Elizabeth Banks tries to make the term ‘not-you’ happen in series of videos for Realtor.com

Elizabeth Banks has been bringing her high-strung, quick-witted sense of humor to Realtor.com's campaigns for the past three years, and the site’s latest effort is no different: in a series of spots, the actress explains to new homeowners that the hordes of strangers following them around are simply “not-yous,” or people who failed to land their dream home because they didn’t use Realtor.com.

Six TV spots mark the launch of the brand’s latest campaign, ‘Own Home,’ which will also include a digital video series and social integrations. The campaign follows last year’s ‘Dream Home. Find Home. Own Home’ effort, which included quirky spots that featured Banks invading the dreams of prospective homebuyers.

The brand’s latest campaign is kicking off with a 60-second TV spot called ‘The not-yous’ that will air on channels including CBS, HGTV, Bravo and TBS. In the commercial, a man clad in jeans and a jean jacket is seen walking down a city street with a cup of coffee. Throughout the spot, the man becomes increasingly confused when he realizes that dozens of similarly dressed men - who are also holding coffee - are following him as he makes his way to his newly-purchased home. When he finally arrives at his new house, Banks greets him at the door before commenting on the many “not-yous” she sees standing outside. The ad ends with the message, “Find your dream home before not-you finds it.”

Other spots in the campaign, which was created by Pereira & O'Dell New York, feature the 30 Rock star explaining to new homeowners why they’re being followed around by “not-yous.” In one, Banks irritates an elevator full of women when she loudly whispers to her friend that they’re all just a bunch of “not-yous,” or people that wanted the condo that her friend was able to snag by using Realtor.com.

Andrew Strickman, head of creative at Realtor.com, said that the core insight behind this campaign is that “there are many people out there with the same imagined dream home as you, and you need the advantage of Realtor.com to actually find and own your dream home.”

“We want the concept of the not-yous to enter the cultural lexicon… because even when we talk about the not-yous related to homebuying, they are relevant in all walks of life,” he said, which could explain why the term “not-you” was not-so-coincidentally added to Urban Dictionary last month.

Strickman said that the brand’s campaigns over the last few years have largely focused on increasing overall awareness of the site and driving audience growth, but with its latest effort, the site is hoping to take things one step further by encouraging potential homebuyers to think of Realtor.com first when they begin their search. According to Strickman, traffic to realtor.com has increased more than 50% since the brand started working with Banks in early 2015.

“We now are focused on broadening our reach to compel consumers to think of Realtor.com first when they want to dream about, find or own a new home,” he said. “Strengthening that top-of-mind awareness, while increasing other funnel metrics are core to our objectives, and bringing Realtor.com further into the cultural zeitgeist will occur as more people hear about and latch on to the not-you concept.”

Since Realtor.com bills itself as “the most comprehensive source of for-sale real estate listings, updated every 15 minutes," executive creative director of Pereira & O’Dell Dave Arnold said that the agency wanted to create a campaign that would relay these brand attributes in a memorable way.

“The teams this year had a lot of great ideas that answered our brief to give meaning and reason to Realtor.com's core differentiator of more homes updated more often. But one idea this year really stood out - the idea that someone who isn't you also wants the home you want,” he said. “And since fear of missing out on your dream home is real, the idea of introducing a not-you was immediately funny when we explained it to people. We didn't need scripts for people to get it. All we had to say was ‘find your dream home before not-you finds it.'"

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Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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