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C21 breaking bad marketeing pays the boston globe


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C21 breaking bad marketeing pays the boston globe

  1. 1. Get the new BostonGlobe iPhone app today - enjoy a 1 month FREE trial and stay informed on the go! Business Walter White’s house up for sale on Craigslist? Don’t shell out your $150k just yet By Chris Reidy | G L O BE S T A F F O C T O BER 0 1 , 2 0 1 3 Several hours before the final episode of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” aired Sunday night, what appeared to be a mock ad went up on Craigslist, offering to sell you Walter White’s house (partly on the grounds that the TV show’s lead character is no longer in need of an earthly abode). The Craigslist post read: “3BR/2BA Albuquerque ranch is fit for a king. In-ground pool with lovely patio, perfect for grilling with family. Two-car garage for a Pontiac Aztek, Chrysler 300 or both. Water heater replaced in 2009. Secret crawl space great fun for kids. Near airport. Great local schools with dedicated teachers who take an interest in students. World-class local hospitals. Perfect for outdoorsmen, with first-rate area camping and RV spots. MOTIVATED SELLER. MUST BE OUT BY SUNDAY, 10:15 PM. MAKE AN OFFER TODAY.” The post was from Century 21, the big real estate firm, and the idea came from Mullen, the Boston ad agency that works with Century 21 on social media marketing. As fans of the show know, “Breaking Bad” is the story of Walter White (played by actor Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who makes a career change to making meth after he learns he has cancer. “’Breaking Bad’ has become such a part of American culture, and its last episode was a cultural moment,” Mullen group account director Eric Montague said. “We wanted Century 21 to be part of that conversation in a relevant way that paid homage to the show.”
  2. 2. The Craigslist post went live early Sunday afternoon. Mullen let it sit for a while, then started sending out tweets directing attention to the item and making continuous references to the show. That effort included tweeting at cast members and bloggers who chronicle the show. One goal of the Craigslist post and the tweets was to “drive top of mind awareness” for the Century 21 brand, Montague said. Century 21’s marketing theme is “Smarter, bolder, faster,” and a bold social media campaign such as this one “aligns” nicely with that marketing mantra, Montague said. According to Mullen, the Craigslist post generated about 1,600 tweets in its first 24 hours, and most of those tweets were positive. Industry websites were reporting that the AMC asking price was $400,000 to air an ad during “Breaking Bad’s” final episode. In its efforts to join in the buzz, Century 21 paid far less. Presumably, Walter White, wherever he is, would approve of such shrewd thinking. Chris Reidy can be reached at © 2013 THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY