Last year, franchisor Century 21 Real Estate launched an advertising campaign on We City, a social, mobile online game where users build SimCity-like virtual metropolises. This year, it was recognized as a success.

The campaign — along with about 700 other print, Web and video winners — was awarded a Hermes Creative Award platinum honor, the contest’s highest. The annual contest, which recognizes successful and innovative work, is run by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals and had 4,700 entries this year.


We City in-game screen shot with Century 21-branded buildings courtesy of Century 21.

Recognized in the Social Marketing Campaign category (in which two platinum winners were selected from 14 entries) of the Hermes contest, the campaign resulted in 5.4 million Century 21 welcome-screen views, 401,000 Century 21-branded structures placed by gamers in their We Cities, and 300,000 views of the company’s "Smarter. Bolder. Faster." commercial (which debuted at this year’s Super Bowl).

The recognition comes on the heels of a year of wide-ranging and aggressive marketing by Century 21. In February, the company became the first real estate company in 21 years to advertise during the Super Bowl, where it had never advertised before. In April, the company announced its endorsement of U.S. Soccer through the Olympics. In June, the company announced an Internet radio ad campaign with Pandora.

"By leveraging our message through new media channels and traditional mass media, we continue to maintain our industry leadership position in brand awareness," said Bev Thorne, chief marketing officer for Century 21, in a statement.

A 2011 real estate ad marketing study found that Century 21 has a brand awareness of 95 percent, the highest among real estate brands.

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