Blue Ivy, football and getting creative with real estate media

When Beyonce and Jay-Z released the first photos of their baby girl on a Tumblr blog earlier this year, it became official: Tumblr is the new “it” place on the web.

A brilliant PR move on their part. Own the media. Own the message and the story. Classy.

The power couple latched on to ideas that are catching on with brands everywhere: Tell your story through great content that you create and control. Speak directly to your fans/customers about things they care about.

Enter Adidas, the first brand to use Tumblr in a whole new way – as a content and advertising platform. Adidas last week kicked off a new soccer Tumblr in time for the 2012 UEFA European Championship.

The idea is to create original content that focuses on the players and game coverage that will live on the Adidas Football blog. As an ad partner, Tumblr will feature content from the blog in its “Radar” spot during the campaign. The “Radar” spot is a post that appears in a user’s dashboard that Tumblr is now selling as an ad unit.

Boom. Now that’s a reason to connect with a brand every day.

Tumblr announced its plans for paid advertising a few months ago, clearly taking a creative approach and a right hook targeted squarely at the lifeless Google text ads and standard banners that currently fill the web.

It’s time to think outside that box.

We’re entering a renaissance-like era of creative advertising. Perhaps sparked by our nostalgic love of Mad Men, where smoke is thick, women are objects and everyone is at least half drunk half the time … but damn the ads are good. The story is king.

Flashy graphics, licensed pop songs and stars and athletes have drowned out the creativity in ad campaigns over the last 20 years. What Adidas, Tumblr and others are realizing is that those things don’t truly connect a brand to its community.

It’s the content, stupid. It’s the story.

The Adidas Football Tumblr isn’t a big commercial that’s overproduced with an obvious message to buy. It’s simple content made for football fans who like to follow players and the game.

Is there a place for real estate in this new landscape? Of course. Neighborhoods, communities and lifestyles are hubs that are full of content people care about. It’s a matter of hooking them in.

And it doesn’t even have to be serious. One can imagine a Realtor coming up with a humorous Tumblr with a local play like the latest to circulate my desk: WhilstInSF.

There’s potential in here for national brands as well. Coldwell Banker appears to be on it and heading in the right direction. Its Tumblr is up and running, and focuses on interesting homes and landmarks. I’d like to see more.

Other than Coldwell, no other national brand is touching this opportunity right now.