Winner: CENTURY 21 Breaks Bad
After five years, millions of viewers and a copious amount of blue crystal meth, AMC announced that Walter White and Jesse Pinkman would be hanging up their aprons and gas masks in September 2013.
Throughout the series, one “character” remained in the spotlight and served as a point of contention until the very end – the White family home. Walt and Skyler’s residence on Negra Arroyo Lane served as a metaphor for the White family and their relationships as they dealt with cancer, welcomed a new child, stashed cash and, ultimately, fell apart.
The final episode presented the perfect opportunity for CENTURY 21 to weigh in and pay tribute. So, with little-to-no budget and less than a week to execute upon selling the idea, Mullen and the brand worked quickly to put a plan in motion to list the infamous residence.
Mullen posted the home to Craigslist the morning of the show’s finale, September 29, allowing consumers to organically find and react to the post, and launched the Google voicemail number. The team worked with Parekh on a story for Ad Age, including interviews with Mullen and Century 21 representatives, which hit on the night of the finale.
At 3 p.m. on the day of the finale, Mullen began tweeting a link to the Craigslist post to the show’s stars, influencers and media from the Century 21 handle hours in advance of the finale. Mullen reached out to key media outlets with the Craigslist post as the Ad Age story broke. Holed up in their office like Walter White in his RV, Mullen live-tweeted the finale from the CENTURY 21 perspective with prewritten content and more real-time reactions to the episode.
On a minimal investment, this effort reached tens of millions of people and was covered extensively by major mainstream media outlets. Without running any paid traditional media, Century 21 dominated the marketing news around the finale, even making several "Best of 2013" lists in the advertising trades.
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