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Realtor urges customers to ‘break bad’ with fake ad

Published October 2, 2013 at 8:09 am


Who do you think of? The famous physicist? Or, perhaps the pop culture phenomenon associated with the award-winning television show Breaking Bad?

For those in the latter category, a recent Craigslist post from real estate agency Century 21 would be right up your alley. Hours before Breaking Bad’s series finale aired, a mock ad appeared on Craiglist, telling viewers they could buy the home of Walter White—the main character on the show.

The ad playfully described the fictional house, using references from the show. For example, readers were told that the house had a two-car garage that could easily fit automobiles that had been featured on Breaking Bad.

“‘Breaking Bad’ has become such a part of American culture, and its last episode was a cultural moment,” Mullen group account director Eric Montague told the Boston Globe. “We wanted Century 21 to be part of that conversation in a relevant way that paid homage to the show.”

Montague added that he let the ad sit for a few hours after it was released, then started sending out tweets with direct links to the posting. He also tweeted directly at cast members of the show to try and get them to respond. According to the company, the post generated about 1,600 tweets in its first 24 hours, many of them positive.

Whether you opt for social media campaigns or prefer direct mail, a targeted marketing approach needs to take consumer needs into account. Connecting to pop culture references can be a wise approach, depending on the types of responses you want.

Television commercials, direct mail campaigns and social media ads can all have success, but what’s most important is finding a way to be memorable.

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle might exist, but there is no reason that your marketing approach needs to be uncertain.

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