Real Estate’s Shiny New Tech Doesn’t Amount to Much in New Campaign for Re/Max

Brand touts the power of experience in new ads from Camp + King

Maybe a virtual agent isn't such a good idea. Re/Max

There are all kinds of tools out there to buy a home. And while the newer companies like Redfin, Zillow and Compass tout ease of use and potential savings, buying a home is a huge investment, and having a qualified real-estate agent still makes a difference.

To that end, Re/Max is taking aim at the disruptors and discount agents in a new campaign from San Francisco-based Camp + King that reminds consumers of the importance of having a trusted partner at their side.

While technology is great, that virtual agent could end up being more trouble than its worth, and incredibly frustrating.

Or perhaps that tech could lead to a sale price that’s way below what is expected. Either way, the ads put a humorous spin on the cult of technology when buying or selling a home.

But the agency and brand didn’t stop there and set their sights on discount agents. Perhaps real estate isn’t exactly an agent’s only job, or maybe they didn’t do their research.

Then, there’s the agent who tried to cut corners. In the campaign, Re/Max reminds consumers not to worry—its’s done this a million times.

The work is a departure from previous campaigns (the agency won the Re/Max account in 2015), which were more focused on the brand’s attributes, as opposed to taking a swipe at the newbies.

“In the first years working with them, it was all about the celebration of who they are,” said Roger Camp, partner and CCO of Camp + King. “We got a little bit more pugilistic, and we’re starting to go after some of the newcomers. We wanted to have a hint of comedy because it takes some of the sting out of the points we’re making.”

While the newer companies may have captured some of the mindshare of the market and gained some publicity from their tactics, real-estate agents still have a significant role in the process for homebuyers, according to Abby Lee, Re/Max svp of marketing and communications.

“The consumer hasn’t quite figured out what these (companies and platforms) are yet,” Lee said. “They’re not quite familiar with them or know what the benefits are.”

A Re/Max survey indicated that millennials, who are presently driving most of the home purchasing volume, overwhelmingly preferred to work with an agent. Interestingly, the only thing more stressful than buying a home is going through a divorce, according to the research.

“Knowing that making the largest financial decision in your life can be as stressful as going through a divorce, it’s [important] to do that with someone who has a lot of experience,” said Jamie King, partner of Camp + King.

Yet, even though there is a great deal of gravity in buying a home, leaning into comedy was an essential component to getting the message across.

“For millennials, there are all kinds of (home buying) tech options out there, and people think that they can do this on their own,” said Jesse Dillow, Camp + King creative director. “But people could get into a situation where they don’t know what they’re doing, and the comedy helps plant the seed that no one has more experience than Re/Max.”

“We’ve never gone directly against a competitor or a different model,” Lee said. “I think that using humor and not necessarily going directly after (competitors) was the right thing to do. If this proves to be successful, I could see us pushing that a little further.”

What helps reinforce the point is that Re/Max has had the No. 1 unaided brand awareness for several years. Lee attributes that to the fact that in the real-estate downturn of the last decade, the brand kept advertising in more traditional channels when others pivoted.

“Century 21, specifically, made a very loud announcement that they were going to stop traditional advertising and put all of their eggs into online,” Lee said. “It set us apart, and we took unaided awareness away from them. They dropped significantly, and we kept growing.”

Aside from the more traditional channels—media is now being handled by Tombras—Camp + King developed tools agents can use to customize the new creative for their own markets. This enables not just a level of consistency, but a more significant opportunity to scale among the more than 125,000 agents in over 110 countries. The program launched in 2019 and won a real-estate industry award for the best business-to-consumer campaign.

“The way I look at it is that we have 125,000 marketers at our disposal,” Lee said.

“It was important for us to take the caliber of this work and operationalize it for the agents and customize for their own use,” King added. “It amplifies everything.”


Agency: Camp+King
Partner / CEO: Jamie King
Partner / CCO: Roger Camp
Creative Director: Jesse Dillow
Creative Director: Rikesh Lal
ACD/Copywriter: Rick Morrison
Senior Art Director: Ben Pang
Senior Copywriter: Lara Kesler
Senior Art Director: Melissa Macarian
Director of Brand: Emily Dillow
Brand Manager: Carly Ringler
Brand Manager: Helen Oddone
Head of Production: Stacy McClain
EP/Producer: Garrett DeLorm
Producer: Melissa Nagy
Senior Strategist: Sally Kallet
Senior Developer: Chris Klink

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Clay Weiner
Partner / Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Producer: Shannon Barnes
Head of Production: Mercedes Allen-Sarria, Rachel Glaub
Director of Photography: Adam Marsden
Production Designer: Jordan Worth

Editorial: Cut+Run SF
Editor: Pete Koob
Assistant Editor: Stefan Manz
Producer: Jess Mora
Executive Producer: Deanne Mehling

Post Production: Jogger SF
Lead Flame Artist: Brendan Crockett
Flame Artist: Todd Mesher
Motion Graphics: Mark Woloschuk
Creative Director: Andy Brown
Producer: Caylee Banz
Executive Producer: Deanne Mehling

Color: Company 3
Senior Colorist: Jill Bogdanowicz

Music Composition:  Yessian
Composer: Yessian Music
Exec. Producer: David Gold
Sr. Producer – Katie Overcash
Exec. Creative Dir. – Andy Grush
Creative Dir. – Farin Hoover
Head of Production – Michael Yessian
CCO – Brian Yessian

Sound Design/Mix: One Union Recording
Senior Engineer: Joaby Deal

Digital Development: Imposium
Interactive Director: Jason Nickel
Technical Director: Greg Webber
Back End Developer: Josh McGrath
Front End Developer: Patrick Chisholm
Server Support: Zack Brenton

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.