Cute puppies, playing children, blissful adults and Rock-n-Roll? What more could a person want? These are all of things that Coldwell Banker Real Estate captured in their TV commercial which premiered during the 2014 Grammy Awards. The advertisement syncs slow-motion video clips with Motley Crue’s song “Home Sweet Home” to evoke appreciation for the things we love, particularly cultural reference that music fans of all ages can relate to.
While one might call this video “cute” or “fun,” what does it have to do with Coldwell Banker? The advertisement is a striking example of a cultural intermediary, because it serves as a means to attach meaning to a rather inanimate object like a corporate real estate company (47).
The message the ad evokes is that Coldwell Banker can help you live a happy, leisurely lifestyle like the ones displayed on TV. A lifestyle is “temporary affinities between persons who share a set of tastes and complementary values” (90). Therefore, pairing images of daily family activities with fun music suggests that a desirable lifestyle necessitates the simple pleasure of having a comfortable home. The diverse range of actors in the video represent the universal appreciation of the home. In a consumer culture, any real estate company could sell a home; however, this ad creates a Coldwell Banker lifestyle by connecting shared family experiences with their brand. Because the company is nationwide, the homes do not have any geographical details and are unmarked to say that anyone in the US can live like these people.
The brand name is not mentioned until the very end of the minute-long video. The first 55 seconds of the ad are the transformational function of the ad, while the end is the informational function. Coldwell Banker is trying to transform people’s preconceived ideas of real estate into something new and different. People generally may have never associated real estate with music prior to this commercial. By providing their company logo at the end, the ad’s functions are emotional and simultaneously informational. The choice of music instantly attracts the 30-55 year olds that associate with Motley Crue. Also, the combination of the song and images can warm the hearts of all ages, because they are selling the emotional aspect of home ownership.
It is now 2014, and we are coming out of an economic crisis. People have gone through hardships of foreclosures and scaling down living costs. We are transitioning out of the hard times, yet people are still conservative with their spending habits. Therefore, this ad displays that today’s society can begin to recover financially, even though people are less focused on excessive materials and more focused on friends and family. People have had to work more hours, and thus appreciate the time spent at home. The ad suggests that you deserve these rewards of homeownership and Coldwell Banker can help you attain it.
In conclusion, instead of using fear to convince audience the need for Coldwell Banker’s real estate services, this advertisement has many elements of effective contemporary advertisements. Coldwell Banker is experiencing the challenge of an oversaturated advertising environment that occurred during the 1990’s. Audiences are exposed to so many advertisements that companies need to use tactics like soft-selling products. The ad focuses less on their brand and more on the entertainment using music and positive images of dogs and families. Coldwell Banker ads are typically placed in networks such as HGTV or Food Network. In this case, using music during the Grammy’s to stand out from its competitors makes a lot of sense. Being a corporate company, people may think that their real estate services might cost more than an independent agency. Therefore, this ad is trying to rebuild their likeability and say that their agency is worth the extra cost because the results will help you get to your dream lifestyle at home.
Leiss, William, Stephen Kline, and Jackie Botterill. Social Communication in Advertising Consumption in the Mediated Marketplace. New York: Routledge, 2005. Print.