‘Creativity is a business advantage’: Opendoor CMO dishes on risky Super Bowl ad plan to sell a house on live TV

Digital realty company Opendoor plans to sell a house live during its Super Bowl ad slots on Sunday. It’s an ambitious campaign that required the help of Mischief, the creative agency behind last year’s viral Tubi Super Bowl ad. Sunday’s ads consist of two 30-second spots, one teasing a house listing on Opendoor’s site and the other showing the results of the sale—live.

“It’s the first time anyone will be selling their house live in a [Super Bowl] commercial,” said Opendoor CMO David Corns. “That’s a huge emotional and financial decision.”

“Creativity is a business advantage,” Corns said. “Creativity really does drive business results.” Corns believes the ad’s distinctiveness will leave a lasting impression. “I always think it’s important as a marketer to understand what everyone else is doing so you can make sure you don’t fall into the trap of doing it too.”

Opendoor’s campaign borrows from what works well for creator campaigns on social media, replicated for TV.

  • Authenticity: Opendoor is really selling the house.
  • Product demonstration: Opendoor is using its product.
  • Simple production: In reality, there is nothing simple about producing a live Super Bowl ad. But from a viewer perspective, the ad will cut through the noise with its toned-down feel.

The campaign’s strength is “finding a way to cut through the noise, not by being louder, but by going [in] the other direction” by being simple and straightforward, said Kevin Mulroy, partner and executive creative director at Mischief.

The live ad is a risk for Opendoor because there’s a chance the house doesn’t sell, but it’s still worth taking, said Corns. To pull off this brand act, Corns said it was imperative to work with a talented team and solid tech.

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