BEST PR INNOVATION
Century 21 attracts young homebuyers
through online gaming
The real estate company increased awareness of its brand among Generation Y
by embedding itself in SimCity Social.
Winner: Mullen for Century 21 Real Estate, LLC
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There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Century 21 Real Estate before. Maybe you’ve seen the
black and gold “for sale” signs around the neighborhood, the commercials on TV, or the office
building in the online game SimCity Social.
Did that last location catch your attention?
When Century 21 Real Estate wanted to build awareness of its brand among homebuyers in the 2534 age group, it hired marketing communications agency Mullen to do so in an innovative way. The
resulting campaign, which inserted Century 21 into the online game SimCity Social, earned first
place in the Best PR Innovation category of PR Daily’s 2013 Media Relations Awards.
People between the ages of 25 and 34 represent the largest share of homebuyers. Social gamers
are also 27 percent more likely to have either bought their first home in the past year, or be planning
to buy their first home within the next year.
But this new generation of socially savvy consumers shops for homes differently than the
generations that came before. Young homebuyers research online and on social media before they
even turn to a real estate professional.
In SimCity Social, players create and maintain their own virtual real estate empires. Mullen built a
Century 21 office building within the game that users could put in their cities to earn virtual currency.
Players could also interact with the Century 21 offices in their cities and those of their neighbors—
earn additional game merits. The Mullen team also created a tab within Century 21’s Facebook page
where gamers could claim these offices.
By the end of the campaign, users had placed nearly 192,000 Century 21 offices in their cities, and
a study found that players who claimed an office were 65 percent more likely to name Century 21
when thinking of real estate brands, and 109 percent more likely to name Century 21 first compared
to those who didn’t claim an office.
Additionally, gamers who claimed a Century 21 office were 27 percent more likely to consider the
brand and 30 percent more likely to recommend it to others. The campaign also earned Century
21’s Facebook page 53,466 likes—a 225 percent increase from the start of the campaign.
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PR Daily's Media Relations Awards
Best PR Innovation