In 2006, I did a one-year homebuyer ad campaign in The Onion’s San Francisco edition with a realtor partner. I was one of San Francisco’s top mortgage lenders at the time, and used The Onion to build brand in a cool way. We did this ad for Halloween.
My compliance team looked like they saw a ghost when I brought it to them for approval. They tried to kill it, but I kept coming relentless like a zombie.
Because it doesn’t violate any ad regs. It doesn’t make promises of credit. It’s just a branding play.
They didn’t know I was a former big bank marketing exec with a long resume of financial ad compliance. I had been with that mortgage bank for 3 years at the time, and this Halloween ad was the first time I had to play my former experience card to get it approved.
I brought this homebuyer ad back from the dead today in honor of Halloween. It made me laugh as much now as it did then. So I’m sharing it today to celebrate my favorite holiday.
Fun fact about the name on the tombstone:
Ian Walter is a writing pseudonym I used way back. Ian is the last 3 letters of my name. Walter is after funk keyboardist Robert Walter (those who follow the site know Friday Funk is an institution). And D is Dante, my actual middle name.