Acquired for £600m, over 3.5k residents and a video series to communicate it all


How Video changed up the game in this £600m acquisition

I am a video series aficionado. I love storytelling and have worked with brands for the sake of that passion. Internet noise is exponentially growing with the increase in content publishers, outlets, and distribution channels online.  Presenting a compelling and captivating story is the way to a viewer’s phone screen, and a series is the relationship you’d build to keep that viewer invested in your content. This is all predicated by a concept I call CEDI. I think it sounds cool and makes a whole lot of sense.


I am a creative guy, sometimes uncontrollably-creative. I had to come up with a structure that kept me grounded yet organised enough to facilitate converting creative ideas into sustainable and valuable content. Creating is the simplest bit. I am constantly overwhelmed with ideas, so to kickstart a process I just create. The part where it could get catalysed exponentially or flushed away depends on phase two, engaging with an audience. 

I present my content, distribute it across social channels and incentivise people to consume. This is just the appetiser for it all. The catalyst may be up for grabs after this content has been viewed. Meaning: comments, shares, retweets, pins, likes and dislikes. The tricky bit with phase two is that you need to pick up momentum in order to be presented with comments, shares, retweets, pins, likes and dislikes. So, before I immerse myself in phase two, enough content needs to be published initially to create an adequate foundation for engagement. Once that’s out of the way and I’ve collated the general consensus of my audience engagement, I define my audience. The sweet-spot niche group that enjoys the content. I get to know my niche, what it likes, dislikes, what it follows, what simulates it etc. Then finally, I iterate. That’s when the creative process begins. 

Acquisitions are a storm of excitement, uncertainty and opportunity.  My timing at the Nido Collection proved to be so. The brand was a student housing provider with a portfolio of 4 student accommodations at the time. I joined their experiential marketing team to work on rebranding after the acquisition by Greystar holdings for a colossal £600m. The goals were simple, introducing a new "lifestyle" and a caliber that defined a brand that is for the upper-middle and high class international students interested in London's luxury housing. 

I saw value in the intimate culture between current residents of the Nido Collection's properties, that upper management did not completely comprehend during the acquisition. This was predicated by my residence at the Spitalfields property for 3 years. I sought to leverage this culture to maintain the valuable connection between the residents during and post the acquisition and saw a true opportunity to create content to help accomplish this.

Facebook was the ideal tool to keep in touch with all the residents, maintaining a casual connection with their current affairs and state of well-being through pages. The pages were inefficiently managed and became a nuisance due to the overwhelming notifications generated initially. Nevertheless, this introduced the solution of starting a video series to communicate with the residents, build a relationship with them, and restructure a more efficient management of the way they interacted with and used these pages. Soon enough, 80% of residents at Spitalfields joined as members of the Facebook page. 

The video series has been a hit among management and residents. Videos were entertaining, light-hearted and informative. They were very well received and we gradually watched this series grow from Mo and I hosting, into episodes where residents were featured guests, other team members taking part in challenges, and expansion to other buildings part of Greystar's newly acquired portfolio. 

We created for, engaged with, and successfully defined our niche. In our case, the task was quicker since we already knew exactly who to target which catalysed the series into phase 4, iterating. The best thing about it all was making videos with my best friend, making new friends and growing a community that made the new brand more welcoming and less intimidating because of the scale of it all. 

We tried various new things, got involved in ridiculous challenges and have successfully created personalities for myself and Mo which maintained a fun relationship with the newly established brand, and a very valuable connection which translated into an asset for the experiential marketing team.

Here's a Phil & Mo Special for the big yacht party.