Apartment hunting can be a painful and humiliating experience, especially for students and other young people on a limited budget.
Robaire and Hogshead feels their pain in a new campaign for apartment search company Viva.com, Santa Monica, Calif.
The campaign kicks off in six Western and Southwestern cities at the end of this month with outdoor, print and radio ads, as well as guerrilla marketing.
Black-and-white print ads deliver titillating headlines. One reads, "At least your proctologist has the courtesy to use lubricant." The tag: "Rent pain free."
"We wanted to create a simple, distinctive look," said Jean Robaire, the Venice, Calif., creative boutique's co-principal. "We present the client as a company that understands [renters'] needs."
Would-be renters log on and create a profile of what they want and how much they can spend. Landlords then bid on the renters.
The site goes live this week. Consumer ads target hot rental markets Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas, as well as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver.
A second phase will break in about 60 days, followed later this year with a national rollout, said client vp of marketing Peggy Filis.
Creative Media in San Francisco is handling media buying.