- Online real estate marketplace Zillow teamed with media company Attn: on "Finding Home in America," an original docu-series covering housing issues, according to news shared with Marketing Dive.
- The six-part effort is hosted by Carri Twigg, who worked in the Obama administration, and incorporates footage, interviews and original animation. Each episode examines a specific housing challenge through the perspective of real people and will be available for streaming on Facebook Watch, with shorter versions on Instagram.
- The first episode, available now, explores the issue of LGBTQ housing discrimination. Following episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays and touch on topics including housing for veterans, domestic violence survivors, Section 8 housing, children aging out of the foster system and the impact of rising sea levels on housing in Miami.
With "Finding Home in America," Zillow is striving to raise awareness about the housing crises that many Americans face, including discrimination and lack of affordable options, and highlighting the people who are working to make a difference. The brand is tapping into a timely cause to connect with younger demographics, who tend to be more socially conscious, spend more time on social and digital platforms, and are also the largest cohort of homebuyers.
"Finding Home in America" will air on Attn:'s Facebook Watch channel, and comes as Facebook continues to boost the on-demand video platform following early struggles to gain traction with marketers and viewers. Facebook is reportedly putting more money into original content for Watch in an effort to make it a destination for users and advertisers as it maxes out the ad inventory on its core News Feed.
More marketers are experimenting with digital video content that incorporates high production values and a narrative-driven approach, as the format is one of the most preferred among millennials. The docu-series format is particularly popular, especially for brands aiming for a purpose-driven approach. Somewhat similar to Zillow's new series, Procter & Gamble recently announced a partnership with National Geographic on a documentary series called "Activate" that focuses on different issues connected to extreme poverty.
Consumers are growing to expect that the brands they support take a public stance on social and political issues, and 64% will purchase from or boycott a brand because of these positions, according to the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study. Consumers also see brands as having more power to find solutions for some of society's biggest problems.
Zillow has continued to lean into emotionally-driven storytelling in its marketing, which has proved a successful strategy in the past. The brand's recent "Time Capsule" campaign was rated highly among viewers for its storytelling elements, according to an Ace Metrix analysis. The ad shows a man using Zillow to track his former childhood home, purchasing it and moving in with his family, where they dig up a time capsule he buried with his dad.