Screenshot of Century 21 We City ad.
The move is the latest in the franchiser’s new "Smarter, Bolder, Faster" marketing campaign, which also includes a revamped website, mobile applications for all smartphone types and feature phones, and a TV ad to run during next year’s Super Bowl.
Century 21 will be the first brand — in any industry — featured in the We City game, the company said. The campaign ends April 26.
"We view it as one more first. There are very few companies, period, never mind real estate companies, working with consumers in this space," said Bev Thorne, the company’s chief marketing officer.
We City was created by mobile gaming company ngmoco and runs on Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. Players build their own cities, adding buildings such as cafes, motels, gyms, factories, and colleges.
As part of the Century 21 campaign, players will also be able to add Century 21-branded structures to their cities for free, including a real estate office, a modern home or a skyscraper.
By playing the role of a real estate broker, users will be able to buy and sell units to earn virtual commissions that will enable them to expand their cities and advance in the game. Players will also earn points for watching Century 21’s new video ads or downloading Century 21’s mobile app from the game.
"One of the reasons is this is so attractive to us is our target consumer is becoming more mobile, more social and real estate is so local. We’re really excited to be kicking this off," Thorne said.
Mobile games attract 26 million players a day and We City has millions of players, most of whom are between the ages of 25-44, the company said. Century 21 hopes to reach its own target audience, first-time homebuyers between the ages of 25-34, through the game.
"First-time homebuyers make up a little bit more than 50 percent of home purchase activity," Thorne said.