Apartments.com has proven weird advertising campaigns can work.
The website has launched a series of successful advertisements featuring Jurassic Park actor Jeff Goldblum playing fictional Silicon Valley maverick Brad Bellflower. The push was to promote their new site redesign and features, as they’ve invested more than $100 million into the campaign and have blitzed the ads everywhere, including during television’s most watched shows The Walking Dead and The Bachelor, among many others.
In one futuristic spot, Bellflower talks about “changing the game,” while flashy graphics appear behind him. Everything in the promo from the ambient music, to Jeff Goldblum’s parodying Silicon Valley buzzwords, such as ‘synergistic,’ and ‘paradigm’ while wearing a black turtleneck is just weird. It’s not particularly funny, but it’s oddly effective because of Goldblum’s emphatic delivery, and the uniqueness of the ad.
That ad has over three million hits on YouTube. People are watching because Jeff Goldblum is a spectacle. He’s an easily likable actor with instant face and voice recognition - which is exactly what every ad campaign craves.
The next spot does a great job using polygons and shapes to talk about the sites new Polygon search tool. It’s a really smart and simple way to talk about something that people might not necessarily care about.
Goldblum ends the ad by spouting the campaigns catchphrase “change the apartment, change the world,” in a voice that only he could make.
The next spot doesn’t even really makes sense as Goldbum promises a group of onlookers that Apartments.com provides apartments that couldn’t possibly exist and defy comprehension. It’s oddly mesmerizing.
Weird or not, the push has proven successful thus far, as according to compete.com‘s estimation, Apartment.com has generated “more than 3 million unique visitors in March, up nearly 63 percent from March 2014.” That’s a seriously impressive number. The same report says competitors “Apartmentguide pulled in nearly 2.8 million visitors, down nearly a percentage point, while rent.com and forrent.com pulled in 1.4 million and nearly 1.2 million respectively.” Clearly these ads are separating Apartments.com from it’s competitors, and that’s exactly what a good ad campaign should do as sometimes weirder is better. Apartments.com has a hit. I expect we’ll see much more of Brad Bellflower in the future.