Jeff Goldblum is one of Hollywood’s most enduring quirky stars, and his popularity seems to be higher than ever with his reach across movies and television and even as a jazz pianist and singer. Apartments.com has appropriately made the Jurassic Park actor the center of its 2019 futuristic campaign.
The apartment listing and matching site is using Goldblum – playing his longtime character, Brad Bellflower – for its ‘Enter the Apartminternet’ marketing campaign by RPA, and this year he’s being generously spread across TV, social, and streaming spaces.
“We are 100% loving Jeff,” said Patrick Dodson, vice-president, marketing at Apartments.com. “He goes by the name Brad Bellflower, who’s the inventor of the ‘Apartminternet.’ The creative strategy this year…Brad Bellflower takes you on this futuristic journey of this high-tech world where he can help you navigate and find all these new, great features and places to live.”
Dodson added that Goldblum is being used not only for his affable charm and recognition, but also his fashion sense. “We love the fact that there’s such a following behind Goldblum. When the ads come on TV, people really relate to him. His own stardom has helped us a bunch,” said Dodson.
While Apartments.com has been utilizing Goldblum’s talents for several years, the company is now leveraging his Hollywood connections by enlisting his Thor Ragnarok director, Taika Waititi. “We went high-end with the director, and Jeff was in that movie, so they knew each other really well already. But because of Jeff’s personality and magnetism we are actually going much deeper on our social video content,” Dodson said.
Goldblum not only stars in a series of four ads, but in social content such as the company’s ‘Apartmentagrams’ and ‘FAAQs’, which are ‘Frequently Asked Apartment Questions.’
“We’ve probably put together 30 or 40 new social video campaigns leveraging his popularity where we know people are going to share these things,” said Dodson, adding that the company did a ‘Kiss Cam’ parody, using in-cinema and stadium advertising with Goldblum interrupting a guy proposing to his girlfriend. “We’re doing outdoor, we’re doing radio. We’re definitely using Jeff bigger than we ever have.”
Dodson noted that the quality of the production is more lavish than before, using production designer Paul Austerberry, who won an Oscar for Shape of Water, for the four commercials’ set design. “The entertainment value of the content this year is better than we’ve ever done before, both visually and from an engagement and humor standpoint. We want people to enjoy it as well as understand it.”
To help get the word out, Apartments.com is investing more than it has before with YouTube and other streaming video and streaming audio channels. Dodson said that the renter demographic is skewing younger, catering to millennial and Gen Z. He cited stats their research uncovered that 80% of renters are using mobile to find their apartment, 75% of millennials use streaming services, and less than half watch television. The big shift this year will be on cord cutting and over-the-top delivery. Apartments.com is working on addressable TV and enhanced cable, thought the company will still spend a lot on TV, but will make sure that investment is “very program specific.”
In addition, the company will buy on Hulu, Pandora, and Amazon, and make a big investment in podcast advertising. Plus, the business has gone brick and mortar in California.
“We’ve got an actual store in Santa Monica and we have a whole team of retail associates that go to local campuses like USC and UCLA and visit with the student population. We’ve got a whole focus on student marketing, both on the street and digital,” said Dodson, adding that the store is for renters and landlords alike, giving rental property owners a place to put listings.
While Apartments.com is considering expanding its street teams and perhaps even open another brick-and-mortar location, it will stick to Goldblum’s charms to carry the company through 2019.