Bawdy Brokerage Solicits One-Night-Stand Stories

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While it's known some brokerages believe "sex sells," one New York firm's ribald ad campaign is taking the marketing tactic to new heights.

MNS, a Chelsea-based brokerage which rents and sells apartments to yuppies, hipsters and every young New York City archetype in between, recently launched a new ad campaign which invites potential customers to share stories of one-night-stands involving memorable apartments.

Ryan McCann, executive vice president of marketing at MNS explains the general, er, thrust of the initiative (which we first became aware of via Curbed).

"Most of the work is done before you get there [the apartment], but this is clearly: 'If you have a nice apartment, it's one less obstacle you have to overcome," reflects the thoughtful ad man.

Though obviously there's the risk of not measuring up to the apartment's standards, as illustrated by this comment on the share-your-hook-up discussion thread: "I ended up going to his apartment which was absolutely huge and spectacular ... the experience was less than stellar and let's just say ... the size of the apartment is not directly correlated with the.. [you get the idea]."

The ad campaign features the tagline "I don't remember his name. But his apartment..." next to images that suggest straight and gay sexual encounters. Some portray singles in bed, gazing with admiration -- presumably at a mesmerizing apartment interior.

MNS started the campaign by displaying the tagline in outdoor kiosks of theirs set up in Chelsea. But after passersby volunteered their stories -- sometimes even showing up at their nearby office to share date stories -- MNS decided to really run with the idea.

While the marketing has generated some buzz for the brokerage, not everyone is amused. Amy Siskind, co-founder of The New Agenda, a women's rights advocacy organization, argues that the ads objectify women and perpetuate dangerous stereotypes. She contends that the ads suggest that if a woman is inebriated "you get to have a free pass to have sex with her."

"[The ad campaign] is saying that she's a sex object and doesn't have the ability to think," said Siskind, who also blogs for The Huffington Post.

McCann says that his message resonates with the "flamboyant" community that his brokerage's office is located in. In fact, he's catering to that purported spirit.

"We have sort of gatherings every Wednesday at our retail space in Chelsea. It's basically a party," he said.

Also see:
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See more unusual housing stories at Unreal Estate.

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