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Zoopla’s Purple Plaque scheme

There is no shortage of property websites out there… so how to rise above all the noise they create and carve out a distinct brand personality? Especially if  tactics had to raise Zoopla’s appeal to agents, owners and house-hunters alike. Ultimately we had to portray the brand’s quick and witty style and make the site (famed for the rich data available for everything from individual homes’ sale histories to local schools’ performance and crime rates) the go-to place for anyone interested in property.

To highlight the depth of Zoopla’s expertise (and provide an extra hook for some of the properties listed on the site) we developed the Purple Plaque scheme – identifying and recognising properties across the country where a current celebrity spent their formative years.

For added news value, and to create differentiation the Blue Plaque scheme, celebrities didn’t have to be dead 20 years to qualify – and the homes honoured weren’t confined to grandiose country estates, instead recognising council flats, terraces, suburban semis and picturesque pads.

We launched with:

– The property in which David Cameron lived when he rose from relative obscurity to become Conservative leader

– The property where Lewis Hamilton lived when he was signed to McLaren aged just 13

– The property Gary Barlow rattled around in on his Take That hiatus

– The property where Liz Hurley juggled film, model, TV and charity work at the peak of her career

– The property where Chris Evans planned his career in broadcasting – before his car collection began

– The council flat where a young Rio Ferdinand grew up dreaming of a Premier League football career

This was bolstered by a survey of estate agents which revealed that celebrity association can significantly increase the desirability of a house and even add value to a property by as much as 5%.

Purple Plaques achieved 200 pieces of coverage across national print, broadcast and online media. Highlights included the Daily Mail, The Times, The Independent, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and three separate pieces in the Metro.

Not only did the campaign raise site traffic by 20% but within weeks of launch, 60 plaque requests had been submitted on the site, as well as suggestions for new celebrities and homes via the Purple Plaques page.

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