With the launch of the new-look realestate.com.au on 13 April came a supporting promotional microsite, which received mixed reviews. Late yesterday, the microsite's "house hunter" videos, along with the section inviting users to share their house hunting tactics, were taken down.
Now, realestate.com.au general manager of consumer marketing Henry Ruiz has commented on the change:
"There has been a mixed response to the videos. The videos were always only intended to be the teaser component of the launch campaign and we are now moving to the second phase of the campaign, the House Hunter Game, which will be hosted on our Facebook page."
Matthew Gain, head of digital communications at Weber Shandwick - an ad agency which was hired by realestate.com.au in March along with campaign creator Amnesia Razorfish - had this to say in an email to propertyportalwatch.com:
"The decision was made to remove the videos because they have satisfactorily achieved their objectives in generating buzz around the launch and following feedback from some customers."
The house hunter videos, which were based on the idea of house hunters who will do anything to get the property they want, provoked a number of negative reviews on mumbrella.com.au and business2.com.au.
Yesterday, propertyportalwatch.com learned that realestate.com.au had received complaints about the videos from real estate agents, who reportedly saw them as promoting unethical behaviour.
The house hunters microsite is now promoting the upcoming "house hunter" competition, and shows shorter versions of the videos that outline each of realestate.com.au's new tools without the associated house hunter characters.