What We Can Learn from Coldwell Banker's Emotional Advertisement

(image via Coldwell Banker)

When you think about real estate advertising campaigns the first thing that comes to mind is a realtor shaking hands with a client or the practical details of the home-buying process. The reality is that this is the industry standard and has been for a long time. However, Coldwell Banker and its ad agency Siltanen & Partners decided to differentiate from the competition and create a campaign that connects emotionally with homeowners and buyers.
Coldwell started promoting the campaign over social media a few days before it launched on television, on February 22nd 2015 during the 87th Academy Awards . As part of the campaign, Coldwell partnered with the largest non-profit animal rescue and pet adoption website, Adopt-a-Pet, with the goal of finding forever homes for 20,000 dogs in 2015. The ad is titled “Home’s Best Friend” and features many furry friends, including a terrier mix that found a home through Adopt-a-Pet. The video already has more than 1,400,000 views since it was published in Youtube on February 11th, 2015.

Here at Crimson, we decided to analyze the social media conversation surrounding Coldwell’s campaign and uncover the interests and characteristics of the consumers who are engaging with it. Just on the day of the Academy Awards, @coldwellbanker received more than 1,800 mentions and 954 replies on Twitter. Furthermore, the #homerocks hashtag was mentioned in more than 3,000 posts that day.


Sean Blankenship, Coldwell’s CMO, said “it’s hard not to like dogs, it shows an emotional connection and also adds the layer of the quality” when talking about the campaign, according to Ad Age. Undeniably, Blankenship was right. After removing news-sharing or neutral conversation, we discovered that from February 12th to March 4th 2015, an incredible and very unusual 99% of the total conversation about the campaign was positive. During the Academy Awards, the audience could not stop talking about how much they loved the commercial.


Diving into crowd analysis to look at the profile of the people who are engaging with the campaign, we can see that the commercial successfully reached Coldwell’s target audience. The major stream of conversation is coming from authors who are 664 times more interested in mortgages, 545 times more interested in real estate and 93 times more interested in home improvement than the average Twitter user. Users involved in this conversation are also 54 times more interested in animal rights, 51 times more interested in home decorating, 47 times more interested in interior design, and of course, 11 times more interested in dogs that the average Twitter user.
In terms of demographics, we found that 93% of the total posts about the campaign come from people who are 35 years old and above. This further demonstrates that Coldwell did a great job at reaching the people who are most likely in the market for a new home. Interestingly, though, 59% of the conversation comes from females. This might be due to the fact that females are the largest audience of the Academy Awards.
Companies have been using animals in advertising campaigns for decades in order to create emotional connections with consumers. You can probably think of a couple of brands that do this. This is because animals capture our attention and provoke positive emotions. Seriously, who does not get happy by looking at cute dogs?
The biggest takeaway from Coldwell Banker’s incredible success with this campaign is that no matter what industry your company is in, connecting emotionally with consumers is never a bad idea. Emotions can be more critical than rationale when it comes to boosting your company’s image. In addition, it is important to have a heavy social media outreach and access to a powerful social media analytics tool like ForSight™ to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign and to better plan future ones.

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