The biggest creative challenge faced when marketing a property development is clearly differentiating it from its nearest competitors. So, imagine how much more challenging it is when your client is in fact competing with itself.
This was the case in point when CDL began selling off a massive land parcel in Pasir Ris in five separate stages. We had barely finished marketing Livia, their first project in the area, when we were tasked with launching its immediate neighbor.
Our concept was inspired by this particular development’s elegantly understated architecture which subtly echoed Miami Modernist Architecture (MiMo) and its well planned communal facilities which included a series linear pools and a boardwalk that had an almost catwalk feel to it.
To our minds, although this project was marketed to HDB upgraders, it imbued an undeniable sense of glamour and sophistication. We felt the best way to portray this would be to showcase the project as a place where residents would feel like movie stars.
And so we developed a TV commercial that showcased a family’s glamorous lifestyle in this condominium and a series of print ads that were designed like movie posters.
This movie star concept extended into the brochure we designed with playful elements including a plastic band designed to look like a strip of film and copywriting that played up this celebrity theme.
The concept was also extended throughout the showflat and sales gallery design and even on feeder busses from the nearest MRT station.
And then of course, the name. With its elegantly styling – but affordable pricing – this project represented a new standard for upgrader condominiums in Singapore. A New Vogue for living if you will. We shortened this statement down to just two letters and very simple but memorable name: NV Residences.
The brief for Senior Citizen’s Week 2002 was simple. Educate both the general population and older members of society that senior citizens have much to contribute to society.
Obviously nobody can really do very much about getting older. Plastic surgery can only take you so far – just ask Mickey Rourke. But over and above all the other challenges of getting on in years – failing senses, joints wearing out and so on, perhaps the biggest challenge of all is a mental one. The thought that being old also means being obsolete.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. With age comes experience. You learn how to deal with all the challenges that life can throw at you simply because you’ve lived through them. And that gives you the kind of perspective and, yes, wisdom, that is an invaluable resource for younger, less experienced generations.
So, with these TV commercials I refused to refer to these people as been ‘old’ or indeed as ‘senior citizens’. Instead I positioned them as people with more experience in life. This approach led to a very nice tagline that had an elegant double meaning:
Share The Experience Of A LIfetime.
What’s the best way to sell high tech digital services? Go old school analog.
That’s what I decided to do when Challenger asked me to develop a TV commercial to sell their automatic warranty service for all computer purchases.
And, because we were dealing directly with Mr. Loo, the CEO and a true-blue entrepreneur who didn’t mind taking calculated risks, the approval process was instantaneous and the whole project took less than 2 weeks to execute from concept to final delivery.
The production of this commercial was enormous fun: shooting on 35mm film stock, desaturating and adding noise and scratches during colour grading, jump cut editing and getting the composer to play his piano really badly. The budget was so low I had to pull in favours everywhere and even direct the thing myself.
But it was the talent who really made this commercial work. A Chinese Charlie Chaplin. Who would have imagined such a thing?