Zillow’s latest national TV ad, “What If,” targets first-time homebuyers by highlighting a new tool that allows consumers to secure a mortgage preapproval letter in minutes.
The ad begins airing today and will run through the fall and winter on network and cable stations, including CNN, HGTV and Travel.
The 15-second ad features a young couple searching for a home and getting preapproved on Zillow using their mobile devices. The couple use Zillow’s new preapproval tool, which the portal rolled out on desktop in March and iOS in August.
By inputting info about their income, monthly debt and credit score into the tool, homebuyers get an estimate for the loan amount they may qualify for. If they’re interested in continuing, they then enter their name, email address and phone number, and the tool pulls their credit report.
If they meet the lender’s standards, buyers receive an online preapproval letter in minutes that they can save, print or email.
Zillow says preapproval turns users into higher-quality leads, giving agents and sellers a window into a prospective buyer’s ability to purchase homes they find on the platform. The tool also streamlines the mortgage process for buyers and gives them a competitive advantage when shopping for a home, Zillow claims in a blog post introducing the new ad.
The ad is part of Zillow’s $75 million “Find Your Way Home” national marketing campaign, an effort to secure more market share and build the company’s brand. Zillow launched its first national TV spot of 2014, “Family Search,” in May.
Zillow’s competitors, Trulia and realtor.com, have also launched national TV spots this year.
Trulia, which targets college-educated women aged 25-44 in its $45 million national campaign, has rolled out two national TV ads this year. Zillow has said it intends to continue operating Trulia as a distinct brand if its proposed acquisition closes as expected in 2015.
Realtor.com released its first-ever national TV ads this May as part of its multimillion-dollar consumer marketing campaign designed to drive home the superior accuracy of its data. With an inclusion in the National Association of Realtors’ $35 million national consumer ad effort, realtor.com’s national ad exposure is estimated to be around $50 million.