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Property TV ads – the winners and losers revealed

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, we are all being told to stay at home as much as possible to contain and flatten the spread of the disease.

And, inevitably, this instruction will lead to more telly watching as we while away the extra time at our disposal.

As a result, many more people than usual will be viewing TV adverts - including property ones.

Here, to offer some light relief in these troubled, difficult times, EAT reviews some of the best and worst property adverts of the last few years.

We’ve also enlisted the help of some advertising experts: Stephanie Melodia, director of marketing agency Bloom and a former ad agency worker, Jack Richards, curator of the Richmond Marketing Forum and Martin Hailes, managing director of Martin Hailes Design.

Please offer your own reviews and opinions at the bottom of this article. Over the next week, we’ll also be running polls on Twitter so you can pick your own winners and losers.

Lights, camera, action…

OnTheMarket, 2018

The EAT view: ‘No Chas & Dave’

Clearly an attempt to tap into the nostalgia people have for the ‘Down to Margit’ song from the famous Jolly Boys’ Outing episode of Only Fools & Horses, but the singing is out of tune, the lyrics dodgy and the whole tone somewhat heavy-handed and awkward. Rating: 1/5.

Expert view (JR): Too many people featuring in the advert, it’s hard to concentrate. But, the jingle is memorable…3/5.

Property TV ads – the winners and losers revealed

easyProperty, 2017

The EAT view: ‘Like a different era’

Like a John Wayne movie on a Sunday afternoon, this is reminiscent of a bygone era - in this case, when onliners had the cash to splash. High production values promoting low cost promises, clever colour coordination and a sense of a bright new future. Irritatingly cheerful but highly effective. 4/5.

Expert view (SM): Warm and inviting, this upbeat ad conveys simple messaging that focuses on the ease of the service. While it ticks the boxes for high-value execution, good tempo, and clear messaging, the ad does lack memorability which is the reason I’m slightly demoting this one. 3/5.

Doorsteps, 2019

The EAT view: 'Awkwardness outweighs humour'

The presence of a bewildered child verges on disturbing, although an appearance from Doorsteps founder Ashkay Ruparelia is a nice touch. The message is that there's money to be saved with this agency, but we're left thinking it may only be a matter of pennies. 2.5/5.

Expert view (MH): This is a super low budget ad which could have cut after 9 seconds. It then became awkward and unnecessary. Maybe trying to mimic The Office, it didn’t work. With a little more props in the shot and some quiet background music, this could have been much more. 2/5.

Rightmove, 2018

The EAT view: ‘It does the job’

A TV ad that is the very essence of Rightmove - there’s little by way of innovation or glamour but it undeniably gets the message through in a functional and effective way. And we all remember it, even though ‘Rightmove’ is on screen for only two seconds. 3/5.

Expert view (SM): Cute and humorous featuring an adorable old man, this ad is guaranteed to strike a chord with most people. However, the tone suddenly took a ‘wrongmove’ with said old man disappearing and making way the new homeowners. Are we meant to feel sad now? Coo over the cute new baby? So confused! The depth of the meaning here in the cycle of life stands in stark contrast with the lighthearted tag line and upbeat music at the end. Excellent effort before the random switch-up, leaving the viewer feeling confused.com. 4/5.

Property TV ads – the winners and losers revealed

Tepilo, 2015

The EAT view: ‘A total cheese-fest’

Starts with Sarah Beeny hovering in the skies as a property guru and gets no less cheesy after that. The many claims made in the advert also seem a bit hollow with the hindsight we all now have. 2/5.

Expert view (JR): Has a real cheapness about it. It feels like it was made on an advert task from The Apprentice – with Tepilo being a name to match. 1.5/5.

Housesimple, 2018

The EAT view: ‘The budget ad’

Fixed cameras, shot on a small patio and with actors looking like they did it in one take - it certainly gets the message across that this is budget, in every sense of the word. If you’re into amateur dramatics, this one’s for you. 1/5.

Expert view (SM): Delivering comedy in advertising is dangerous territory, but the concept and delivery here is spot on. Hilarious, witty, memorable, this ad is my favourite! Top marks, Housesimple. 5/5.

Wards Estate Agents, 2019

The EAT view: ‘An excellent effort’

Clever, well-made and just the right length, this social media advert for Kent-based Wards – part of the Arun Estates Network – gets its tone spot-on and has notched up a not too shabby 36,000+ views on YouTube. 4/5.

Expert view (JR): Funny advert, if a little self-congratulatory: ‘I just want to make people happy’. However, it’s a nice message with suitable music to match the uplifting tone. 4/5.

