Home is where the gym, office and restaurant are in new Realtor.com spot

Realtor.com, in a campaign by Huge, hones in on what our homes mean to us as we shelter in place.

Realtor.com dropped a "mini-festo" in newspapers last week that extolled the importance of homes, which are centerstage in most lives because of COVID-19 sheltering mandates. 

Today, the sentiment of the print declaration moves to digital advertising on Hulu and YouTube, with a spot by Huge Brooklyn. 

The listings website is sidestepping, for now, its ongoing campaign of humorous ads that juxtapose the imagined housing woes of the mega-rich, with the more credible ones of ordinary homeowners to instead focus on the emotional aspects of what a home truly means.

The 45-second #StayHome spot layers sequence after sequence of people teaching their kids, working out, cooking dinner and chasing toddlers as school, gyms, restaurants and daycares have migrated under one roof. 

The commercial concludes that home is a haven, a shelter and a place to weather a storm "that like many others also shall pass." 

"I think there are so many times in our lives as marketers when we are trying to read the tea leaves and understand what consumers are thinking and what they want to hear," said Andrew Strickman, head of brand and chief creative officer at Realtor.com, based in Santa Clara, Calif. "This is the first time in my memory as a marketer when everyone in the country is going through a shared experience."

Strickman separated the more extreme day-to-day of frontline workers versus the average office worker who is now working from home, but pointed out "for every person, the idea of home has taken on a greater meaning."

"The film, which came together in a week, uses stock footage and custom music to recreate the intricate mix of emotions we’re all going through right now – despair, loneliness, comfort, and most importantly – hope," said Vidhi Shah, creative director of Huge, about the work.

Realtor.com’s "mini-festo" advertisement appeared in the print editions of The Wall Street Journal, then followed in papers in its key employee hubs, such as Los Angeles Times, the Austin American-Statesman and San Jose Mercury News. 

Print was a striking first choice, but gave the "mini-festo" some weight and also, Strickman noted, newspapers are something employees could enjoy as a tangible source of pride. The print and digital ads both cite how Realtor.com is donating $100,000 to Feeding America, as economic strife is also part of this pandemic.

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