Coldwell Banker Taps ESPN, MLB.com To Drive A Home Run

ColdwellESPNWhile sports and selling houses might not have much in common, residential real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker wanted to create brand awareness that extended beyond the big-ticket transaction.

Thus, for the fourth year in a row, Coldwell Banker will buy commercial airtime alongside ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” for “Catch,” a 30-second spot created by Coldwell creative agency Siltanen & Partners and executed by Mediacom. It features a father and daughter playing catch on their back lawn, tying sports to memories of home. The ad will also air on Comcast SportsNet, A&E, AMC and NBC.

“We’ve always done well with our direct-response advertising and our premium placements, but with our ESPN sponsorship in its fourth year, we really wanted to contextualize the advertising more for the program itself and tell a bigger story,” said Sean Blankenship, CMO for Coldwell Banker.

For instance, the brand points viewers to the Coldwell Banker micropage “Stories,” which houses video content like tours of the world’s most expensive homes and an integrated sponsorship with MLB.com called Home Field Advantage.

This custom video series features interviews with Major League Baseball players about the places they call home when they’re not on the field.

“We drove over 5 million visits through the MLB.com platform based on that one campaign alone and we’re extending that this year to run all the way through the World Series,” said Blankenship. “As a brand, we’ve really been pushing the emotional and lifestyle aspect of home. It’s very much been our focus from a consumer standpoint.” 

Although the ESPN and MLB.com campaigns are custom, high-touch sponsorships, Blankenship said it is evaluating the pros and cons of programmatic advertising to drive efficiencies for its respective brand.

“We’ve also been using Google’s TrueView [formats for YouTube] and we’re very happy with it,” Blankenship added. “I feel like it gives us the quality and attribution we need where if someone doesn’t click through and view the ad, we don’t pay.”

Although the company channels more than 50% of its media budget into traditional mediums such as television, it doesn’t prioritize one channel over another.

“I look at things as pixel to pixel to pixel, whether it’s a TV or iPad,” said Blankenship. “We try to go in beginning with who our target is, and how do we want to reach them, through our associated creative and messaging.”

To track the success of its branding campaigns, Blankenship said Coldwell Banker performs a month-by-month analysis of its brand objectives. Although it does track standard metrics such as site visits and referrals, the company has instated a quality engagement metric that it thinks is more indicative of overall brand health.

Instead of measuring on a campaign-by-campaign basis, the company is evaluating, year over year, how it has elevated brand awareness and consideration for Coldwell Banker across each individual platform.

“Since content doesn’t just sit on a brand’s website any more, we’re constantly evolving how we’re measuring ourselves in terms of consumer engagement with our content across ESPN.com, apps, Facebook, YouTube and TV,” he said.

 

 

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