Homewood marketing to millennial home buyers

  One of three panels marketing Homewood that will
  be displayed on CTA blue and pink lines during April
  and again starting in August.
(Provided image)
 
Homewood is asking millennial home buyers to “Think Homewood” in a marketing campaign that will begin again later this month.
 
The campaign will center on a series of animated ads designed to look like puzzle pieces coming together over slogans exalting the benefits of moving to Homewood. The ads will be shareable over social media.
 
Advertising on CTA trains begins March 25 and will continue throughout April. A second fall run is expected to start in August. The ads will focus on the blue and pink lines with an intention to reach residents in Chicago's Wicker Park, Logan Square, Pilsen and Bridgeport neighborhoods.
 
Homewood Marketing Director Jennifer Quirke explained the campaign to the village board at its March 12 meeting.
 
The biggest target of the ads will be millennials looking at moving from Chicago to the suburbs. Millenials make up about 29 percent of the population, Quirke said, about 36 percent of home buyers and 65 percent of first-time home buyers. She cited the Pew Research Center and census data.
 
“Within the millennial set, what we’ve come to find out is that millennials are not just one type of individual and they don’t like to be kind of shoe-horned into one stereotype,” Quirke said. 
 
Millennials are usually defined as people born from about 1980 through the early 1990s. Quirke said the ads specifically aim at young families and mothers who are reluctant to leave the city.
 
“I moved to Homewood 14 years ago,” Quirke said. “I considered myself a hipster. I probably wasn’t. I considered myself one and it pained me to move outside of the city. I really thought that I might lose a sense of my identity.”

Quirks said the village conducted focus groups, and that sentiment resonated with some.
 
The campaign will highlight Homewood’s schools, walkable downtown, free community events and local businesses and attractions. 
 
The village used a similar campaign a year ago with a series of comic strip-themed ads and the website thinkhomewood.com, which Quirke said saw over 8,000 page views. The official village website also saw a 20 percent increase in traffic during the campaign, she said.
 
The “snark” in those 2018 comic strips is something that will remain. One of the new ads asks: “Puzzling over how not to die a little bit inside by moving to the suburbs?” and answers “The pieces come together in Homewood.” 
 
“We’ve learned a couple things from the previous campaign, a little bit of what not to do and a little bit of what to do,” Quirke told the board. “It was kind of surprising to hear how truthfully great (the tone of the comic strips) was and how it hit. So, we kept with it.”
 
Last year’s project also included a baseball-themed component aimed at developers. This year will focus only on home buyers, Quirke said.
 
The budget for the 2019 project is $10,000, Quirke said. Mayor Richard Hofeld said last year’s campaign was budgeted for $20,000 but garnered, by his estimate, about $200,000 in publicity.
 

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