Why Does All Real Estate Advertising Suck?

Most product or service categories have at least one advertising superstar. So why is all national real estate advertising so mediocre?

Even Bob Pittman—yes, that Bob Pittman—couldn’t make a difference at Century 21 more than a decade ago.

Add Coldwell Banker’s latest TV commercial (see video above) to a long list of hot-air balloons and gold jackets.

At first, I thought this ad was simply a one-off effort to boost name recognition. But CB is investing a ton in this new campaign, including an overhaul of its website. (Is the bathroom humor necessary? Or funny?)

Why would anyone think you could use old guys to pitch innovation? This is a much different world than the one in which Smith Barney launched its legendary “We Earn It” campaign in the 1980s.

With the housing industry in such disarray, you’d think that it would be a perfect time for a real estate company to break out with breakthrough advertising. Evidently, it won’t be Coldwell Banker.