If changing people's minds was easy, the world would be a drastically different place. We all have deep-seated assumptions, or conceptions, about all sorts of different things.
The state of play
As a creative director, it is my job to challenge and, ultimately change people's perceptions about all sorts of different things. Recently, that thing was new build homes. Or, more specifically, Redrow's new build homes. New builds aren't perceived as being right for everyone. In fact, according to a recent 'new build insights' survey by Zoopla, 86% of property transactions aren't for new builds at all – they're second hand! And when you look at the other insights from the same survey, you start to understand why that is.
It was taken from 600 people across the UK, all of whom had either bought a home in the last year or intended to do so in the next. It was a 'nationally representative' survey, which means it was equal across key demographics, factoring in age and 'life stage', where they lived, gender, market status and budget, and whether or not they were first time buyers, upsizing or downsizing.
Don't listen to what they say, listen to what you feel.
Some key trends emerged from this research, with the three most significant being:
- New builds have no character
- New builds have no soul
- New builds have no space
But what was interesting about these key insights is that they are complete misconceptions. At least they are when it comes to Redrow. In fact, the complete opposite is true. Redrow and its people know that and, most importantly, Redrow's homeowners know that. But that doesn't help us when we’re trying to reach new audiences. If their minds are already made up, they simply won’t listen. After all, choosing somewhere to live, especially if you're buying the property in question, is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. You will be thinking with your head, your heart and your gut. And if your gut is telling you something, you will listen.
Misconceptions are often built around stereotypes. And, if there's anything we know about stereotypes, it's that the vast majority of them aren't a clear and true reflected of reality. At best they're distorted, and at their worst they're complete fabrications.
This is why it's important for us to challenge them wherever possible. Not only is it harmful to the industry, it could be harmful to the prospective buyers too. After all, they may well be overlooking a housing-solution that is absolutely perfect for them, and making a sub-par choice as a result. After all, all sales and marketing is actually about, is making people aware of the options they have available to them, and helping them make the right choice for them.
The challenge itself was a simple one: getting people to think and feel differently about new builds. And to do that, we had to look and feel differently about new builds ourselves: by thinking differently about the people who will be living in them.
We decided to do something that had never been done in this industry before – a high-end, full scale television ad, focusing on the people that Redrow could build homes for. It's Redrow's firm and clear position that there genuinely are options for anyone, anywhere. All we have to do, is reach them.
Built around the three key misconceptions, we developed three scenarios – each one reflecting different members of our key demographics. We looked at the people, and how they live in the spaces that Redrow has designed for them. We focused on the character, not just of the houses and their rooms, but of the people who existed in them. Next we looked at soul. For us, soul is really about connections, people coming together, and having amazing experiences. And in most homes, all of that happens in the kitchen. Finally, we took on space, literally and figuratively – proving that Redrow homes have enough room for all the family.
We tailored the scenes to fit each misconception, carefully dressing the sets and casting the characters to ensure the spaces looked as much like real homes, and real people as possible. This would all help us to bring Redrow's best elements to the fore, in a subtle yet effective way.
Bringing it together
Once the three days filming were over, we took the raw footage and sound back to be vigorously combed through in the edit suites and spend hours and hours finding the perfect shot, the perfect angle, and the perfect bit of lighting. The same goes for the voiceovers; we must find the perfect bit of script, with the perfect inflections. And when that's done, we use grading, where we apply a filter to the shot to give it a mood, a feel, a sense. All of these things are carefully brought together so we can deliver our message in the most succinct and most beautiful way. A way that's worthy of the Redrow brand, and its properties.
Ultimately, what we're trying to say is: whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever you like, there will be something in a Redrow community for you. So just go and explore it. That was to be the theme of this advert. Don't listen to what they say, listen to what you feel.