Astoria on TenthHow was a luxury condominium tower stalled at 40% sales able to increase its performance to 70% sales within three months in a recession economy and win national acclaim?
After initial pre-sales had plateaued for eight months at approximately 30-40 percent of the building with little to no remaining foot traffic to its sales centre, Commotion was engaged to re-position, re-brand, and enhance the value and selling price of this luxury condo tower in Calgary’s west beltline district.Astoria on Tenth was to be a landmark tower with classic New York architectural style. At 35 stories, it was the tallest in the district.
The team was given three months to turn the brand around, before the official Re-launch Event.
After a thorough investigation of the product, competition, existing communications, and market, Commotion recommended re-positioning the current product offering and brand experience.In 2007, the marketplace was saturated after a glut of highrise urban condo towers had flooded the market. It was no longer competitive to be a generic, vaguely modern tower with similar floorplans, with little or no points of differentiation, nor advertise that way.
If Astoria was to cut through the clutter — and fast — it needed to occupy and lead in a brand new category of premium condo tower — then find ways to re-introduce itself and re-communicate its leadership and claims to “only-ness” — including its premium location, features, and more definitive style.
Commotion recommended greater specificity in its luxury Art Deco brand and a greater commitment to the elegant “Old World Hotel” concept, targeting a smaller but more elite and specific clientele in want of a glamorous, prestigious downtown living experience.
At once, the project refined its name to Astoria on Tenth Grand Tower Residences, to project its new status. The existing logo was re-designed to a more regal presentation, with an iconic silver Griffin, inspired by logos from old hotel pageantry.
The sales centre and show suite were transformed into a romantic glittering 1930s experience, yet with the modern conveniences of touchscreens for visitors to see floorplans, views from different floors, and interior decor packages. Advertising, motion graphics, an award winning website, a commercial that aired during the Academy Awards, and site signage and brochures featured stunning black and white classic images of a bygone era, as well as vivid story-driven and dramatic 3D animations.
It would not be enough, nor effective, to simply change the look of the marketing but make no changes to the product or concept itself. The brand message had to deliver on the promise, if Astoria was to be elevated into a new class of project with an increased price tag. Astoria would have to “earn” that increased value.
To accommodate a higher net worth buyer, two new floorplan designs were advised, adding to the existing 10, the largest of which was only 1100 sq ft. Two new 3-bedroom designs were created and located on the uppermost floors below the grand Penthouse Suites, a band of floors packaged as the “Platinum Level.” Going against the trends (only 3% of condo towers had more than two bedrooms), this put Astoria into a rarified class of downtown building — one of the only with a 3-bedroom option. This would go on to prove one of the most successful adjustments made.
With 1930s New York as the central theme, the lobby plan was re-designed into an opulent show-stopper, inspired by the Waldorf Astoria itself. The 4th Floor “Activity Room” was remodeled into a swank hotel-style “Owners’ Lounge” with winebar and private wine storage, and a one-of-a-kind luxury large screen Cinema room would treat residents to a new level of home entertainment.
Finally, added to the three interior decor packages was a fourth package, that promised to be the most luxurious in Calgary, inspired by the million dollar finishings being appointed in the Penthouses.
All of these “firsts,” and “onlys” became strategic news, and issued as press releases to garner coverage, buzz, and increase interest and reputation. They were also staggered such that a new story or fact could be released every month or quarter, as an e-newsletter to the database of prospects who had registered online and/or to the media.
The Re-launch Red Carpet Event in March 2008 was a packed-house success, procuring media coverage and 35 sales by the end of the first week, making it the “launch of the Spring,” according to local newspapers.Within three months of the re-launch, sales grew from 40% to 70% in a recession economy.
In June 2008, Commotion managed Astoria’s launch of its two grand Penthouse suites, the most expensive condo properties ever offered in Alberta. A press day for interviews, gorgeous 3D animation footage, and media relations resulted in the story being covered locally and nationally on broadcast, print, and online media, valued at almost $1-million worth of exposure.
The work won “Marketing Campaign of the Year” at the SAM Awards in Calgary as well as National “Campaign of the Year” in 2009.
“Astoria on 10th…has been re-designed, and so far, it has been met with success. The second phase of the 35-storey building was recently released, with 35 units sold in the first weekend, bucking recent statistics that show a slowdown in sales.”
Calgary Herald, April 5, 2008
“Astoria condos…sold a total of 45 units from June 2007 to early 2008 (source, 2008 Buss Marketing Condo Report.) It recently released 120 additional units in the second phase of the project, selling 35 (30 per cent,) in the first weekend alone. Five of the six penthouse suites, which are priced at more than $1 million, were also snapped up. Such totals will likely make it the most successful launch of the spring, says Arcus Developments.”
Calgary Herald, April 11, 2008
2009 Telly Awards
WINNER “Best Local Commercial — Real Estate,” Telly Awards, New York
2008 National SAM Awards
WINNER “Marketing Excellence Award” for National Campaign of the Year
2008 Calgary SAM Awards
WINNER “Marketing Campaign of the Year”
WINNER Best Website
WINNER Best Moving Media
Astoria on Tenth Animation 1
Astoria on Tenth Animation 2