Big-Budget Cendant Ad Campaigns Score

This week: C21 homers with Cal Ripken; CB boosts Web site traffic.

July 1, 2000

Count on It: Jimmy's Coming Out to Play

Two Cendant Corp. franchises are moving ahead with successful advertising campaigns.

Century 21 has expanded its diamond mining with Major League Baseball for the next three years. Last year's sponsorship of the All-Star Home Run Derby generated more than 53 million media impressions, including live coverage, media replays, and newspaper coverage. Cost to Century 21: $2 million. The company says the sweepstakes connected with the derby generated 172,000 leads to offices and offered consumers a chance at $250,000 toward the purchase of a home. The sweepstakes runs again this year.

Last week, the franchise was awarded the New York American Marketing Association Bronze Award for Effective Advertising for its campaign showing the "perfect" home purchase, so it will be continuing its close connection with Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken as a spokesperson. Expect to see more of the future Hall of Famer's TV commercials; in one, Cal brings in a potted plant for new homeowners and asks, "Can Jimmy come out and play catch?" Bet the farm Jimmy has his glove on before the ink on the HUD-1 dries.

Coldwell Banker, too, is claiming an advertising victory. Its national TV campaign has doubled visitors to its Web site since the campaign launched in February. Homebuyers and sellers increased from 1.2 million in January to 2.7 million in March and to more than 2.9 million in April.

And speaking of Cendant, the Real Estate Division has recently promoted Brenda Casserly, Van Davis, and Jim Gillespie from previous positions as senior vice presidents to new chief operating officers of ERA Franchise Systems, Century 21 Real Estate Corp., and Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. respectively.

RE/MAX VIP to Head RESPRO

Richard Purvis, RE/MAX regional director of California and Hawaii, was elected 2000 chair of the Real Estate Services Providers Council, Inc. Purvis, a 35-year real estate vet, isformer president of Coldwell Banker in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, before joining RE/MAX in 1995; he heads the franchise's day-to-day California-Hawaii operations, which has approximately 265 offices, 6,200 sales associates, and $23 billion in sales. James Panepinto, senior vice president of Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp., was elected as RESPRO's 2000 vice chair.

Frisky Franchisees

How well are franchises doing? According to The 1999 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Real Estate Firms, most companies report that their franchise affiliation has increased their profits. Three-quarters say their affiliation improved their name recognition considerably, and 38 percent of have been affiliated with their franchise for more than 10 years.

Lucien Salvant is a former managing editor for REALTOR ® Magazine.

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