‘The R® Stands for More’: Director X on New NAR Ads

February 28, 2019

From the towering R® at the beginning to the signature “knock, knock, knock” sound at the end, new ad spots from the National Association of REALTORS® paint a three-dimensional portrait of what it means to be a REALTOR®. Bringing the portrait to life was Director X, a filmmaker best known for the lush music videos he creates for artists like Jay-Z, Rihanna, Usher, Drake, and Nicki Minaj.

NAR’s creative agency, Havas Chicago, looked at a wide range of directors and proposed treatments before recommending that NAR engage Director X (aka Julien Christian Lutz) to direct the commercials, explains NAR director of project management Karen Bebart. “From the beginning, he got what we were trying to do,” Bebart says. The 60-, 30-, and 15-second spots create an “ownable space,” a place to demonstrate the value REALTORS® bring as advocates, community boosters, and professionals who follow a Code of Ethics.

In a behind-the-scenes video from Havas, Director X explains that vision: “That R® stands for more than just people that help you find a home or people that find a business space,” he says. “It stands for this engagement in the community on all the levels from a city council meeting in a gymnasium to the steps of the Capitol.”

NAR’s ads began airing Monday on networks such as HGTV, Food Network, and Nick at Night, as well as on morning shows and streaming video and audio services. The campaign—themed “That’s Who We R®”—also includes social media postings and sponsored content with publishers such as Apartment Therapy, The Washington Post, Vice Media, Daily Beast, The Atlantic, Thrillist, and TrueX.