to establish a consistent presence in high-end home design books with a year-round schedule, said Lewi, who last week detailed elements of the campaign at the Ad Club of Greater Boston’s annual Magazine Day.
The company, based in Framingham, Mass., is seeking its third round of financing.
Lewi would not disclose a dollar figure for the new effort, but she said the upcoming campaign is budgeted on a level that is “consistent” with the $10 million spent to introduce the site to consumers as “Your portfolio of the world’s best in home design.”
The site will soon feature new elements such as a commerce component called The Store at HomePortfolio. K