A collaboration of greatness — Charlie Parker



Coronation Property’s much-anticipated ‘Charlie Parker’ – sets
new benchmark in community engagement.

Author: Lara Allport


Coronation Property’s much anticipated, boutique, 111-residence
development in Harris Park, goes to market under wide acclaim and
with strong take-up in the market. The National Grid delivered the
branding and marketing campaign concepts for this project and has
been frequently asked to articulate why and how this project exceeded
expectations in terms of reach, community engagement and
awareness. So here goes…
In a nutshell; great developer, delivering a high-quality product in an
area that needs it, with a compelling story, great branding, effective
marketing and a strong focus on collaboration and good design.

Sydney is an exceptionally diverse city with each of its suburbs
having its own subculture, and this should be celebrated and
cherished. A campaign that works in Surry Hills won’t necessarily
work in Harris Park, as the needs of the area and its inhabitants will
differ completely. Charlie Parker brings a fresh identity and a new
vitality to an area, whilst embracing the cultural diversity and
respecting the subcultures.
Here’s my top seven reasons why Charlie Parker secured 55 qualified
appointments, before they’d even officially launched.

1. Great architecture & design

Behind Charlie Parker’s grand architectural vision is Francis-Jones
Morehen Thorpe (fjmt); a multidisciplinary design firm with studios
in Australia and the UK. Known for their commitment to enhancing
public domain, fjmt has achieved global acclaim for creating spaces
that are beautiful, inspiring and reflective of a community’s values
and aspirations. Affordability is at the forefront of buying discussion
in Sydney, and what fjmt has delivered with this project is remarkable
(let’s not forget that they are a multi-award- winning architectural
firm). Seventy per cent of the residences will sit well inside the first
home buyer $650K stamp duty exempt bracket – making this project a
real opportunity for buyers to invest and live in an iconic landmark on
Sydney’s Western Skyline. To get a stunning architecturally designed
apartment and enjoy the use of an open-air swimming pool and fully-
equipped gym for inside half a million in this town – is really
remarkable. Coronation never scrimps when it comes to interiors
either. From bronze Parisi fittings, through to herringbone tiles and
timber floorboards throughout, the luxury resort lifestyle – every day
– is actually a feasible aspiration!

Good design provides outcomes that function, that feel right, that are
beautiful, that stand the test of time and are easy to use and maintain.
As has been the case for almost every industry, the demand and
expectation for residential property is becoming increasingly
sophisticated. As the population continues to grow, the preference for
inner-city living persists and, as the affordability of detached
dwellings in the inner-city decreases, occupiers are looking for

apartments that are well designed and can address their functional and
lifestyle needs. Good design is not just about aesthetics; it affects
quality of life, wellbeing and success, it promotes cultural activity and
should be transformational. Great buildings enhance communities and
help create environments that are more creative, more colourful and
more conducive to collaboration. Charlie Parker will be no exception.
We fully anticipate this project being a benchmark icon for the area.
This celebration of good design was beautifully communicated in the
clever lifestyle magazine produced for the project (instead of a
brochure). In terms of styling, what Shannon Vos did with both
schemes, was the best we have ever seen, striking the perfect balance
of classic elegance and easy comfort.


2. Collaboration not competition

Coronation Property is fast developing a well-earned reputation for
having a strong design conscience, always considering ‘the needs of
the people’ first and only working with the best. There’s some serious
talent at this projects’ table; award-winning architects, FJMT,
celebrity landscape designer, Jamie Durie from Durie Design,
Shannon Vos from VOS Creative (former winner of Channel 9’s –
The Block, Glass House), famous sculptor duo, Gillie & Marc, street
artists, Shannon Crees and Elliott ‘Numskull’ Routledge (organised
by Authority Creative) and The National Grid (TNG) for branding
and design. Coronation’s marketing team do a brilliant job to continue
to position Coronation Property as custodians of the arts and the
community, plus by truly leveraging the profiles on board, they were
able to quickly create real buzz around this project


3. Tell your story

From the beginning the vision Coronation Property had for Charlie
Parker was to bring together the best creative teams to deliver a high
calibre apartment that the likes of Harris Park had ever seen. As a
result Coronation Property was becoming a curator of sorts. It was
this approach that the genuine story of Charlie Parker was realised
and embodied through the Charlie Parker persona. The building itself
is located on the corner of Charles and Parkes Streets and so ‘Charlie
Parker’ seemed like a fitting name. TNG collaborated with the
architect and the sculptors appointed to help bring the idea to life – to
conceptualise what Charlie Parker the character would look like. We
agreed Charlie had to be creative, a true collaborator, laid back,
approachable, unpretentious and welcoming. Our half man, half
elephant, always depicted with his little bird ‘mate’, was born. It was
coincidental that the musical instrument / trunk like quality of the
building’s design, fitted so perfectly with the concept.
The Charlie Parker identity and story has been seamlessly integrated
through every touch point of the campaign, from the guerrilla street
posters and pavement decals featuring the colours and shapes of the
hoarding artwork, to the digital and print advertising that created
intrigue and mystery around who this Charlie Parker character is –
right through to ‘micro-detail’ – touches like the subtle silhouette of
‘Charlie’ seen peering out of the window in one of the exterior CGIs
(and Bunny Girl and Dog Man enjoying the luxurious pool of

