MARC Readies Its First Apartments.com Ads

A renter’s ability to find the unit he wants through Apartments.com forms the idea behind MARC USA’s first campaign for the online search service.

Print ads tagged, “You want what you want,” break this week in major rental markets nationwide. Apartments.com is managed by Classified Ventures, which works with 170 newspapers and TV station affiliates, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Washington Post.

Spending has been pegged by sources at about $5 million, but the weight of the effort will be much greater—perhaps the equivalent of $40 million—because of its ties to the major media outlets, a MARC representative said. The effort for now is limited to print and outdoor advertising.

Print ads show the handwritten desires of renters next to photos that put them in an apartment, enjoying their hobbies. “I want a high-rise with my own parking spot, an eat-in kitchen with a dishwasher and a really big pool,” reads one that shows a man in scuba gear.

Another shows a woman reading a news paper in the nude. She wants “storage for my bike, a western red-cedar sauna and privacy blinds on all the windows.”

“There are many people with very specific wants and desires,” said Bill Brichta, chief creative at the Chicago shop. “There are lots of apartments available online,” making Apartments.com’s customization features especially valuable, he said.

MARC won the account, formerly at Jordan Tamraz Caruso in Chicago, earlier this year. Previous advertising carried no tagline, said Keryl Klemm, who runs the account at MARC.

MARC handles advertising for the Chicago Tribune and is a finalist in the pitch for CareerBuilder.com, an online jobs and recruitment venture owned by the Tribune Co. and Knight Ridder.