What do a pair of hipster doghouse architects and an eerily coordinated family have in common? Both groups are fictional, and they all star in a pair of ad spots that try and convince homebuyers to avoid Zillow as prime real estate season approaches.

realtorRealtor.com, which is owned by Move, Inc., has launched a pair of ads today that are targeted at emphasizing the service’s ability to deliver current and accurate listings, which the ads claim set the site apart from its competitors.

While the ads don’t mention Zillow, Trulia and others by name, it’s clear that the campaign is designed to try and pull people away from those popular home listing sites and draw them towards Realtor.com, which is connected to the National Association of Realtors. The campaign is dubbed “Accuracy Matters,” with Realtor.com promoting a hash-tag on Twitter under that phrase as well.

“There’s nothing more irritating than finding a home you love during your search and learning that it has recently been taken off the market or that the price has been updated,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer for Move, in a press release. 

The ads are also supposed to be hip and light-hearted, in a stark contrast to the usual image put forth by most real estate agencies. Whether or not the ads will work in bolstering Realtor.com is another story entirely.

Realtor.com’s spots are part of an ongoing deluge of advertising in the real estate sector, including new campaigns from Zillow and Trulia. Zillow said that it plans to spend $65 million on marketing this year, while Trulia plans to lay down a cool $45 million. Realtor.com isn’t done either: the company plans to roll out another stage of its marketing campaign later this year.

Realtor is playing a game of catch-up to Zillow, the leader in online real estate with 79 million unique visitors in April. In a conference call with analysts last week, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff noted that the ad campaigns from rivals were having no impact on the company’s growth.

Of course, the ads neglect to mention that former Realtor.com Chairman Errol Samuelson has jumped ship to join Zillow, in part because he felt that he “could no longer, in clear conscience, represent Move given that the company was asking me to publicly make commitments that the company was unable or unwilling to keep.” Move, for its part, has sued Samuelson and Zillow over breach of contract, and theft of trade secrets.

But don’t pay attention to that right now. Just focus on the doghouse architects.

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  • http://timandjeni.com/ Timothy Ellis

    Honestly I don’t think these ads are blunt enough. I think the only people likely to “get” the message that they’re trying to convey (Zillow and Trulia have bad data, missing listings, outdated listings, etc.) are insiders who are already know that.

    They need to get a lot more straightforward and simple if they want to get that message across to the masses.

    • http://walawrealty.com marc_h

      I don’t know, the dog architect one was pretty darn funny and anyone seriously in the market can relate to seeing a house sell before they got a chance to see it.
      The other one’s a bit weird but Mr. Sausage is getting up there to Gary Busey/Amazon land. Yesterday I found myself saying Hello Pants and cracking up. Tomorrow it’ll be Hello Mr. Sausage. Let’s just hope I’m not looking at my pants at the time.

  • Ali Alami

    The Realtor ads aren’t targeted or personalized. Trulia is leveraging Judy’s Book where we show various Trulia widgets to drive our user traffic to them from people who are specifically searching for agents and homes, it’s a win for our users and Trulia. The key isn’t how much your spending but how smart the spend.

  • Kary

    Locally Realtor.com isn’t much better, if any better than Zillow or Trulia. If you want all the listings and accurate listings (e.g. no listings which have already sold), you need to use a broker site, such as Johnlscott.com or redfin.com, etc.

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