The campaign had the ‘WTF factor’ that drove curiosity. Consumers
engaged with it, the element of mystery and intrigue sparked a sense
of fun and evoked a sense of ‘don’t take life too seriously’. As a
result of taking a punt on ‘the unusual’ – Coronation Property
developed an underlying trust with buyers, in that they were
comforted by the thought that the crew building their future home,
enjoyed communicating with them!


4. Community engagement – locals only

Harris Park is already a great suburb. Often over shadowed by its
closest neighbour, Parramatta, our challenge was to draw people to
the area and explore its existing qualities and attractions. Gillie &
Marc, who were appointed to sculpt Charlie Parker, generously
agreed to loan a few of their bronze characters – including their
signature pieces ‘Bunny Girl’ and ‘Dog man’ – to help bring the
campaign to life and engage with the local community. The hunt for
Charlie Parker and his mates was on! Teaming up with local
businesses – a treasure hunt-style social media campaign and
competition was activated – where potential customers and the public
were invited to find Charlie’s friends while they visited, tasted and
enjoyed local businesses. A map was created; clues were released and
the sculptures were safely installed at participating venues – which all
generously offered special deals and incentives to visitors who
claimed to be looking for Charlie’s pals. Local businesses featuring in

the hunt included a gym, one of the area’s best curry houses, a cafe, a
dive bar, a salon, a bakery, a brasserie and a theatre. To enter the
competition, participants simply had to snap a selfie with at least one
of Charlie’s friends and tag them with @whereischarlieparker on
Instagram, and attend the launch for their chance to win a Samsung
Frame TV worth over $3K.


5. Enlighten me, don’t frighten me.

With the target market for this development being strongly directed at
first home buyers, the tone of voice for this campaign had to speak to
Millennials. This generation are the masters of ‘C’ – they are
creatives, curators and collaborators – they genuinely care about
community, connections and control. This digitally-savvy
demographic are absolutely not confined to a single cohort of craft-
beer drinking twenty and thirty-somethings. They research, they
participate, they compare, they share – all these attributes can be a
marketer’s dream – or a marketer’s curse.
What they hate the most is being ‘sold to’. Word of mouth is still one
of the most powerful tools a brand can leverage today with any
marketing efforts. The truth is, 84% of consumers do not trust adverts
anymore. Consumers now seek much more validation when making a
purchase decision. This campaign relied less heavily on advertising,
instead leveraging guerrilla tactics, word of mouth and engaging with
consumers through interesting video content like behind the scene
interviews with the creative contributors – sharing their individual
creative processes and educating the viewer about the project in an

authentic, subtle and ‘un-salesy’ way – it was a winning strategy! The
brand video featuring Charlie Parker’s collaborators had a reach of
over 7K on Instagram.


6. Communication is key

If I had to commend Coronation Property for one thing, it would be
their diligence in communicating with their customers. I recently
bought off the plan myself on the Northern Beaches (with a developer
who shall remain nameless) and have had literally NO contact from
either the sales agent or the developer since handing over a significant
sum of money as a down payment. That’s just plain rude. Regardless
of what industry you’re in, respecting your customers is so important
if you want to foster a great brand experience, grow brand retention,
build loyalty and advocacy. Let’s not forget that for the first home
buyer, this whole process is daunting, intimidating and risky. A brand
worth their salt will acknowledge their customers, support them
through the process and more to the point – communicate with them
– so that they feel assured that they are purchasing with someone who
has their interests at heart. Communication builds trust. Trust builds
loyalty. Simple.


7. Creating an experience

The truth is, in marketing terms – customer experience, design and
community engagement – are the new competitive battlegrounds in
the off-the- plan property development space. This is where sales are

going to be won or lost. Branding for a development needs to be
engaging, appealing and dependable – that’s a given – but the real
opportunity lies in the developer’s ability, not only to deliver the
product promised but also to surprise their customers with extra care,
consideration and support. That is what this generation will talk about
most. Creating this unusual buyer experience for Charlie Parker,
really impressed purchasers who then unwittingly increased visibility
through their own channels of word-of- mouth and social media. A
superior experience becomes a valued and unique asset for any
development and secures loyalty in your purchaser to buy with you in
the future •


The Charlie Parker campaign worked in two parts — illuminating & activating the Sydney community with a guerrilla campaign which saw art from Gillie & Marc, Shannon Crees & Funskull exhibited throughout the surrounding area. Concluding in the wider launch of Charlie Parker that introduced fjmt, Durie Designs & Shannon Vos as the key design team behind Coronation Property's most inspiring development to date.

View the projects case study here »

Olly Barnes