CREA sings a song about regret

The association's latest effort to get Canadians to work with a realtor focuses on some more realistic consequences.
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Tattoos are probably the most common purchases people regret, but the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is reminding consumers that regret can apply to home ownership as well.

The association representing Canada’s realtors has created a campaign called “Total Regret in my Heart,” which spotlights the various indignities home buyers can experience if they don’t consult with a licensed realtor. The spots show obstructed views, construction noise and bug breeding grounds, while actors sing the campaign’s reworking of the 80s hit, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

“Total Regret in my Heart” builds on previous CREA campaigns over the years spotlighting the regrets people have when they buy a home without a realtor, featuring people letting out a long, pained “ooh” when meeting someone who is facing the consequences they didn’t see coming.  It launched a refresh in 2016 that drove consumers to a landing page featuring testimonials from actual home buyers.

Randall McCauley, CREA’s executive VP, reputation, says its ads are slightly exaggerated, but “it’s to illustrate a larger truth,” pointing to “close condos” seen in its latest as an issue pertinent to residents of Toronto and Vancouver, whose units may be built a little too close for comfort. McCauley adds that in contrast to previous work, these new scenarios “are very real in some respect.”

“These kinds of complaints are what our members hear all the time,” he says. “If you go on Realtor.ca, there are testimonials from real consumers who tried to go it alone, and have been massively unsuccessful” missing out on realtor advice from trained professionals, he says.

McCauley says the challenge in the industry is that much of the advertising “is not very interesting,” with mere pictures of an agent or a laundry list of awards. But he says what matters to consumers, especially with skyrocketing prices across the country, is a professional with their best interests at heart. Talking to a professional is important in anything in life, he says, especially for a purchase of this magnitude.

The campaign launched March 18 on television, with online pre-roll spots. It will run until early summer, and then back for the fall market after a summer hiatus. Media buying and planning was also handled by Union.