Ads Aimed at Young Renters Highlight Pitfalls of Living with Parents

New ad campaign aims at young renters by showing pitfalls of moving back in with mom and dad.

"Date Night" ad spot

By Jessica Fiur, News Editor

New York—With the current economy, many young adults are forced to move back home, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. After all, there are exactly two positives for living with your parents as a young adult: free room and free board. As for the negatives, well, there are considerably a lot more, including (but certainly not limited to) lack of privacy, feeling like a teenager again (and not in the good I’m-young-and-invincible way; more like the screaming-whining-crying way—isn’t adolescence fun?) and embarrassment when telling others where you live. And is hoping to take advantage of this.

In an original TV ad campaign written and produced by production company Contagious LA, is trying to capture the young adult apartment market by featuring “cringe-worthy” situations.

“The two cringe-worthy moments highlighted deal with the overall theme of too-close-for-comfort living scenarios,” Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager of, tells MHN. “For example, the ‘Date Night’ spot shows a couple returning home after a date and getting hot and heavy in the living room until the lights come on to reveal the parents sitting on the other couch with horrified expression on their faces. The ‘Family Shower’ spot features a young man shaving in the bathroom while someone is showering behind him, only to be revealed that it’s his parents (who then hand him his razor).”

The ads, which, according to Kotula, run during popular shows such as Project Runway, Jersey Shore and Conan, are an important strategy for attracting new young renters.

“By playing up these unimaginable—and exaggerated—living situations, we hope to underscore the need to move out of your parents’ house and find your own apartment in a way that resonates with many young and first-time renters,” Kotula says.

"Family Shower" ad spot

Additionally, taking their message to television was also strategic.

“We believe the ads will be impactful,” Kotula explains. “Doing TV commercials for the first time allows us to enter a nearly untapped marketing medium in the rentals category.”

And, of course, the shock value of the commercials was no accident.

“We wanted to create a lasting impression on renters,” Kotula says. “Unlike other categories, renters are only in the market for an apartment once a year, which makes it even more critical to remind them of where they can go when they are ready to begin apartment hunting.”

But why go after young renters, a market that typically makes less income than older, more experienced people?

“This [market] is a sought-after audience for the multifamily industry,” Kotula says. “It’s critical to capture the attention of new renters entering the market, as they will probably be renting for many years to come.”