Baird & Warner’s New Branding Campaign Launches Today

The new creative campaign for Baird & Warner, with headlines reading "Be Curious" "Put Down Some Roots" and "Open Up" paired with whimsical illustrations

The new creative campaign for Baird & Warner, with headlines reading "Be Curious" "Put Down Some Roots" and "Open Up" paired with whimsical illustrations

We’re excited to announce that today marks the launch of Baird & Warner’s new branding campaign, a culmination of Otherwise’s work with B&W over the past 18 months.

During a period when the real estate industry was beset with challenges, Otherwise was engaged by Baird & Warner, a dominant force in Chicagoland real estate, to conceive and design a print ad campaign that effectively informed buyers, sellers, brokers and the public of the power behind their successful, forward-thinking and fully functional website at

The campaign, oriented around the rally cry, “This should be fun,” was aimed at positioning B&W as the “voice of the consumer” in the marketplace (as opposed to “the voice of the broker”), was intended to give B&W greater presence in print advertising, and demonstrate support to beleaguered brokers.

The campaign was executed as planned throughout 2011. At the same time, we began to reflect on the state of market perception and broker morale, and determined that much more was needed to be done to make B&W look, feel and act like a leader. Recognizing that their brand voice had become lost in clutter, we asked ourselves, “How do we change the entire conversation around residential real estate by enabling Baird & Warner’s unique perspective to shine through?”

What has resulted is an expansive branding campaign that positions B&W as the “voice of the consumer” in the marketplace. By tapping into the authentic experience of home buying/selling as fun — especially when led through the process by B&W’s expert team — we are giving consumers (and B&W sales associates) permission to champion the positive dimensions of a process that has been most recently imbued with fear, doubt, risk and concern. At the same time, we have given the B&W brand a fresh, unexpected and progressive twist that is in direct opposition to current real estate advertising.

The anchor in the campaign is the tagline, “Life is more than just the home you live in — it’s the life you get out of it.” With that in place, our campaign came to life through the use of smart, humorous and arresting illustrations that we commissioned from the oh-so-talented team, The Heads of State. With a fresh palette and rich textures, the six illustrations feature a series of quirky little figures, each interacting with a larger-than-life ordinary object.  The illustrations are titled with “aspirational imperatives” — useful tips for all of us that position home buying/selling as a metaphor for living by a set of simple, sincere rules. These humble statements — “Be Curious.” “Reach Higher. “Put Down Some Roots.” “See the Possibilities.” “Open Up.” and “Stop. Look. Listen.” — speak to the heart of living a good life, and speak to the mindset of the Baird & Warner culture.

In anticipation of the campaign launch and press release, Steve Baird, CEO of B&W, announced:

“…[S]oon everyone will once again appreciate what it means to Be Curious, to See the Possibilities, to Open Up and Put Down Some Roots. And they will Stop, Look and Listen as they realize that, after more than 150 years, Baird & Warner is still the one real estate company that can help them Reach Higher in the search for that one home that’s just right for them.

This campaign is a game-changer for our company, our industry and our clients, and it reaffirms the fact that Baird & Warner’s legacy of integrity and innovation is only matched by our ability to stay fresh and relevant for the next 100 years.”

Starting today, evidence of the campaign will be visible everywhere throughout northeastern Illinois (and we’ve received some great press from ReelChicago for our work on the campaign!). Billboards and outdoor displays. Transit advertising. Print. Email marketing. Direct mail. And for an extra treat, take a look at the charming little spot we created with the help of Cerise Films to introduce the campaign.


Ji-Sook Yim is an Integrated Marketing Associate at Otherwise Incorporated.