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Realtor Tells Stories of Hearth and Heart

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NEW YORK Coldwell Banker Real Estate will launch a TV campaign Sunday from The Kaplan Thaler Group that relates true-life stories behind client-led home purchases.

The "Moving Stories" series focuses on emotion and replaces the New York shop's "Tango" campaign, which launched two years ago, with an original upbeat jingle and lyrics. Kaplan Thaler Group has handled the account since 2001.

Coldwell Banker asked its national network of sales associates to submit their real-life experiences to be considered for the campaign. Receiving more than 1,000 entries, it made selections that best revealed the emotional side of buying a home and presented a high level of service and dedication on the part of its agents.

"Our customers' real-life stories were so inspiring we knew immediately that we needed to create an advertising campaign around them," said Regina Taylor, senior vice president of marketing at the Parsippany, N.J.-based Cendant unit.

"Love Thy Neighbor" and "Snowstorm" are the first two in a series of 30-second spots. In the former, a recently single young woman gets a fresh start by buying a new home. The house is next door to a single professor, whom she falls in love with and soon marries. The ad shows the just-married couple dancing outside her home as the sales associate concludes, "This gives a whole new meaning to love thy neighbor."

In "Snowstorm," a young family, newly settled at a home in the Rocky Mountains, is besieged by a sudden snowstorm that cuts their power. Being without electricity and heat on a freezing night, they call their Coldwell Banker agent, who gathers some friends and makes it up the mountain to deliver a generator and a heater to the distressed family. The actor portraying the agent cheerfully yells on top of the mountain, "Sometimes when you go above the call, it's way above."

The two spots will air on Sundays during morning and prime-time network TV shows such as American Dreams (NBC), CBS Sunday Night Movie and The Practice (ABC), as well as on a variety of cable venues including The Learning Channel, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and Oxygen.

Coldwell Banker said it expects to produce additional "Moving Stories" commercials over the next three to four years.

Campaign spending was undisclosed, but the client spent about $120 million on ads in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.