Creative in association withGear Seven

Zoopla Spots Relive the Awkwardness of Asking House Prices

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Lucky Generals and director Tom Speers tap into Britishness of asking awkward questions

Awkwardness. Uncomfortable silences. Mortifying embarrassment. All portrayed with stomach-dropping accuracy in Zoopla’s latest campaign, as the brand looks to position itself as the home research partner for future movers.

The creative from Lucky Generals is based around the insight that homeowners often spend years ruminating before re-entering the property market. During this time, they do ‘casual research’ into what other people are asking and paying for their homes. However, being British – and terribly polite about money matters – it is often thought improper to ask people directly. The campaign hones in on and dramatises that moment when someone does ask the awkward question in an inappropriate social situation… And it places Zoopla as the relief to that tension.

The campaign complements key onsite and app improvements that have been ongoing to make Zoopla more useful and intuitive for its users. It launches on 24th June with two TV ads showing different, but equally awkward, scenarios where that stomach-churning question is asked: “How much did you pay for it…?”

‘The Divorcee’ opens with a group comforting their recently-divorced friend with tea, advice and a shoulder to cry on. One friend idly wanders round the house, commenting on the property’s desirable features, “...good catchment area, nice garden. Wonder how much you’ll get for the place when you have to sell it”. The divorcee wells up in shock as the friend realises his misstep and frantically backtracks: “If you have to sell it… I mean, you probably don’t have to sell it.” 

Each ad closes with a playfully observant line, delivered by Zoopla’s long-time voiceover and she of Motherland, Diane Morgan: “If you want to know, just ask Zoopla.'' 

The through-the-line campaign marks a further evolution of Zoopla’s mantra ‘We know what a home is really worth’, driving users to the website and to tools and insights that help people understand more about the relative value of their home. 

Directed by the award-winning Tom Speers (Oatly, Vodafone), Zoopla has also continued to work with cultural insight experts the Diversity Standards Collective (DSC), to ensure the brand is authentically representing its UK audience. 

Gary Bramall, chief marketing officer at Zoopla, said, “‘We know what a home is really worth’ has been an exceptionally successful articulation of Zoopla’s brand positioning, helping us become an everyday partner for our consumers. Talking property isn’t always easy, and in this latest campaign, we’ve tapped into everyday awkward moments, where those moments could have been avoided simply by visiting Zoopla. Through The Divorcee, we really wanted to acknowledge that not all home research is triggered by aspiration - sometimes it’s borne out of necessity too. And that can prompt further difficult moments for people to navigate. We didn’t want to shy away from these topics within the campaign, and we felt quite strongly about visually representing a human truth that many people experience but isn’t talked about enough.”

Ed Cole, creative director at Lucky Generals, said, “Who hasn’t gone to someone’s house and thought, “Wow, I wonder how much this is worth?” Using Zoopla’s tools, you can now avoid making things awkward at a kid’s party or rubbing salt in your recently-divorced-mate’s wounds by just checking on Zoopla.”

To execute the campaign, Zoopla worked with the Diversity Standards Collective and a number of professional councils to ensure  all communities featured were represented as authentic and progressive in their depictions.

Rich Miles, CEO and founder of the Diversity Standards Collective, said, “For the last two years, the DSC have worked closely with Zoopla and Lucky Generals  to ensure all communities featured in their campaigns are not only authentic, but as progressive as they can be in their depictions of diverse people.  We held DSC Professional Community Councils with a large number of consultants who identified within the Black, South Asian and LGBTQIA+ communities to delve deep into nuances within all parts of the campaign, giving guidance on the creative routes, scripts and messaging through to specifics like props, location and wardrobe. 

Zoopla understands the importance of getting representation right, and what’s brilliant about the DSC process is that Zoopla and Luckys can now launch this content with full confidence that their creative will resonate more with people from those diverse communities – and finally it will show their other consumers a more truthful and progressive depiction of people.”

Alongside the two TVC executions at launch (The Divorcee and Kids’ Party), there will be two radio ads that mirror the stories told in the TVC. There will also be three OOH executions that position the viewer as the awkward asker, showing the moment directly after the house price question lands.

The latest Zoopla offering marks Zenith’s largest campaign with the brand since they won the business for, Zoopla and Uswitch (as a group) in November 2021. The fully integrated activity will run for fourteen weeks across mainstream channels, including TV, VOD, radio and OOH, with media and creative aligned to be where owner-movers will be throughout the summer. Cinema will also launch on the plan for the first time in five years, through a partnership with Luna outdoor cinema. Marketing technology agency Byte is once again leading on Zoopla’s social strategy, bringing awkward moments to life across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest – as well as delivering a complementary stream of activity nodding to  curiosities that can be satisfied on Zoopla . 

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