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Century 21 wins big with SimCity strategy

December 17, 2012

Century 21 Real Estate is taking a number of steps in innovating its marketing efforts. Last month, the real estate company announced its plan to increase its advertising efforts for Super Bowl XLVII. However, back in October, Century 21 went outside the box in its marketing efforts by becoming the first and only national real estate company to set up shop in SimCity Social, a popular Facebook game created by Electronic Arts.

It's undeniable this is new territory for advertising, especially for a real estate company. But with an estimated 81 million people playing social games every day, why wouldn’t companies utilize this blank canvas?

SimCity Social allows players to create and expand their own real estate empires while interacting with friends on Facebook. Century 21 inserted its own brand into the game by allowing players to build a Century 21 office and earn SimCity Social currency. Users were also able to watch an in-game commercial to earn an energy boost for their city.

“We see this as a creative opportunity to deliver the dream of homeownership to millions who are intent on investing in real estate virtually, and eventually, in reality,” said Bev Thorne, chief marketing officer of Century 21, in a recent company blog post about the campaign. The majority of players fall into the 25 to 34 age group (the largest share of first time homebuyers).

Century 21 was more than pleased with the results yielded by the social marketing. The company increased its Facebook fan base by 225% due to the online campaign and estimates hundreds of thousands of user cyber-built these Century 21 offices.

Due to this success, Century 21 decided to launch another campaign with an even more popular EA game, The Sims Social. The Sims Social adds a social spin to the original and iconic Sims series we all grew up playing.

Launching on Dec. 20 and effective through Jan.9, the new campaign will give Sims Social users the opportunity to place and engage a branded Century 21 fireplace in their virtual home.

“We think this is just a great opportunity to integrate with the holidays and provide those target customers with a touch point…with an opportunity within the home setting for buyers and even sellers to see the century 21 brand during the holidays,” Thorne told HousingWire.

“We’re looking to make sure that Century 21 is not only top of mind year-round, but also a preferred brand for our consumer to speak to an agent who is smarter, bolder, faster,” added Thorne. “We’re seeking to do that in new and innovative venues.”

mhopkins@housingwire.com

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