3CMA past board president Terry Birshirjian (from left), Homewood public relations and marketing manager Rachael Jones, and 3CMA executive director Dick Lillquist. | Supplied photo
Updated: December 7, 2013 6:02AM
Homewood is having a very good year when it comes to making impressions nationally.
In the wake of being listed No. 3 in the country by CNN Money Magazine among Best Place to Live Where Homes Are Affordable, the village earned two first-place awards for marketing campaigns in the City-County Communications and Marketing Association’s 2013 Savvy Awards competition.
“You’re in the Right Place” is a marketing campaign designed to promote the village to prospective homebuyers, businesses and others. It was created by Homewood’s public relations and marketing manager, Rachael Jones.
“Zombie Paradise,” the social media component of the campaign, showcases the diversity of the community and how welcoming everyone is in Homewood.
Each won in the Communication & Marketing Tools/Digital Interactive/Social Media category.
“We won against communities with millions of dollars to spend,” Jones said. “It’s just such a great story for the Southland, where the budgets are much smaller.”
Jones said Homewood, a village of 19,000, beat out towns with much larger populations while doing “everything in-house.
“The smallest community after Homewood was 250,000 people,” Jones said. “That’s what floored me.”
Homewood resident Jesse Deyo was among the local talent enlisted by Jones during the campaign.
Deyo, a musical composer for television and advertisements, directed the three 60-second “Zombie Paradise” videos and created the musical score for all of them.
“He really made it cutting edge,” Jones said.
But Deyo went to amateurs for the acting, using residents rather than professional actors.
“I think from the time we were concepting, we wanted it to be a project with community buy-in,” Deyo said. “The nontraditional marketing angles sounded like an opportunity to have fun.”
Kate Duff, 46, not only had fun playing the role of a living Homewood resident on a picnic in “Zombie Paradise,” she appreciated being part of something different.
“I’m thrilled they’re not afraid to try new, quirky ideas,” Duff said. “Everybody in the community gets to be a part of this campaign, so it gives us a chance to showcase the town we all love.”
Duff, manager of Homewood’s farmers market and co-owner of Homewood Kitchen Gardens, returned to Homewood in 2005 after living elsewhere for seven years. She said she’s glad to be back.
“I love Homewood because it has that small-town feel,” Duff said.
Duff’s personal homebuying experience may be proof that Homewood is indeed an “affordable place to live.”
“We bought close to the peak in the market ... and the prices in Homewood completely beat out anything in the western suburbs,” Duff said.
Jones said it’s no accident that the village continues to draw young families while keeping longtime residents. The same tactics used to build a village over the past 100 years helped to build an award-winning marketing campaign, she said.
“The success of the campaign was being able to ID your target audience and know the framework of your community and put them together,” Jones said. “It’s a perfect pairing.”