Arnie’s adverts ‘memorable and slightly disruptive’, says marketing chief

Property business has said a desire to create a “memorable and unexpected” marketing campaign was behind its decision to use Arnold Schwarzenegger to front the repositioning of the brand.

The Hollywood star will feature in seven TV adverts, the first of which aired last night, along with digital and print material over the next 12 weeks.

In the campaign, Schwarzenegger confuses Australia for Austria and, accompanied by hapless assistant Dylan, goes through a comedy or errors in his quest to find the perfect home. group manager marketing strategy Natalie Feehan described the multi-million dollar campaign as “disruptive” in that it goes against the traditionally conservative advertising undertaken by most property businesses.

“We wanted to create something memorable and unexpected and that was slightly disruptive,” she said. “What you usually see from real estate websites in terms of advertising  is fairly predictable. We wanted to do something that was unique and engaging. It’s more than just a TVC. There are many layers and the content is rich and deep. The advert that screened yesterday is just the start of the story. It will get funnier and funnier over the next few months.”

Feehan said had been working on a brand repositioning for 12 months with the intention of shifting the perception that it is just a “rational and functional listings site”.

“All the research kept indicating that consumers loved us because we had the most listings on our site,” she said. “But ultimately we want to have a deeper relationship with our customers. Internally we have a strong brand and we are known as being innovative…..but externally people don’t really know much about us.”

Feehan said  Schwarzenegger will discover products and services featured on the website as the adverts roll out and he continues his journey to find a home.

“Through Arnie’s discovery of we get to see other parts of the site that are helpful for consumers like suburb profiles, sold price information, investment data and editorial content,” she said.

After devising the new strapline, Australia lives here, set about bringing the campaign to life, Feehan said.

“We were presented with three ideas and two of them were what you’d expect and would have done the job but would not have been particularly memorable,” she said.

“My first thought when they unveiled Arnie was where are they going with this? How could he possibly be aligned with our brand? But it became clear very quickly what we could do.

“We are not using him as an ambassador and he is not endorsing the brand. Arnie is just the vehicle for the story to be told.” roadblocked across all free-to-air TV last night as well as the major digital advertising networks at 6.20pm in what it called a “high impact” launch.

Feehan declined to disclose how much money Schwarzenegger was paid but claimed it got “great value for money” and described him as a “true professional”.

“I was surprised he agreed to do the ads on the basis that to a certain extent he was the butt of the joke, but he was fantastic,” she added.

Steve Jones


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