Marketing

Zillow ‘integrated’ into tonight’s episode of ‘Portlandia’

Indie rocker Carrie Brownstein, 'SNL' comedian Fred Armisen enlisted in marketing campaign

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It may be the most popular real estate search portal in the land, but fans of the IFC comedy “Portlandia” will see characters played by indie rocker Carrie Brownstein and comedian Fred Armisen using Zillow to search for a home in tonight’s episode for another reason: because the company paid to be “integrated” into the story.


Clip showing an “integration” of Zillow into tonight’s episode of “Portlandia” titled “Home For Sale.”

Zillow teamed up with “Portlandia” last year to create a TV ad featuring a couple of “Portlandia” characters that aired on IFC, but which wasn’t actually part of the show itself.

Enlisting Brownstein — who’s currently on the road supporting a new album by her band, Sleater-Kinney — and “Saturday Night Live” vet Armisen to help Zillow raise its hipster quotient is something of a coup.

IFC says it’s willing to do the same for others.

“‘Portlandia’ offers advertisers the opportunity to creatively integrate into one of television’s most talked-about comedies,” said Blake Callaway, IFC’s executive vice president of marketing and digital media, in a statement. “When brands visit ‘Portlandia’ they are guaranteed to get something funny that is worth sharing. We couldn’t be happier that Zillow is an even bigger part of the new season.”

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Tonight’s episode, “House For Sale,” features two Zillow “integrations.” First, Kath and Dave (played by Brownstein and Armisen) turn to Zillow to find a home they can use to satisfy their renovation bug. Later, they find a home that piques their interest.

There’s also a sketch that pokes fun at the micro-house trend, with actress Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad” fame guest starring as a real estate agent.

The IFC partnership is part of Zillow Group Inc.’s larger 2015 consumer marketing campaign, which CEO Spencer Rascoff has said will surpass last year’s spend of $75 million.

Last Friday, Zillow released its first TV ad of 2015, “Lake House,” which aired Sunday on ABC during the Oscars.

Zillow rival realtor.com made its 2015 TV debut in an ad put out by the National Association of Realtors that aired on CBS this month during the Grammy Awards.

News Corp., the new owner of realtor.com operator Move Inc., has its sights set on a big consumer marketing campaign once it has improved the user experience on realtor.com for both consumers and agents, the firm’s CEO, Robert Thomson, said earlier this year.

Email Paul Hagey.