Designer Dream Homes

With high-concept campaigns that sell a dream, marketers have shaped the luxury condo craze

Greg and Carol Booth decided to move house in 2005. They had been living in Dallas's upscale Highland Park neighborhood in a 4,400-square-foot home they built in the early '80s. One day, they walked into the sales center for a set of condominium-style residences attached to a W hotel. After one look at the center's model apartment, with its modern styling and Bang & Olufsen sound system, they were hooked. "We said, 'Wow, that's us!'," Greg recalls. "We have contemporary art and furniture—Eames chairs—and we could see it in that showroom." Twenty minutes and a $10,000 down payment later, they owned an apartment on the 27th floor, overlooking downtown Dallas. More accurately, they owned a portion of a well crafted, deeply branded marketing campaign two years in the making—the building itself was still no more than "a hole in the ground," Booth says.

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