CREA ad campaign a “face-changer”

The saying “game-changer,” often applied to sports lingo or even business talk, usually means that whenever a new development has occurred, it’s going to make a difference to an outcome — good or bad. A sports situation usually implies one team has gained an advantage at the expense of another.
The Canadian Real Estate Association’s latest TV commercial, created by Toronto firm CP+B, might be referred to as a “face-changer,” since it is all about morphing the images of different faces. Entitled Faces, the new commercial, which began airing across the country on August 23 and is scheduled to run for almost two months, could raise a few eyebrows. You will understand this more when you see it.
Faces, including eyebrows, really do undergo a dramatic change thanks to new production and editing techniques developed specifically for this innovative commercial. Since the techniques have never before been used in Canadian television advertising, it’s too early to tell whether this new morphing technology will catch on and become a “game-changer” in the advertising industry.
CREA’s leadership gave it a thumbs-up at its meeting in Vancouver last month. And, leading industry magazines showed interest in it through their prominent coverage. 
The Toronto Star weighed in with a fairly lengthy and generally positive story. The article touts the fact that the commercial is high quality since it was shot in high definition and uses morphing technology to show a seamless transition 
between different faces, ages and races. 
“So far the spot has met with approval from some marketing experts,” said the Star’s business reporter, Tony Wong. He backed this statement up by quoting Shyon Baumann, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, who specializes in advertising. 
The professor said “… the ad is ‘smart’ and addresses the context of the image problem. REALTORS® at the moment have a legitimacy problem insofar as there are some people who feel the way they conduct business is anti-competitive and not in the best interests of their clients. The advertisement makes the case that the particular expertise that REALTORS® bring to home buying and selling is valuable and specialized and implies that their expertise is worth paying for. The advertisement also emphasizes that REALTORS® are everyday people who connect with people of all ethnicities and ages and both genders.”
The Marketer News said the new Faces commercial “puts a new twist on customer testimonials by mixing and matching the faces of people while they talk about how 
REALTORS® have helped them.” 
CREA spokesperson Randall McCauley was given the opportunity in this article to provide CREA’s impression:  “Buying and selling a home is a big decision with all sorts of things to consider ...  Namely, it’s a big investment and there are many considerations to take into account. Some of those considerations are highlighted in the ad along with the value a 
REALTOR® can bring to the transaction.” 
The story also noted CREA’s 2009 fall television ad, Never-ending Negotiations, won at the 2010 Marketing Awards.
“Just as peoples’ requirements are 
diverse,” said CREA president Georges Pahud, “so, too, is the knowledge, expertise and services of the REALTOR® working to meet them.  Whatever your needs, a REALTOR® can help.” 
Reg Black, broker/owner of Century 21 Sun Country Realty in Beausejour, Manitoba, and a CREA director is quite curious to see how REALTOR® members and the public respond to this ad. 
“I certainly am appreciative of the enthusiastic response the showing of the ad received from our CREA board of directors,” he added, “but am realistic enough to know there will always be those people who may not like the spot and it could be they have difficulty with way the faces can look quite odd in transitioning from one to another. This is a commercial not unlike others where you need to see it more than once to truly 
appreciate what it is attempting to do.”
There is a good chance that home-buying and home-selling Canadians will see the commercial more than once. 
To see the ad, go to the website where it opens up by playing the 30-second TV spot.
The national residential ad campaign delivers six complementary components, including television, radio, Internet banner ads and a search campaign, print ads and the public website is the anchor behind the campaign where consumers — buyers and sellers — can find valuable information about working with a REALTOR® and the value REALTORS® bring to the transaction process. Traffic to the website increased significantly this spring with the running of the Balance TV commercial and local 
radio campaigns supported by associations such as WinnipegREALTORS®.
WinnipegREALTORS® is behind CREA’s fall ad campaign through the running two radio spots on a number of local 
radio stations during the month of September. The ads both reinforce the message, “Whatever your home buying and selling needs are a REALTOR® can help.” The two ad spots emphasize that REALTORS® help by marketing and staging your home, with offers, contracts and negotiation and by providing neighbourhood expertise.