A long Denver's competitive 104th Avenue corridor, the five builders at Reunion wanted to distinguish the extent of their master plan's amenities among a sea of subdivisions. But instead of matching the deep price discounts offered by competitors to spur sales, Reunion developer Shea Homes Colorado (a division of Walnut, Calif.–based Shea Homes) chose to step back from the fray and boost overall market awareness for the 3,200-acre, 12,000-unit community.

“We wanted to expose Reunion to a prospect base outside of potential buyers,” says Dave Miles, president of Milesbrand, the agency charged with the effort. “We were looking to increase traffic overall, not necessarily among qualified buyers.”

To draw folks in, Miles and his clients devised a giveaway program of weekly prizes and a grand-prize package of a family reunion for 50 at the project's central park, which included $10,000 in airline vouchers. Reunion's builders partnered with brand-name suppliers to underwrite the weekly prizes, ranging from a closet storage system to gift cards, during the 10-week campaign.

The rules were easy: Visit the sales center during open hours, drop a card with your name and contact information into a box, and wait for the call if you won. “We didn't ask for any qualifying information,” says Miles. “We just wanted as many folks to participate as possible.” With a radio blitz and some newspaper ads supporting the idea, builders at Reunion saw their best traffic and sales of any July since the project opened in 2002, proving the value of simple, word-of-mouth motivation.

CAMPAIGN DETAILS Program: Family Reunion at Reunion, Commerce City, Colo.; Developer: Shea Homes Colorado, Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Cost: $54,000; Ad agency: Milesbrand, Denver

COME TOGETHER: Motivated by radio and newspaper ads (the latter fanned along the back of the photo), people interested in Reunion's giveaways—if not a home in the community—simply had to fill out a card and drop it in a box at the sales center to enter the weekly and grand-prize drawings.
COME TOGETHER: Motivated by radio and newspaper ads (the latter fanned along the back of the photo), people interested in Reunion's giveaways—if not a home in the community—simply had to fill out a card and drop it in a box at the sales center to enter the weekly and grand-prize drawings.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Denver, CO.