#HomemadeHacks for Zillow: One 10-second video, 1.4 million views

Hey, did you know you can use a power drill to peel a potato? And did know you can use a video of a power drill peeling a potato to build advocacy and awareness for your brand?

That’s what we did for Zillow, when the company wanted to engage potential customers. We made that video, and dozens of other “homemade hacks” clips on everything from how to make a centerpiece to how to clean a barbecue. The one about making s’mores got 1.4 million views.


Images of our Zillow work


Founded in 2006, Seattle-based Zillow has become the leading online real estate and rental marketplace, and the company is no stranger to great content marketing. When Zillow began working with Yesler, they sought to engage audiences in a casual, friendly manner. They wanted content that would be inspiring, fun, and useful for viewers while building advocacy and awareness for Zillow as a creative and innovative brand.


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Zillow knew they wanted to use video, and with research showing lower-than-average viewing durations across several platforms and channels, the #HomemadeHack series was born. Yesler worked with Zillow to create a series of short, DIY-themed videos that showcased low-effort, high-impact, and creative ways for viewers to “hack” their appliances, furniture, recipes, in-home gatherings, and more, using everyday tools and materials they already own.

Yesler used stop-motion-style photography to frame each hack from unique angles and perspectives. The style created a cleaner, shorter, snappier, and delightful experience than time-lapse or standard video produced at a standard frame rate. In less than 10 seconds, viewers could learn how to throw a killer backyard barbecue, create a Thanksgiving centerpiece, or use a power drill to quickly peel potatoes for dinner.


#HomemadeHack videos are posted first to Zillow’s Facebook page, where they have received widespread praise and engagement from the company’s fans and advocates, an audience that continues to grow with every share, tag, comment, and like. Select videos are posted to Twitter, Instagram, or Vine to build cross-channel engagement and to test the short-form style on different social media channels. (Facebook continues to generate the most engagement.)


One hack in particular—a how-to on creating s’mores in your backyard—has received more than 1.4 million views, 10,000 likes, and 75,000 shares on Facebook since it was posted in November 2015. This makes it one of the most successful social posts in Zillow history!








Each post gives Zillow the opportunity to engage directly with their audience, whether responding to comments from new homeowners with a surprise offer, encouraging viewers to try the hacks for themselves, or offering extra tips and tricks to improve each posted hack. And the series remains one of Zillow’s highest-performing content marketing and social media activities to date.


Best use of visual social media in content marketing

2016 Content Marketing Awards


Best topic-specific video for a content marketing program

2016 Content Marketing Awards


Best short-form video series

2017 Content Marketing Awards