Lily Lee is a yoga instructor who owns a two-bedroom and den suite. She has a live-in boyfriend, John Rossi, who is a part-time bartender and actor.
But their uncomplicated existence is about to change. On Monday, a friend – Parminder Gill – burst into the suite after being dumped by her boyfriend and will be living with the couple for the next 45 days.
These are characters in an elaborate “real-time, e-drama real estate campaign” unfolding for all to see over the next six-and-a-half weeks at Central City Shopping Centre in North Surrey.
Three local actors – Leana Yu (playing Lee); Jas Dhillon (Gill); and John Perrotta (Rossi) will spend 10 hours daily in an apartment unit with glass walls in the middle of the mall for 45 days.
The live theatre is part of an ad campaign for a new condo development being built not far from Central City.
The glass unit is a model of an apartment in the Wave, a $155-million, 500-suite multi-tower development at 133 Street and 104 Avenue.
The two-bedroom and den suite the actors are living in will retail for $209,900, while smaller units will start at $179,900.
In the glass unit at the mall, there is no running water, and the stove isn’t functional, but otherwise, the characters will be fully interacting within the suite.
Microphones and cameras throughout the space ensure viewers catch all the action by live stream over the Internet.
The marketing campaign is the brainchild of Pilothouse Real Estate Marketing.
“LiveatWave” involves the three full-time actors, eight secondary actors, a full-time CBC scriptwriter, a live set, a video and lighting production team and web streaming.
“Typical campaigns allocate most of their budget to advertising,” said Bill Morrison, president of Pilothouse. “Our approach is to utilize social media to present actors in a real-life setting to keep the client’s product front and centre. With LiveatWave, the condo and how people live within it is the real story.”
Morrison said the exercise is a way of showing how people living in the suite would interact with it.
Pilothouse’s Jenn Currie said it’s the first time a campaign of this nature has been tried. Developer Rize Alliance approached Pilothouse some months ago and said it wanted something new and interactive.
Currie said interest in the reality event has been extremely good, and pre-registration for suites has been brisk.
The Wave development is expected to be completed in 2015.