proper tea manors
a pun infused memoir of 5 years of making films for the Real Estate industry
Ah India, a land of irony and litters, but mostly people – So Many People. The one thing that unites these people isn’t patriotism, or rajmah chawal, or intrusive parents, or even the love for the sutta-chai combo, it’s the notion that you have made it in life if, and only if, you own a house.🏡
It’s only obvious that with economic accomplishment standards like ours, real estate is a large emerging sector in the peninsula. Combine traditional thinking with social norms, real-estate agents have ‘lots’ to be thankful for here in India.
The real estate relies heavily on advertising because mostly the final product is still part reality, part fiction. It is also very contemporary and non-experimental, often borderlining bland and/or gimmicky. The flavor is somewhat missing mostly, making this industry media less palatable to its new-age Gen Z audiences* (Yes, GenZ is now old enough to own homes. Yes they can afford it. Yes, they made it from the ‘passive’ income they earned through tik tok, NFTs and instagram.) 🤳 (source 1, 2)
Safe to say that this marketing space in India is lagging behind when it comes to presentation, storytelling and relatability, so a change would be nice.
And we are all about the change. So when Real Estate films came a-knockn’ at Dot’s door, we were happy to answer. But we relentlessly worked through blood, sweat, tears and weekends to be able to come up with a fresh approach towards presenting our brands and real estate in general, that in our not-so-humble opinion, was quite out of the ordinary for the old and often rigid industry.
HoABL (House of Abhinandan Lodha) is a brand we have collaborated with on several projects for the past 5 years. Their team was never the ‘traditional’ kind and that felt like a breath of fresh air in a Delhi-in-November real estate atmosphere. While getting to know them more, we found out that they’re not afraid to have a bolder vision. That, mixed with our intent of thora–hat-ke execution led to a better overall marketing and positioning. Even though they were a new entrant in an already full market, they decided to break the clutter and showed exceptional confidence in good marketing and content. Their proposition of ‘branded-land’ gave them the confidence they needed and it gave us the room to be bold and creative, it was as if we were meant to be. 💞
Slide by slide, follow-up by follow-up, feedback by feedback, we were able to come to tangible solutions that satiated our client’s endorsement needs as well as our creative needs. Here are a few pieces of our work for them:
Now that you’ve seen the final product, we present to you a few takeaways that no one asked us for, but out of the goodness of our hearts and because we’re not gatekeeping and because it is Christmas (we believe in giving):
1. people be smart now:🧑🎓
How many surrealists does it take to screw in a light bulb? A fish. If that joke made you chuckle, we’ll have you know that you’re smart. Just like a large part of the population today (We said you’re smart, not special). With India’s literacy rate at an all time high of 77.7% (source), we are dealing with people who know their preferences, make informed decisions and overall better choices as compared to their predecessors.
This brings us to the important discovery that oldsy timesy direct salsey communication is not going to cut it. More implied messages, less direct pitch. More truth, less false promises. More selling the story of a lifestyle, less selling the house and the property. Today, the appeal lies in what one would be able to do in said space than the space itself. Once we put that insight into the center of all our story lines, we discovered we could do much more with often very little resources.
2. people be liking the boldness: 💪
We discovered through hit and denial that people actually love self-aware, self-conscious, bold branding. The best films are the films that are brave enough to make bold statements and add value to them by creating an environment around it to support the said boldness. We’d like to add that being bold also does not imply making profound promises. What we mean is to not hold back while presenting the aspirations of the brand and what they are doing, and doing so as beautifully as possible. This type of messaging allows your audience to look beyond the overpowering real estate players and make way for innovative thinkers and game changers.
3. people be noticing: 👀
Now that the trends in real estate are changing, a certain level of polish is almost expected. Once upon a time, real estate could get away with lazy, tacky, stock infused marketing. But now, the refinement makes or breaks a campaign. In the age of hyper content, where even a regular FMCG brand is making passionate content, rudimentary marketing coming from presumably rich real estate houses looks tardy and is a turn-off. This alone is one of the biggest reasons that RE brands should jump onto the better media bandwagon.
Here’s a concluding note from our POV. A shift at this point is almost essential, and if a significant brand like HoABL can give room (pun intended) for experimentation, so can the brand you’re pitching to. We propose to try and pitch two strong ideas for any given prospective film – one that somewhat complies with the industry norms, and one that is totally and mind-blowingly out there – because, hey, if you can’t win em, at least confuse em. They’ll come around, we are almost semi-sure.
Through honest introspection and copious amounts of caffeine, you too can be a part of the almost certain change that will sweep across Real Estate marketing soon – it’s already late to the experimental marketing party wearing a straight-jacket that was so last season 🧥. Be a part of this make-over drama 👄! You won’t be disappointed.