Zoopla ads bring broader brand proposition to life

Zoopla is branching out beyond its property search service as it launches an innovative above-the-line ad campaign featuring hermit crabs next week.

It is the first work created for the property-listing giant by 101, which was appointed in November last year.

To kick off what Zoopla hopes will be an "iconic and bigger" campaign that will have longevity and can evolve over several years, the ads depict hermit crabs as typical home-buyers discussing property. 

101 spent a week in Costa Rica filming the crabs, which in the ad carry 3D-printed shells mounted with miniature models of homes.

Gareth Helm, chief marketing officer at Zoopla, told Campaign that the brand is moving beyond property search to "everything about the home and being far broader".

He added: "We are looking at how we can offer wider services and fulfil wider needs of our consumers and our agents. One part is to help people find the property, but there’s an opportunity to then support them in other areas around that."

The nine-year-old brand now wants to help people in areas such as finding energy providers and removal companies. 

It represents a significant shift for Zoopla, whose model is based on a subscription bought by estate agents. Helm said: "[After] you’ve found your property, you’re thrown into this cauldron of loads of suppliers you’ve never dealt with before and we can help simplify that."

It is Helm’s second campaign since joining Zoopla as the brand’s first chief marketing officer in 2015.  

The former Moneysupermarket.com marketer said the new campaign contrasts sharply with 2015’s "The house whisperer" and "Dan the house detective", by Creature of London, which were "not something that could have evolved into a bigger platform".

The first round of new work, a 60-second TV spot, launches on 17 April, with out-of-home, press and online activity to run throughout the year.

The campaign was created by Ryan Delehanty, Jack Willoughby, Serhan Asim and Greg Stekelman, and directed by 101’s joint executive creative director Augusto Sola through Riff Raff. Goodstuff Communications is handling media planning and buying.

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