- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 29, 2004

House.com has put a political twist on its new ad campaign. The Web site, which connects consumers with real estate agents, will be circling major cities on the East Coast — including the District — with ads featuring Sen. John Kerry.

The ads, which will appear on trucks, show a picture of the Democratic presidential nominee and the White House with the tag line: “He’s looking for a new House. … How about you?”

“While House.com is clearly a bipartisan company, we offer up this outdoor advertising campaign to provide some lighthearted fun as the political season heats up,” said Dan Parisi, president of House.com.

The 12-foot-high by 22-foot-long trucks, with ads on both sides, will run this week in New York and will be addedin the District after Labor Day, Mr. Parisi said. The ads also will run in other major cities such as Boston and Philadelphia. The trucks will ride up and down main streets for at least a week in each market.

The ads, created in house, are targeting anyone who wants to buy or sell a house within the next three or four months, Mr. Parisi said. Washington is one of House.com’s top markets.

Mr. Parisi is also the owner of the pornographic Web site Whitehouse.com, which he has been trying to sell since February.

Despite offers, Mr. Parisi says, he does not want to sell the site, which attracts more than 2 million visitors a month, to just anyone and no longer wants it to contain adult content. If he does not get a legitimate offer soon, Mr. Parisi says, he will turn Whitehouse.com into a real estate site, merging it with House.com.

From MTV to RNC

TV T-shirts — one of the latest marketing gimmicks — are making their way from the MTV Video Music Awards to the Republican National Convention in New York.

The 5.5-pound T-shirts embedded with an 11-inch flat screen and surround-sound system are from San Francisco’s Brand Marketers and the brainchild of Adam Hollander, a Bethesda native and creative director at the firm.

The T-shirts received a star-studded welcome over the weekend in Miami thanks to Def Jam Records. Officials at the hip-hop music label used the tech-savvy marketing gizmos to promote LL Cool J’snew album in the days leading up to last night’s annual MTV Video Music Awards.

Beginning Friday, 15 women sporting black TV T-shirts that played LL Cool J’s videos showed up in Miami at places such as Miami International Airport and parties hosted by celebrities.

The TV T-shirt concept now has made its way up the East Coast.

Five persons, called “brand ambassadors,” will be sporting the special T-shirts for MSNBC beginning tonight in New York.

The black T-shirts, with the network’s signature peacock on the back and “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on the sleeve, will promote “unconventional convention coverage on MSNBC.” The screens will play a “best of MSNBC” video and will include breaking news, if needed, Mr. Hollander said.

In addition, each brand ambassador will be paired with a partner who will hand out MSNBC merchandise.

The T-shirts can be seen from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. each of the four days of the convention near Madison Square Garden.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.


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