Century 21’s bad commercial

This Century 21 ad is troublesome because it shows a Century 21 agent pressuring a couple to make an offer on a house. With this part, I don’t have an issue – more often than not, one half of the couple has more say than the other:

the wife talking — some say browbeating — her husband into buying a house while the agent listens in to the conversation on the speakerphone.

This part however, does:

“This listing is special, John,” says the voice of their real estate agent over the speakerphone. “You guys can do this.” The husband caves. “This is awesome,” says the wife.

Pressure like this is one of the reasons that agents get a bad reputation. Would you return to that agent when it came time to sell the house? Thanks to The Walk-Through for the heads-up. I have wanted to write about this ad for weeks, but had not found the commercial online. Perhaps the worst blowback to the ad is this editorial from Slate. Realtors have enough bad publicity to deal with; we don’t need to put our own out there.

Note: I am a Century 21 agent.

Update 04-14-06: Hat tip to the original location of the commercial and to his rant about no hat tips.

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And this is my favorite part from Russel’s post:

Again, can someone tell me what the opposing point of view is to this freckled, angry, in-your-face, Mary-Louise-Parker-look-alike’s verbal assault? And the reveal of the “tag team” realtor on the speaker phone is just the icing on the cake! As if the wife’s badgering isn’t enough, Century 21 is happy to provide that extra bitchy female voice to force you into a home decision you’re clearly not comfortable with. Is it just me, or does this guy envision the 2nd job he’s gonna have to take to afford whatever “upgrade” this lady’s got her heart set on?

What he said.

Update 1 October 2012: The video linked above was removed, but I found it on Youtube.

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  1. Pingback: sellsius blog » Blog Archive » Century 21’s Great Commercial!

  2. jf.sellsius April 19, 2006 at 23:28

    We took the flip side and said the commercial was great (not effective) for promoting the C21 brand (although some say in a negative light). We hold to the credo that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
    Also, looking at the ad from the sellers’ point of view (few if any did) we saw the broker “Closing the deal” (see off camera happy sellers popping champagne cork).
    PS enjoy your blog

  3. julie May 4, 2006 at 23:14

    It is interesting to read the industry take on this ad. I will be frank – some aspects of real estate strike me as whoredom in a suit, especially when ads for real estate feature a picture of the agent rather than the house. What?! (squint & thrust out neck).

  4. Jim Duncan May 8, 2006 at 09:50

    Julie –

    I have to agree with you in that some aspects of the industry seem unsavory. However, I think that as the market turns, there will be fewer agents and a higher quality agent left – at least that is my hope.

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