Taking rental living to new heights

Welcome to the new old kid on the block

Plaza 500 is situated at the corner of Cambie & West 12th Avenue in the heart of Cambie Village, a centrally located and sought-after neighbourhood in Vancouver. An architectural landmark since its construction in the early ‘70s, Plaza 500 had been home to a 17-storey hotel tower with retail and a restaurant on the ground floor. After an extensive two-year renovation (really a rebuild), the iconic building was reborn as a modern, upscale 118-unit rental apartment complex in 2016.

The developers tasked Combo Creative to create and execute a communication strategy that would inspire considerable demand for the Plaza 500 rental units even before the renovation was completed, so that occupancy could begin as soon as the building was completed. Combo set out to see if we could achieve a robust waitlist of possible renters.

Seeking discerning individuals looking for superb design, fabulous views and a prime location in their rental home

Combo believed that Plaza 500’s exceptional location was its best selling point. To this end, we created a visual lexicon that reflected the lifestyle of the sophisticated urban dweller who would be attracted to the centrally located neighbourhood. Plaza 500’s campaign positioning, “The New Old Kid on the Block,” was a tip of the hat to the historic hotel and a nod to the sassy upstart it had turned into.

Despite using only stock photography in order to keep costs in check, Combo created an original and fresh brand that drove a dagger through the dreary fall weather enveloping the city when the building’s hoarding went up. Orange, lime, magenta, turquoise and other vivid colours made for a bright site that got noticed. The colour story flowed over to the website, which captured the energetic spirit of the building and neighbourhood while incorporating must-haves like illustrated floor plans and a real-time availability tracker.

Everything old became new again and the market responded enthusiastically. By the time it opened, Plaza 500 had a waitlist of 1,200+ names.

The Combo combo:

Project lead: Combo Creative
Design: Talia Cohen
Glance Digital

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