Lexington Builders Put ‘Buy Now’ Message on Television
With its payroll employment on an upswing, unemployment down, home prices rising 3% over the past year and Bloomberg.com describing the area as “a true housing bargain,” Lexington, Ky. nevertheless has seen negative reporting on its housing market, prompting the Home Builders Association of Lexington (HBAL) to fight back on the media’s own turf.
“There’s no doubt our market had slowed, like everywhere else, but in no way should the papers have been comparing Lexington to other markets around the country that are experiencing a significant downturn,” said Todd Johnson, the association’s executive vice president.
The Lexington HBA worked with a prominent local advertising agency that was able to negotiate favorable rates for television spots because it buys a large amount of advertising from the local media. This enabled the association to run a cooperative television campaign throughout central Kentucky with the participation of its members.
The advertising contained “buy now” messages and directed viewers to factual information on the local housing market as a counterpoint to the negative national statistics that were providing the focus of local stories.
Packages of 30-second television spots running 40 times a month were created and offered to the association’s builder and associate members. Each spot ended with 10 seconds for the HBA’s “buy now” message and Web site address.
“It’s been a win-win for everyone,” said Johnson. “Not only are we getting positive messages out to buyers, but it’s a valuable benefit of membership because our members wouldn’t be able to buy ads this economically on their own.”
Nearly 30,000 commercials have aired since the association started the co-op program in early 2007.
The local Realtors® association even purchased a number of the discounted television spot packages. “As an associate member, they were eligible to take advantage of the co-op program,” said Johnson. “And we worked with them to develop joint advertising that promotes working with professional builders and Realtors® within the industry.”
The association also worked with builders to purchase tabloid inserts in the local newspaper. The inserts highlighted members and communities, and delivered the message that throughout central Kentucky there are exceptional neighborhoods with desirable homes.
Johnson said that the promotional resources NAHB was providing to its members and affiliated HBAs came in handy as the association developed campaign themes and consumer content for its Wb site.
“The ‘it’s a good time to buy’ theme was from the NAHB toolkit, and we used the Myth Buster articles under our president’s signature,” he said.
Johnson added that the association’s members love the campaign, and they appreciate the proactive approach that their local association is taking.
A member recently made Johnson’s day when he told him, “I can’t imagine how bad it would be if we didn’t have such an active HBA.”
Go to www.nahb.org/mythbuster to access the continuously-updated resources and read more Myth Buster success stories about locals around the country.
For more information, e-mail Gwyn Donohue at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8447.