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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

YOPA launches TV ads starring The Village People

Hybrid estate agency YOPA is today launching a nationwide TV advertising campaign starring The Village People, the band best-known for the hit 'YMCA'.

The campaign consists of three 30-second adverts which are themed around 'helping people move'.

The ads depict The Village People, featuring two of its founding members, living together in a cramped home, which they eventually sell through YOPA.

“The concept of The Village People needing a helping hand to move on proved irresistible for these ads," says Daniel Attia, chief executive and co-founder of YOPA.

"Aside from the comedy that the situation presents, it’s a message that fundamentally rings true: so many of us delay moving home because the process is so stressful."

In the first advert, a member of the band decides it is time they relocate and books a valuation with YOPA.

The second ad features one of YOPA's agents measuring up and taking photos, while in the third, the group receive an offer for the full asking price of their property.

At the end of each ad, the connection between Y-M-C-A and Y-O-P-A is made, with a narrator stepping in to inform the band 'it's not Y-O-P-A, it's YOPA'.

“This campaign is a bold new creative direction for YOPA and just what we need to supercharge our growing market share," adds Attia.

"We can’t wait to introduce viewers across the UK to YOPA with these ads, and hope people have as much fun watching them as we did making them.”

The agency will be launching radio, digital and outdoor advertising following the same theme later in the year.

The campaign was developed by creative agency Publicis UK, which recently won the YOPA account after a three-way pitch.

Last week, Savills - which invested in YOPA earlier this year - launched its own TV advertising campaign, focusing on 'peoples’ relationships with their homes at different life stages'.

The first YOPA advert is embedded at the bottom of this article; the others can be viewed here and here.

Yesterday, one of YOPA's competitors, Purplebricks, held its AGM and delivered its trading update for the 19 weeks to September 14.

The agency reported that instructions were up 121% year-on-year and that it took on 3,156 instructions during August.

Purplebricks now employs 300 'Local Property Experts' and says it aims to reach 360 by next April.

It claims its market share of the online space is now 65%.

The statement declared that the company is on course to meet the board's full year expectations and that the UK business could move in to profitability this financial year.

"The way consumers transact residential property is changing and this is being led by the Purplebricks model. Our technology, marketing expertise and strong culture, coupled with our low fixed cost business model makes us best placed to win in this market," commented Michael Bruce, Purplebricks chief executive.

Stock market analyst Anthony Codling again criticised Purplebricks yesterday, saying: "Purplebricks has chosen to major on growth in instructions without telling us how many homes it has actually helped to sell." 

"We continue to be surprised that this simple question is left unanswered.”

Earlier this week, the hybrid agency had two complaints against its advertising upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.

  • Fake Agent

    Inspired! They've got a sense of humour, YOPA.

    Honestly don't know whether these adverts will be brilliant or absolutely dreadful. But they should be more entertaining than the usual property ads, by being knowingly naff and cringey rather than unknowingly.

    Fair play to them for getting The Village People on board. Pun-tastic, tongue-in-cheek adverts tend to work well - even if people absolutely abhor them. Think ComparetheMarket, Confused.com and GoCompare.

  • Jon James

    Well that is an annoyingly funny advert.

    Jon  Tarrey

    Indeed it it. I'm the first to criticise property ads for being naff, twee and cheesy. They all take themselves far too seriously or try way too hard to be funny. This is silly, tongue-in-cheek, funny and serves a purpose. We saw how successful ComparetheMarket became when they started to play on words and just ran and ran with it. A brilliant bit of advertising and marketing, no matter what you think of the product or their ads.

    YOPA have done something similar. What does YOPA sound a little bit like if you spell out each individual letter? The YMCA song, that annoyingly catchy song that is a perennial favourite at weddings and parties up and down the country, something that people generally associate with happy, joyful times. Clever stuff from YOPA here - and they win the distinction of being the first property company to come up with an advert that made me smile. Zoopla's latest effort was so groan-worthy it was almost funny.

     
  • Kristjan Byfield

    I just dont understand the business model of low fes but a TV campaign. It hasnt worked that well for PB with £20m in 2 years, why would YOPA want to follow that? Lets see what their accounts look like next year.

