• Realtor.com has "wrapped" a house as part of what it's calling a comparative "experiential" advertising campaign that the company says showcases the difference between realtor.com's listing database and that of its major industry competitor, Zillow.
  • Comparative advertising in general is tricky at best; this campaign is based on a realtor.com internal analysis conducted in October that estimated that realtor.com provides "20 percent more MLS-listed homes among its for-sale listings," according to the company's statement.
  • "Anyone can selectively pull data to tell the story they want to tell. The fact is, Zillow and Trulia listings breadth is more comprehensive and accurate than it has ever been, with more than 350 direct MLS partnerships signed in just the past year," responded Zillow.

When citizens of Austin are roaming down one specific street for the rest of this week, they’ll see something that will likely prompt a double-take.

Realtor.com has “wrapped” a house as part of what it’s calling a comparative “experiential” advertising campaign that the company says showcases the difference between realtor.com’s listing database and that of its major industry competitor, Zillow.

Hence the messaging on the house wrap itself:

Realtor.com Zillow Austin

The campaign also includes animated banners and static visual ads that will appear on the computer screens of consumers in Austin, plus others in San Diego, Miami, Denver and New Orleans.

“Austin is a typical housing market,” said realtor.com spokeswoman Lexie Puckett when asked why the company selected Austin as the best place to “wrap” a home. “There are a lot of millennial homebuyers, and there’s stiff competition, especially for starter homes.”

One issue with comparing Zillow and realtor.com listings in certain metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), however, is that the companies use different methods to define key geographic areas.

Comparative advertising in general is tricky at best; this campaign is based on a realtor.com internal analysis conducted in October that estimated that realtor.com provides “20 percent more MLS-listed homes among its for-sale listings,” according to the company’s statement.

Zillow, as the target of the ad, released a response statement this morning about the campaign: “Anyone can selectively pull data to tell the story they want to tell. The fact is, Zillow and Trulia listings breadth is more comprehensive and accurate than it has ever been, with more than 350 direct MLS partnerships signed in just the past year. And the Zillow brand continues to be the most favored consumer brand by far, with more than half of all real estate category visits coming to Zillow, which is nearly double the size of the nearest competitor.”

Austin’s GoodLife Realty is brokering the home. The wrap will be removed on Saturday, November 14, and GoodLife will host an open home in the property on Sunday, November 15.

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