What would you do if you were a leading real estate broker during this sluggish, problematic market for American home sales? One such firm plans to accentuate the positive by playing up the emotional reasons for owning a home, now that the rational reasons like making a killing no longer seem relevant.
The firm is Coldwell Banker Real Estate, which in a campaign that is scheduled to begin on Monday will celebrate what it calls the “Value of a home.” The start of the campaign, with a budget estimated at $15 million, is timed with the approach of spring and the start of the home-buying season.
In this instance, each value cited in the campaign is a warm and fuzzy one, ranging from “the warmth of a winter fire” to “a grandmother kissing her grandchild.”
The values are brought to life in a television commercialthat cranks the emotional dial to 11, or maybe 12. The vignettes, photographed with a gauzy, well-lit look, celebrate “about 50,000 memories and a hundred thousand smiles,” which are generated, according to the campaign, by living in a home of one’s own.
Another way the emotional approach is intensified is through the use of the actor Tom Selleck to supply the voice-over narration in the commercial. It is no coincidence that Mr. Selleck is currently playing the paterfamilias of a clan of New York City police officers in the CBS series “Blue Bloods.”
“How to put a value on a home,” Mr. Selleck begins, then cites intangibles that include “the smell of pancakes made on a Sunday morning,” “the taste of a good cabernet with family at Thanksgiving” and “the power of a bedtime story.”
He also urges those listening to his voice to “subtract the stress of work” as well as “the struggles of the outside world” when considering “the value of a home.”
“Coldwell Banker,” Mr. Selleck concludes. “Where home begins.”
The campaign is created by Siltanen & Partners in El Segundo, Calif., which was selected as the Coldwell Banker creative agency in August. Siltanen & Partners replaced McKinney in Durham, N.C., whose last campaign dramatized the pitfalls of selling a home without using a Coldwell Banker agent.
“People buy homes for lifestyle reasons, for emotional reasons, and it’s not always a rational decision,” said Michael Fischer, chief marketing officer at Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
“But everything out there,” he added, in terms of advertising, “is about a rational decision.”
“There needed to be a better voice, a more positive voice,” Mr. Fischer said, that brought up “all the things that make a house a home” like “a large backyard, the outdoor fire pit” and being able to have pets.
The upbeat message is aimed not only at potential home buyers, he added, but also at Coldwell Banker agents, to remind them of what he termed “that emotional higher kind of calling of their business.”
The campaign is not a Pollyanna-like paean to buying a home at all costs, Mr. Fischer said.
“We’re not running away from” being realistic about the state of the housing market, he added, and the firm says “don’t buy a house” to those without sufficient income or plans to stay in a home for a long time.
Mr. Selleck was chosen for the campaign for “that authentic, trusting, warm voice,” Mr. Fischer said.
There also turned out to be, appropriately enough, a warm and fuzzy connection between the actor and Coldwell Banker.
Mr. Selleck’s father, Robert, “was a vice president for 38 years at Coldwell Banker” in Los Angeles, Mr. Fischer said.
And Mr. Selleck’s involvement in “Blue Bloods” resonates apart from the part he plays, Mr. Fischer said, because agents of Coldwell Banker, which has blue as its corporate color, “will say, ‘If you cut me, I bleed blue.’ ”