After having helped shaped the Here East brand positioning and identity back in 2014, Here East kickstarted their transformation schedule in early 2015. With up to two years until the buildings are fully operational and construction ends, we had to start focusing on the crucial lettings campaign designed to create interest in the space and produce a vision film to support it.
We brought this vision to life with not one, but two videos: one to help market the scheme to the C-suite of future tenants, and - in a first for the property world as recognised by the presitigious Property Marketing Awards - a video that explicitly targets the (very creative) future users of the space. Paying tribute to our East London roots and the maker ethos behind us, how better else to do it if not with a robot? We go behind the scenes and share some of the thinking that went into our work.
Our main task was to support the crucial lettings phase: a long, top-down process aimed at very senior stakeholders in organisations that might take up space at Here East. We needed a video that would arm agents with the knowledge to put this enormous space into context and sell it as well as Here East themselves would.
In the process we realised that one video might not be enough to do Here East justice. We're in the middle of a big shift in the way we work and what our expectations of a modern, 21st century workplace are. Increasingly, we want to feel connected to the place we'll spend most of our day in, the people there, and even shape it to fit our personal preferences.
Our instinct led us to propose a second video for a 'bottom up' approach, something unheard of in the property world. We gave ourselves the challenge of getting future end users of the space excited, not just their bosses. We wanted the creative, technology and maker communities to feel like this was a space for them, one that gets behind initiatives that they would themselves.
To help the agents sell the scheme we had to explain how Here East was being cut up for re-development. In many cases, a video would be someone’s first interaction with the scheme, so it had to be both credible and easy to understand from the get-go.
We called upon friends and advocates of Here East from the local business and creative scene to talk about what makes them excited about the project and why it’s great for the area and business. Their testimony paves the way for a detailed tour of each building, the role it used to play in the Olympics and what it’s destined to become once the doors open – narrated by none other than Gavin Poole, the CEO of the scheme.
The ultimate effect is that of a guided tour not unlike the one you would have if you visited Here East in person, with actual user reviews from future tenants and neighbours added to help the decision-making process along.
To get the community excited about what was brewing in East London and excited about a place of work we proposed a short film that was part monologue, part unashamed rallying cry to creatives and makers everywhere to catch their attentions.
To demonstrate the DNA of the brand and commitment to its community, we commissioned a full-sized animatronic robot head with over 32 separately addressable moving ‘muscles’ from local Hackney hero John Nolan Studios. John Nolan is famous for building painstakingly detailed film set items, such as the baby Voldemort prop used in Harry Potter films and other creatures from Where The Wild Things Are. He was suitably excited to create a robot for us, calling it a “dream commission”.
Our robot delivers ‘her’ chest beating message from deep within one of the cavernous empty spaces at Here East before it went into re-development to become a set of bustling creative studios. Not only did we manage to express the DNA of the brand and its east London roots, we were also simultaneously able to reveal the scale, ambition and location of Here East in one seamless shot.
John Nolan creates a giant animated robot head to promote new maker space
It's Nice That