Campaign India Team
Apr 15, 2010

Why real estate is great for quality of creatives

Every once in a while, one brand in a category spurs all the communication in the category to improve.Over the decades, we’ve seen automobile advertising, almost across the world, pushing the limits of creativity.In India, we’ve seen all mobile service providers entertaining consumers while pushing their plans and their value added services. While the ZooZoos might win the ToM battle, other brands aren’t as far behind.

Why real estate is great for quality of creatives

Every once in a while, one brand in a category spurs all the communication in the category to improve.

Over the decades, we’ve seen automobile advertising, almost across the world, pushing the limits of creativity.

In India, we’ve seen all mobile service providers entertaining consumers while pushing their plans and their value added services. While the ZooZoos might win the ToM battle, other brands aren’t as far behind.

But the category that excites me the most, perhaps because it’s a big user of print, is real estate. It’s one of the few categories where most ‘brands’ stay away from TV, so the print and outdoor work have to work really, really hard. And they do.

I was in Pune last weekend, as I have been almost every weekend for the past month or two. One is bombarded with ads hawking flats, plots, townships, bungalows and what have you. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of logos, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.

It’s a tough category, where the advertising is almost instantly measureable. There’s an ad in the paper – does the phone ring? Do enquiries come in? Are there requests for site visits?

If the ad bombs, it isn’t working – and, in most cases, the agency is out on its ear without so much as a by your leave.

Once a ‘formula’ for hard working communication is found, others are quick to ape the successful experiment – in layout, typography, look and feel. A case in point is that usage of white space and minimal copy in a number of real estate ads today. A few years ago, ads for a new project were veritable brochures for the developer – fill in all the available space with as much information as you can cram in, seemed to be the rule.

Today, as the category matures, developers have experienced the advantages of building brands and have learnt that advertising is an investment and not just a cost. Unusually, and happily for adland, they believe that advertising agencies and creative shops bring knowledge and skill to the table – and they see agencies as consultants and not as suppliers.

So to a Lodha, who has been by far the bravest of the lot, an ANC is a partner in progress and success, not a dispensable supplier.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to meet a number of developers and find out how different they are from decision-makers in other
categories.

What is it that makes them see advertising professionals as consultants?

What is it that convinces them of the need for minimal copy and so much white space?

What makes them such great experimenters with logos and fonts?

What do they look for in an advertising agency or a communication partner?

How do they measure their return on investment?

A decade or so ago, builders were notorious for their poor payment record and credibility. Now, builders can be put into two boxes: the avoidable and the sought-after. As we explode as a nation, there is one more category that every agency needs to have in its basket of brands: real estate.

The problem for most agencies today is that they have lost interest in print – and most young creatives have no interest in print at all. Perhaps the category – real estate – can bring talent back into print and agencies such as ANC end up doing great print work across the categories that they work on.

And who would have thought, ten years ago, that real estate would help in raising the creative bar?

Source:
Campaign India

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