9 Autumn Portal Company Ad Campaigns Reviewed 2021

September 14, 2021
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As autumn comes around to the northern hemisphere consumers get comfortable on their sofas and marketing campaigns for real estate portal companies click into gear.

We've seen a lot of campaigns rolling down our social media feeds, sent to us in press releases and even one or two out in the wild as well. We thought we'd put them all together and review them as a genre.

What message are these portal companies trying to convey and how are they getting that message across?


Realor.com - The United States

Tag line: 'To each their home'

Message: Unlike arch-rival Zillow's recent (award-winning) ad campaign which focussed on the emotional journey of moving home, Realtor's campaign actually has a bit more of a value proposition for American home hunters - its set of tools and features.

Synopsis: A family of cacti, a troll couple and a vampire tell us how useful Realtor.com's different search tools were when finding their new homes.

What we liked: Realtor's tag line is a nod to diversity and some of the cheesy lines from the characters at the end of the ad will be successful in eliciting a response from the audience (albeit in many cases a negative one) to keep the ad, and the brand, in the audience's head.


Immobiliare.it - Italy

Tag line: 'You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to find a great home with Immobiliare.it'

Message: With the widest offer of ads in Italy and the ability to define a personalized search, Immobiliare.it is the best way to find the property you are looking for in a few steps and according to your priorities.

Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes tells us that finding a home is an art form. You have to find a home with all the right characteristics and features. He is then outdone by Watson with an iPad who has been looking on the portal's website.

What we liked: The tv advert has a radio avert style jingle at the end of it to really fix the website in the audience's mind.


Domain - Australia

Tag line: 'Listings you may not find anywhere else'

Message: Off-market listings are very big down under at the moment. The gist of this campaign launched last month is: Don't bother going to great lengths (or visiting other platforms) to find off-market listings because they may well be on Domain and you can set up alerts for them on our app.

Synopsis: There are three separate spots. In the first, a lady is seen crawling through a cat-flap to get a look at an off-market property (obviously it would be easier to just go on the Domain app). In the second, a pair of friends just chat about the Domain app and how they should have kept the fact that they have off-market properties on there a secret and in the third, a couple talk about the shapes they've drawn on Domain's 'draw your own search' feature

What we liked: Much like REA's ad campaign that we reviewed last year, this spot is looking to associate the idea of trying too hard (or using an alternative platform like Listing Loop) to find off-market deals as faintly ridiculous. A subtle take-down.


Zonaprop - Argentina

Tag line: 'Find your home'

Message: It's where you grow up, laugh, cry, love etc. Find your home on Zonaprop

Synopsis: Voice over man tells us in his sultry Argentinian tone that 'it' is where you do a lot of things and where you live as we see actors living their lives in the background. We then cut to a Zonaprop logo.

What we liked: Market leaders like to put their brand front and centre and keep their message very, very simple. There's not even a call to action in this one, just a bunch of people doing things in their home and a brand logo at the end of it. It's a tried and tested tactic for big brand portals.


Otodom - Poland

Tag line: 'Find a home that suits you'

Message: Searching for a home is a lot like the match-making you go through when finding a life partner - it's a process based on emotion, hope and expectation. Use Otodom to calculate what you can afford and search for a new home that matches with you.

Synopsis: We see a house that seemingly has its own personality. Different people come round to view the house but don't choose it. When a family comes round for a viewing, the house itself is happy to have found its new occupants.

What we liked: Often these ads fall into two categories; one that tries to tug the heartstrings and one that focuses on actual features of the portal. This advert does both quite well.


Square Yards - India

Tag line: 'Do it anywhere'

Message: According to Square Yards COO, Kanika Gupta Shori: "Buying a home has become a prerogative for millions of Indians post Covid. With technology and digital platforms playing a critical role in the home buying journey now, taking our full-stack proposition to consumers has been core to our brand approach over the last 12 months”.

Synopsis: This one isn't on the TV, it's 'OOH' (out of home for those of us who aren't marketing professionals). It consists of billboards with suggestive messages promoting Square Yards' brand and encouraging Indians to 'book' their new homes from anywhere.

What we liked: It may be the country of the karma sutra, but India tends to be socially conservative in many respects. A bit of innuendo is appreciated in this case.

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Fotocasa - Spain

Tag line: 'The app that everyone has to search for a home'

Message: Again we're seeing a #2 portal focus on the benefits of its product rather than tugging at the heartstrings or showing off the brand. Here the message is to choose Fotocasa because of its features.

Synopsis: In the first spot, an agent is using the portal's much-touted Visita Express tool to remotely guide a family around a house via a 3d tour but is interrupted by the kids arguing about a bedroom. The voice-over then tells us that we can visit homes with a personal guide without going anywhere.

The second spot finds us in a cafe where we see two young women looking for a place to live and discussing who gets which room in the apartment they just found on Fotocasa's app. This one is filmed from the point of view of the mobile phone one of them is using to search. The voice-over guy then tells us that searching on Fotocasa is easier because of the portals personalised filters.

What we liked: The first spot, in particular, does a good job of explaining the product and its benefits in only 20 seconds.


funda - The Netherlands

Tag line: 'Get more out of your home sale'

Message: The idea here is to promote funda’s added value throughout the process of selling your home. The portal supports sellers by providing complete information on the different steps of the selling process, delivering an indication of a home’s value, and helping to find the right selling agent.

Synopsis: Selling your house? First, understand its value, then find the best buyers - and don't bother doing all the negotiating yourself. funda is the place for all your needs when selling.

What we liked: Straight to the point and does so without needing to pry at the audience's emotions or introduce characters.


Finca Raíz - Colombia

Tag line: 'The best part of searching is finding'

Message: The company just underwent a big rebranding effort and the ad campaign is part of that. The idea is to convey that nothing has changed except the branding.

Synopsis: There are two spots that focus on the rebrand and what it means and then there are two (like the one below) in which a psychologist listens to his patients go through their anxieties around their housing needs - the solution, of course, being Finca Raíz.

What we liked: Someone in charge of this campaign has clearly given the message that aesthetically everything in these ads needs to be clean and simple - like the new brand. The tag line is also excellent.


September 14, 2021
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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