The cover story of Time’s July 14 issue is a 39-page special report, “The Smarter Home.” Naturally, I had to read it.
Marketing experts offer homebuilder ad critique
In our first installment of the Professional Builder marketing critique, marketing and advertising experts weigh in on Charlotte, N.C.’s Simonini Builders Heydon Hall ad.
Charlotte-based Simonini Builders tries to allure buyers to Heydon Hall with a dream-like ad. Does it work? Marketing experts weigh in.
The first thing I noticed was the subtle composition of the photo, both its verticality and the prominence of the wrought iron gate in the foreground, reinforced by the copy and the fact that the home itself was in the background with the context in mid-ground.
The only thing I thought was missing was the director of sales' e-mail address.
The ad was clean with white space utilized through line spacing. Perhaps that could have been modified to be tighter and show a miniature map graphic.
I love the vertical image and its depth of field. You feel as if that gate is the entry to a very special property. I don't feel quite as enthusiastic about the text portion. I like the elegant font, but the ad feels a little text heavy. It's also a little small for really comfortable reading.
I liked the positioning at the bottom of the ad and the reference to both the home's award and the builder's. I also liked just having the phone number for the director of sales.
I thought the ad copy delivers all of the essentials needed to enlighten the curious and inquiring mind of a potential new-home buyer. I also felt the references to Stephen Fuller were terrific.
However, the news that Heydon Hall is "the New Release of Prime Homesites" gets lost at the top of the ad. The photo doesn't attract the proper attention because the cropping is a bit too narrow. The photo would have a greater impact if it were larger.
I would also highlight the Best in American Living Award and National Builder of The Year 2006 Award more prominently. Those honors demonstrate great credibility for a home builder.
The layout of the ad conveys the elegant image needed to properly position a property of this level. I don't feel the headline and copy achieve the same level of success as the layout and photo. They do a great job of romancing the buyer, but I believe they could also have been harder hitting and engaged the reader to a higher degree.
Did this ad grab the attention of its target and did it sell properly? I think the ad scores an 8 out of 10 for its layout, and a 5 out of 10 for its headline and copy execution.