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    Kristjan,

    In some respects it does not matter if the firms are successful in breaking even and making a profit. As long as they can continue to raise millions in funding they are happy.

    Lots of people are getting VERY rich off the back of other peoples investment. If the firms close tomorrow they will not loose the millions they have accumulated through salary or the multiple other companies they have formed and charged the main company for "Services" / "Products"

    They are not run like a business in the traditional sense. Of course that is the dream that they are able to dominate a market and become self reliant but this is almost secondary.

    You just need to look at the massive issues regarding data around new instructions and sold properties to see how big an issue this is. Ask yourself why they are trying to distort the figures so largely and what are they gaining.

    I am not saying its the companies you have mentioned that is for you to decide ....

     
    Fake Agent

    Don't know about that. I'd say PB's adverts have worked for them, more than any other company. People know who they are, even people outside the property industry. Their brand awareness and recognition is very good. If you asked people to name an online agent, I bet you most would say PB. A few might know Tepilo or HouseSimple, a few might even know eMoov, but most would point to PB.

    Whatever you think of them, they are distinctive. Their purple branding is very eye-catching, as is their name. They've used the media very well and their PR strategy is clearly working.

    The main purpose of a TV ad is to increase awareness, brand recognition and get people to buy the product. If people are looking to sell or buy a home online, they'll think first of PB. Given they've not been around for very long, that's quite impressive.

    I think their adverts are exceedingly naff and I have some serious reservations about the claims they make, the sustainability of their model and the long-term future of a company continually making losses, but their TV campaign is one of the things they do very successfully. And people are starting to use them. I am starting to see more PB "For Sale" and "To Rent" signs about. Mostly when I visit London, to be fair.

    PB may not be a successful business, but they have been very successful at getting their name out there and spreading their brand. Compare that to OTM, who most people outside of the property industry have never heard of. They invested hugely in their TV ad campaigns and made no impact. Tepilo and HouseSimple have had a number of ad campaigns, without the same sort of impact as PB. And, despite their best efforts, no-one is buying into the easyProperty brand, despite extensive TV coverage. So PB are clearly doing something right and, from a TV ad campaign basis, would be a good model for YOPA to follow.

     
    Jon  Tarrey

    They've got big back from Savills, who I'm sure see YOPA as a long-term venture.

    All of these new firms have big backing and are clearly intent on making a name for themselves first, and a brand, and then worrying about making a profit later. Many will balk at such methods, others will think it's genius. Quite a few major firms didn't turn a profit for the first few years of operation, but they had a good idea and played the long game.

    I don't actually think PB's model is the right one, and I hate their claims to be 24/7 (they're not) and a hybrid because of their property experts down on the ground (often covering massive chunks of land), but if YOPA can get similar levels of brand awareness as PB I'm sure they'll be laughing. The onliners market share is still pretty low - although it has doubled to about 5% in the last two years. Of this market share, PB make up the majority of it. They are the main players in the online estate agency world (I know they count themselves as a hybrid, but they're not).

     
  • icon

    Start a gimmicky online company, sell out for a couple of million before the losses mount up... rinse and repeat.
    Heard from someone a long time ago that these online agents just want to build large databases or owners information in order to sell on.... not sure if that rings true, but it makes sense.

  • Trevor Mealham

    When I see or hear YOPA - I first think Savills. When I think Village people I think those Village guys don't have wives :-)

    I then see cheap at the end of the advert.

    Savills really will be seen in the industry as a very different beast than traditional high end before long.

    This could be Savills bosses doing a ratner moment

  • Kelvin Francis

    The money for all these setups is in the share value, not business profit. A very clever approach was to sell the idea to a few larger backers, that they represent the future and with wipe out all other estate agents, to get it off the ground. Float, and keep the ball rolling, by building a brand name. As long as share values go on rising, everything is good. When they faultered, buy in, using share holders money and judiciously selling personal holdings, from time to time, when you can. In the case of PB. a brave move opening in Australia and then USA (a nice place to live in the meantime) but they have to keep the forward momentum. It is a bit like a surfer riding just ahead of a large wave. Time will tell if there will be a long term future for a company that will never make a profit and if it puts its prices up, will lose its main marketing advantage.

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