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Brand Strategy Marketing Millennials

Invitation Homes pitches home leasing to millennials with help of Pumpkin the macaw


By Webb Wright, NY Reporter

March 7, 2022 | 3 min read

Millennials understandably feel some anxiety about buying a house. That’s why Invitation Homes is lightening the mood, with the help of an exotic celebrity bird, by positioning its home-leasing services as a less stressful alternative.


Pumpkin the macaw features in a new ad for Invitation Homes

Millennials are notorious for many things, including their anxiety around the prospect of home ownership. After coming of age during the 2008 housing market crash, many millennials seem to prefer short-term, flexible living arrangements over long-term commitment. One recent survey, for example, found that more than half of millennial respondents ‘feel stressed or anxious about home ownership, with more than 40% fearing a potential housing market crash.’

Invitation Homes, which provides home-leasing services, clearly recognized an opportunity in that generational anxiety. A new campaign pokes fun at millennial’s twin fears of commitment and debt (“your idea of commitment is a plant”) while positioning their services as a viable alternative to the nerve-wracking prospect of making a down payment and taking out a mortgage on a home.

"Leveraging this campaign will enable us to raise awareness to Invitation Homes as the premier home leasing company which enables a worry-free leasing lifestyle for our residents," says Philip Yi, senior vice president of marketing at Invitation Homes. "With a deep understanding of our target audience, the campaign appeals to millennials who want the space and flexibility of leasing a single-family home with the unique ease that our professional management and proprietary lifestyle services...[are able to] offer."

Gwen Stefani and Ed Sheeran do not star in the new campaign, but it does feature Pumpkin the macaw, who has appeared in music videos alongside both of those pop stars. The parrot makes a quick cameo in the new TV spot, perched upon a woman’s shoulder, enabling the brand to highlight the fact that they can help customers find pet-friendly homes.

The company partnered with marketing agency Known for the new campaign, which includes a suite of TV and radio spots. “Invitation Homes makes it possible for millennials to achieve a home of their own, at a time when they need it most and in their own way,” says Ross Martin, president of Known. “We’re excited to leverage Known’s insights and creative to raise awareness, change public perception around home leasing and amplify the Invitation Homes message. Also, this represents our first time working with Pumpkin the macaw, who is a colorful character, to say the least.”

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