Property TV ads – the winners and losers revealed

Your Move, 2016

The EAT view: 'An idyllic view of estate agency'

Your Move's classic view of a British High Street is perhaps a little outdated, but there's no doubt this ad delivers a strong message. Would a vendor really be happy with a pied piper-style agent delivering hundreds of buyers to their door? We'll never know. 4/5.

Expert view (MH): An instantly upbeat and positive advert thanks to the smiling faces and quirky tune. Curiosity takes the lead from start to finish with the end scene offering the solution. A lack of digital marketing is the only thing that dates the advert, such as an online app. 4/5.

Yopa, 2018 

The EAT view: ‘Utterly bizarre’

First, you question how they got Mo Farah involved in the first place and how much they paid him. Then you wonder why he’s pouring a cup of tea over his head and smashing a cup and saucer on the ground before running off. Bonkers, but weirdly amusing! 3.5/5.

Expert view (JR): It’s bright, and fun, but the Mo Farah appearance at the end muddles the message. I had completely forgotten what she said about Yopa, and what they’re offering. 3/5.

Zoopla, 2017

The EAT view: 'A lot to take in'

This slightly trippy ad suggests that despite all evidence, hermit crabs are in fact loud and outgoing creatures. There's a lack of Zoopla branding which could be troubling, but the liquidator-esque jingle pulls this one through. 3.5/5.

Expert view (MH): The seaside backdrop coupled with the natural behaviour of the hermit crab is very clever, swapping their shells as they grow. A good example on how to hide a low budget advert, although it’s too long at 60 seconds due to the slow moving scene. 3/5.

Savills, 2017

The EAT view: ‘Memorable but a bit naff’

Part of a series of adverts launched by one of the UK’s biggest property firms in 2017, under the banner of ‘Love Stories’, this advert lodges in your brain because of the starkness of a house in a pretty park. But it’s also a bit naff in terms of its theme and dialogue. 3/5.

Expert view (JR): Cute/quirky music with a relatable family. Wes Anderson-style title scene linked with a clever use of yellow square bag (similar to the Savills logo) makes this an advert to remember. 4.5/5.

Property TV ads – the winners and losers revealed

GetAgent, 2018 

The EAT view: 'Familiarity breeds contempt'

A corny affair with an overload of the phrases estate agent, GetAgent and secret agent. That said, the voiceover succinctly explains what GetAgent does to the consumer. A polished ad, but this one slips into the irritating category. 2/5.

Expert view (MH): How an advert should be done. Yes it's got that movie scene link, but the ad is well executed, short and snappy, lighthearted and easy to understand. Part showing the website and its ease of use was great and domain name call to action at the end. 5/5.

Purplebricks, 2018

The EAT view: ‘Commisery or Conmisery?’

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they produced clever ads. They invented a word which stuck, got a simple and slick message across in this and similar ads, and made people think the world had changed when it hadn’t. It didn’t work out for them, but no use crying over spilt milk, right? 4/5.

Expert view (SM): Set in a typical office environment most people can relate to, the sudden and strange behaviour from the main character is made even bolder and funnier by standing in such huge contrast. Unexpected and uncomfortable to watch, Purplebricks wins points for being different, but I’m left feeling a little uneasy after watching it! Clear and simple messaging focused on the cost-savings with their platform, but is this selling point and a weird man enough for effective advertising? 3/5.

Property TV ads – the winners and losers revealed

Which ads are our winners and losers?

Our results show that the traditional agents come out on top when it comes to TV advertising, with Wards and Your Move joint top scoring with a very impressive 8 out of 10 and Savills coming in third with 7.5.

Honourable mentions must also go to GetAgent and Housesimple for receiving full marks from our advertising experts, even if the team here at EAT didn't agree!

Luckily for Sarah Beeny and her now defunct Tepilo brand - which bottom scored with 3.5 out of 10 - there will be no need to improve the TV advertising. However, for OnTheMarket and Doorsteps - two firms which are very much still in business - there is work to be done after scoring 4 and 4.5 out of 10 respectively.

Disagree with us and our advertising experts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. You can now also have your say on Twitter, where we will be running polls for the best adverts over the next week.  

  • Chris Arnold

    "As a result, more people will be viewing ads - including property ads".

    The evidence doesn't support this conclusion. Today's consumer watches on-demand T.V at a time of their choosing. They are able to fast forward ad breaks, just as they are able to block unwanted, annoying ads with their digital experience. Advertising, in many of its forms, is dying a slow death.

    On the basis that it's "light-hearted", 5/5 to the T.V. company, proving once again that fools & their money are soon parted.

  • Paul Barrett

    Anyone with a remote has been able to silence ads when they want.
    Rarely do I watch ads.

    There are some which are amusing and I don't mind watching those.

    The refreshing parts that other beers cannot reach especially amusing etc
    A well made funny ad will have people watch them.
    Make'em funny and people will unmute their remotes!

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