Arnold Worldwide debuted its first work for the National Association of Realtors since being named lead creative agency last July with a campaign entitled “HouseOff!” targeted at millenial house hunters.
The campaign aims to show the benefits of shopping for homes with a realtor, rather than going it alone through online services, with an action game show format designed to call to mind 90s programming like Nickolodeon Guts and American Gladiators. Two online launch spots each show two teams clad in silvers spandex, only one of which has the help of a realtor. In “Bidding War” the two teams face off in a tug of war battle, one with a realtor who acts as a solid anchor, the other with their “somewhat literate” friend Trevor, who “once borrowed an audio book on negotiation.” Another spot sees two teams facing a termite infestation during a home inspection. The emphasis on targeting millenials is obvious, both in the campaign’s emphasizing the benefits of a realtor to a target demographic more likely to look for homes without one and the nostalgia-stoking premise.
“Certainly, breaking through the clutter is important to us,” Arnold executive creative director Sean McBride told Adweek. “But, more than that, our research suggested that millennials don’t know what they don’t know. Their sense is that they can buy a first house on their own, no problem. So, how do you convey to your audience that buying a home is basically blood sport, without fear-mongering?”
“It’s a mix of shows like American Gladiators, and Japanese game shows like Most Extreme Elimination Challenge,” he added, speaking of the creative inspiration for the ads. “We wanted to make sure that we imagined ‘House Off’ with the right balance of intensity and humor.”