Lights, Camera, Action! Houlihan Lawrence Builds Brand through Video

Earlier this year, New York based broker Houlihan Lawrence came to us with a unique challenge. They wanted to do something big in 2010. Something ambitious. Something that would set their digital marketing apart from their competition.

Rising to the task

In close consultation with their executive team, we started by working through what makes their brand so special.

Here’s the bottom line: Houlihan Lawrence has been part of the fabric in Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam counties for over 120 years. Over those years, the company has helped hundreds of thousands of families buy and sell homes in this vibrant, historic and beautiful region.

Throughout our conversations, we kept noting the passion they shared – and the connectedness they demonstrated – whenever they spoke about the communities they served. The brand was rooted in this place.

We knew we had to show that off.

Together, we decided we would produce a series of video documentaries for that would show website visitors that there were more than just listings and homes for sale in these counties. And that the company represented more than just property – they represented, and cared about, the places and people surrounding them.

And, to that end, we knew this production had to be special. It had to go beyond the factual and capture the spirit of the communities. So, we decided that it would be the voices of the families and the residents of those communities that would speak to the viewer.

A daunting task

The production required marshaling the help of dozens of Houlihan Lawrence’s branch offices, managers and agents. With their assistance, we assembled a cast of hundreds who sat down to share their experiences in front of a camera.

City mayors, town historians, small business owners, school principals and many others became integral characters in the telling each town’s story – in their own words.

Over a ten-day period in July, we shot more than 500 hours of interviews and over 400 hours of community footage. We then assembled it into a series of 34 community videos.

Here are a couple of our favorites:

New York City’s Backyard


Recorded in gorgeous high-definition, these 2-minute videos now live on Houlihan Lawrence’s website. You can watch all the videos at

Visitors to now get a vivid look into what it’s like to actually live in each of these communities.

And Houlihan Lawrence is building on a century’s worth of equity in its brand in a manner suited to today.

A big thanks to Chris, Amy and Gay for helping make this vision a reality.

Update: wrote a post about this project – Houlihan Lawrence Changes the Way We Find a Home