The Big Idea for Whitehaus had its genesis in a simple, everyday task. Montana Steele Creative Director, Andy DeSantis was out shopping with his daughter, Diana. While they were in the store browsing, Andy happened to notice Diana deeply interested in a shelf displaying colouring books and crayons. Curious, he asked her about it, and she said, “Dad, it’s a craze. All my friends are into it. Colouring helps us express our creativity in new ways.” Andy went away and did some research, and what he found truly surprised and awed him – there was an incredible movement across the world among millennials who were into colouring and crayons.
And thus was born the idea to brand Whitehaus Condos, an exciting new 29-storey condominium at Yonge and Eglinton. The Whitehaus campaign ignited the imaginations of 20 and 30-something urbanites, giving them a place where they can unleash their creativity, for work or for play. Andy DeSantis explains, “When we’re working on art, our brain’s right side takes over, and we lose track of numerical, left-sided concepts like time. It’s blissful, and not the kind of experience most of us can easily replicate nowadays, as ‘grown-ups.’ The colouring craze isn’t just a way back to childhood, but a path back into a state of creation where process trumps results.”
Image from Toronto Star
The team passionately pursued that ethos when designing the campaign, infusing every element with a sense of creativity and fun. There was a branded colouring book that featured original illustrations from six artists (each commissioned to interpret the neighbourhood in their art), and came complete with a set of pencil crayons, encouraging readers to interact with the piece. There were live colouring events (where artists painted and drew in front of captivated audiences) and social media colouring contests (where winners received gift certificates to local stores and eateries). The campaign engaged viewers in new and innovative ways, inviting them to participate, to paint their own story of life between the lines.
The building design and amenities also fit beautifully with the campaign. The crisp white exterior, imagined by Diamond Schmitt Architects, is a backdrop for art, design, and creativity. In the words of principal, Donald Schmitt, “There is a connection between fresh, positive white buildings and the urban landscape… It allows the life within the retail area and the colour of life to show.”