Re/Max is listening to homebuyers’ concerns

Who: Re/Max Canada, with Arrivals + Departures for strategy and creative; True Media for media.

What: “Advice You Need,” a campaign that marks the real estate brand’s Super Bowl debut. It also introduces a new brand platform, “The Advantage You Need,” which tweaks the “Your Unfair Advantage” positioning the brand has used for the past two years.

When & Where: The campaign launches with a 30-second Super Bowl spot, with other elements including online video, out-of-home (billboards and TSAs); programmatic video and display; paid social including TikTok, as well as integration on sports betting apps and appearances during NHL and NBA games. The launch phase runs through April, with additional waves to follow in the summer and fall.

Why: The company’s decision to pivot slightly to “The Advantage You Need” platform is the result of research showing that consumers are becoming increasingly confused and hesitant in an uncertain real estate market, said Anthony Volpini, Re/Max’s executive director of marketing.

“We wanted to come from a place of advice, versus being more focused on advantage,” he said. “We wanted to say ‘we’re here for you [and] we’ve got the expertise and the advice.’ It’s a little less aggressive.”

As with previous campaigns, it’s not about generating awareness for a brand that has 25,000 agents across Canada and controls anywhere from 25-35% of the market depending on the region. Instead, it’s about boosting favourability and getting on the radar of younger and new Canadians increasingly enticed by online real estate companies like and Zoocasa, said Volpini. “We want the brand to be more likeable.”

How: While politics can be a conversational landmine, real estate is something that everyone can—and often does—talk about, said Volpini. Unfortunately, that also means that everyone believes they have the required expertise to dispense advice that isn’t necessarily helpful.

The 30-second Super Bowl spot, “Inspection,” features a couple contemplating a house with lots of “character,” when the man asks his wife if they should get a home inspection. The spot then cuts to his father, who’s jumping up and down on the stairs. “What’s it look like I’m doing?” he says before taking out a glass and placing it against the wall. “Houses talk son,” he explains. “You just have to listen.”

The spot ends with a Re/Max agent speaking with the couple and a voiceover explains that Re/Max agents don’t “dad-splain.” That  concept is featured in two other spots, “Dinner Party” (where the danger is ‘friend-splaining’) and “Mom-splaining.”

“It’s the advice you don’t want but everyone shares,” said Volpini. The ‘splaining characters are also being brought to life via a series of TikTok ads featuring a Re/Max agent reacting to their advice.

Out-of-home includes billboards and TSAs showing some of the less reliable ways that consumers receive advice (like fortune cookies and psychics) and urging them to seek out a Re/Max expert.

No octopi or princes? Recent Re/Max campaigns have taken a more absurdist approach, featuring characters like the frog-who’s-really-a-prince and a ping-pong-playing octopus. But “Advice You Need” is more rooted in reality without sacrificing the humour that has become a brand hallmark in recent years. Internal research showed the humour is what stood out in last year’s campaign.

The real estate market has become a little more uncertain, with people looking for assurance and advice more than ever. “We said ‘let’s tone down the absurdity and be a little more professional and try and help Canadians'” said Volpini.

And we quote:  “The ‘Advice You Need’ campaign uses humour to demonstrate the importance of getting the right advice when it comes to buying or selling your home. The best comedy is based on truth. We wanted to have fun playing off a legitimate truth we all face when we’re thinking about buying or selling a home—the well-intentioned, but unsolicited and often questionable advice you get from friends and family.” — Jeff Collins, creative director, Arrivals + Departures

Chris Powell