Century 21 Real Estate Gives Dad Nothing on Father’s Day

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Company: Century 21 Real Estate, Madison, NJ
Entry Submitted By: MullenLowe US
Company Description: Century 21 Real Estate LLC (century21.com) is a real estate franchisor with the largest global network in the residential real estate industry, comprised of approximately 6,900 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 78 countries and territories worldwide with more than 101,000 independent sales professionals.
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Marketing - Consumer Services

Nomination Title: Century 21 Real Estate Gives Dad Nothing on Father’s Day

In up to 525 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:


• Position Century 21 Real Estate at the forefront of a key holiday in order to drive brand preference, awareness and digital conversation among consumers, particularly Millennials, in an innovative way that showcases the brand’s “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” mentality

• Position the brand as clever, gutsy and culturally relevant to appeal to a younger demographic of homebuyers and sellers


With Father’s Day positioned at the height of the spring/summer home buying season, CENTURY 21, with the help of MullenLowe U.S. set out to activate a smart, cost efficient, innovative public relations campaign that would keep CENTURY 21 top of mind among home buyers and sellers.

The idea was born from the insight that every year, kids of all ages ask dad what he wants for Father’s Day and every year he says the same thing, “nothing.” So MullenLowe U.S. and CENTURY 21 decided to do just that – give dad Nothing - as in a parcel of Nothing, Arizona, an uninhabited ghost town about 120 miles Northwest of Phoenix.


• Worked with the owner of Nothing, Arizona to allow CENTURY 21 to sub-lease plots of the land for 24 hours on Father’s Day, June 19th, 2016.
• Built a mobile-optimized microsite at GiveDadNothing.com where consumers could enter their father’s name and download, print or email a certificate bestowing “Nothing” on their father – all free of charge.
• Created a campaign video featuring real footage from Nothing, Arizona.
• Conducted public relations and social influence outreach that positioned CENTURY 21 as the Smarter. Bolder. Faster. brand in real estate by enabling “kids” to finally give dad the gift he’s always wanted.
• Sent out media mailers featuring a branded wooden box filled with a vial of dirt from Nothing, Arizona and a Give Dad Nothing certificate.


Once all the pieces of the campaign were in place, CENTURY 21 issued a multimedia news release on Thursday, June 2 and aggressively pitched national media including top-tier lifestyle, marketing, and real estate trades, as well as local broadcast and print media throughout the U.S. MullenLowe U.S. drafted sponsored social posts that were shared with the brand’s Facebook and Twitter communities.

Evaluation of Success/Results/ROI

The campaign generated brand affinity among consumers and the media on a massive scale.

From a media relations perspective, MullenLowe U.S. secured 106 placements in top-tier outlets such as Today.com, Huffington Post and MSN.com, resulting in 204,730,992 media impressions. Broadcast outlets particularly praised the brand’s ability to tap into “dad humor”, sharing our video and engaging in witty banter about the campaign during live telecasts. The local Phoenix FOX and NBC affiliates covered the campaign as well as network affiliates across the country in top markets.

More than 9,000 certificates were produced (9,420 to be exact) and GiveDadNothing.com garnered 55,583 site visits.

Consumers, the media and CENTURY 21 System members alike were ecstatic about the campaign. Included in the supporting documents are a sampling of positive comments secured via Twitter and Facebook.

Example media placements (not comprehensive):

• Adweek - http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/century-21-helps-you-give-dad-just-what-he-wants-fathers-day-nothing-171809
• Today.com - http://www.today.com/parents/real-estate-company-offers-chance-give-dad-nothing-father-s-t97071
• Huffington Post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nothing-arizona-fathers-day_us_575ec4a5e4b00f97fba8db64
• NBC Los Angeles - http://mms.tveyes.com/MediaCenterPlayer.aspx?u=aHR0cDovL21lZGlhY2VudGVyLnR2ZXllcy5jb20vZG93bmxvYWRnYXRld2F5LmFzcHg%2FVXNlcklEPTQ3MzcyMiZNRElEPTYzMDc1ODcmTURTZWVkPTI0NjgmVHlwZT1NZWRpYQ%3D%3D
• REALTOR Magazine - http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2016/06/06/give-dad-nothing-for-fathers-day/
• WESH.com Orlando - http://www.wesh.com/video/buzz60/this-town-wants-you-to-give-your-dad-nothing-for-fathers-day/40052244
• Mobile Marketer - http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/22990.html
• Family Friendly Daddy Blog

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 125 words):

Cara Whitley was named global chief marketing officer of Century 21 Real Estate LLC on September 21, 2015. In her role, Whitley leads the marketing, advertising and digital media efforts for the world’s largest real estate franchise organization. A 20-year veteran of loyalty marketing, business development, strategy and change management, Whitley joins CENTURY 21 after serving as CMO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings in Lake Tahoe.

Whitley comes to the brand with extensive experience in leading marketing teams in a global and multi-cultural environment. She is a highly-accomplished marketing executive with an extensive background in:

• Consumer-based marketing
• Franchise systems and marketing funds
• Digital and social media platforms
• Advertising and promotions
• Brand management
• Customer relationship management
• Partnership development, training, and analytical modelling
• Market segmentation strategy