Rent.com has launched its first ever-national advertising campaign. Featuring talented comedian and actor J.B. Smoove as The Legit-a-Master, he personifies Rent.com and the legitimate apartment listings found on the site. Developed by its agency of record, Doner, this multi-million dollar campaign emphasizes Rent.com's position as the online destination for "legit" rental listings.
The ad launch comes as part of an overall rebranding of Rent.com, which includes a new brand logo, an updated website look and feel, and an influx of new listings that more than triples Rent.com's inventory of apartment listings. The integrated campaign will also highlight investments Rent.com has made over the past few years to provide stunning HD photos, 3D floor plans, apartment listings that have been verified by Rent.com, and Certified Resident Ratings & Reviews featuring feedback from people that Rent.com has confirmed as actual residents in the building. Together, these features help renters feel confident that when they search with Rent.com, what they see is legit.
"For Rent.com, this is so much more than just a national advertising campaign; it's an opportunity to show renters and property managers what we're all about: a brand that stands out from the others by helping people find their new place with confidence," said Clark Wood, CMO of RentPath, LLC, Rent.com's parent company. "Rent.com has made incredible investments in proprietary content and unique features in the past few years to make sure that we provide a different experience for people looking for a new place. Through the Rent.com rebranding and ad campaign, we have an opportunity to shine a light on those proprietary tools and content to demonstrate our differentiated brand."
To help inform the national advertising campaign and overall rebranding, Rent.com conducted an in-depth study to understand how consumers perceived the online rental industry as a whole, what they were looking for and some of the pain points. Through this study, Rent.com discovered that because so many listing sites include the word "apartment" in their names, there was a lot of confusion and misattribution among websites in the marketplace, with no one online rental listing site standing out from the rest and providing anything unique for the renter. This provided a rich opportunity for Rent.com to develop creative that spoke to the qualities that set the brand apart from the rest. By providing renters with the tools they really want3D floorplans, apartment reviews they can trust, proprietary HD photo and video content and the use of stringent measures to verify listingsRent.com can remove the element of frustration and surprise from the apartment search process and help people feel confident that what they see on the site is "legitimate."
"Rent.com's target audience is the younger millennial, so we knew that in addition to informing and educating them, we wanted to make the campaign fun and entertaining," said Rob Strasberg, co-CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Doner. "It was crucial that the campaign creative was infused with humor in order to really capture the attention of renters. The perfect person to help bring our vision to life was actor, writer and comedian J.B. Smoove as he embodies the spirit and standards of Rent.com, while bringing his unique brand of comedy to the campaign."
Smoove's role as The Legit-a-Master in the ad spots is to ensure that the apartment listings on Rent.com are legit and that the ratings and reviews are certified to be from actual residents at the complex. The television campaign follows J.B. throughout his day of checking listings, certifying reviews and gathering the floor plans and photos needed for stellar apartment listings.
"This is truly a unique, sustainable and entertaining campaign that will help differentiate Rent.com and establish its position as a leader in the marketplace," said Lisa Nardone, EVP, Brand Leader, Doner.
The national advertising campaign will span broadcast, digital, social and non-traditional media channels. The national television campaign launches this week on over three dozen broadcast and cable networks including ABC, NBC, USA, TBS, ABC Family, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Spike, MTV and VH1, among others. In addition, the campaign will roll out across key millennial programming video on demand services and online full-episode players.
Rent.com also plans to reinforce its new campaign messaging and new brand positioning to the multifamily housing trade audience through its presence at the National Apartment Association (NAA) trade show in June. In addition to showcasing the new creative and brand at the show, Rent.com will be rolling out a robust business-to-business marketing campaign targeting property managers to showcase the network of RentPath sites all designed to deliver value to consumers and advertising customers alike.
With the ultimate goal of elevating the Rent.com brand, the rebrand and launch of the national advertising campaign is also meant to build broader awareness among renters, increase qualified traffic to the website and provide even more value to properties who are trying to fill vacancies. Building a strong, differentiated brand is just the first step as Rent.com looks towards future growth in the multifamily housing category and beyond. And that's "totally legit."