WHAT'S THAT WOMAN DOING STANDING UP IN A BOAT HOLDING a golf club? She's enticing readers of The New York Times, Golf, Newsweek, and other publications to inquire about the custom home sites and land-home packages at The Estates at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., of course. Launched in early 2003 in regional editions, a series of three elegant (if a bit off-center) black-and-white print ads sought to attract seasonal buyers along the Eastern seaboard to the custom section of the mixed-use project.
Following a successful umbrella campaign that increased sales for the development's modest offerings, the new approach targeted higher-end, active-adult buyers. “We redefined the message beyond a local and family-oriented audience [for the Estates],” says Alayna Kimball, vice president of marketing for Davidson Development. “Whenever you go with something as whimsical as this, it's a little nerve-wracking. But the response has been phenomenal.”
In less than a year, the campaign boosted traffic by 20 percent and actual sales by 230 percent compared with the previous year; as of March, 220 estate sales ranging from $500,000 to $2 million, evenly split among home sites and land-home packages using the project's preferred builder network, were on the books. Despite the esoteric approach, Kimball had faith in her agency's strategic and creative approach. “Having the research to back it up is vital, but you have to go with your instinct on the creative side,” she says. “We knew it would reach the target audience and make an impact. Even if it's scary, you have to go for it.”
CAMPAIGN DETAILS Program: Black-and-white print ads; Project: The Estates at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Fla.; Developer: Davidson Development, St. Augustine; Cost: $650,000 (media buy only); Marketing/Advertising agency: Cole Henderson Drake, Atlanta