Fake real estate agents are apparently all the rage in the marketing of new TV shows this fall.
Last week, ABC confirmed that it was planning a "Cougar Town" ad campaign featuring mock ads for Jules Cobb, the real estate agent played by Courteney Cox in the show. The network plans to put the ads on bus shelters and grocery carts.
Now comes word that the CW has launched MelrosePlaceApts.com, a website built around Mickey Richards, a fictional real estate agent created by the CW’s marketing team to help hype the new "Melrose Place" via online webisodes.
Richards (Max Greenfield) proved to be so popular, "Melrose" producers decided to put him in at least one episode of the TV show.
As for MelrosePlaceApts.com, the site features elaborate video of Richards showing off a vacant apartment at 4616 Melrose Place, raving about the awesome pool ("we’ve got the chlorine bill to prove it") and the "killer kitchen" in the open unit.
Visitors can also take a 360 degree tour of the Melrose apartments using a tool found on most apartment-hunting websites.
In addition, there’s a humorous leasing application that asks potential tenants questions such as why they left their most recent residence ("faked death," "thrown out for cheating") and whether they’ll agree not to come back as a ghost if murdered.
Like ABC, the CW is planning to pimp Mickey Richards via bus shelter ads and wild postings of fliers featuring tear-off strips that direct potential "tenants" to MelrosePlaceApts.com.
All of this raises the possibility that residents in cities such as Los Angeles could soon find themselves staring at ads for two different fake real estate agents.
The mind boggles.