Think Joule’s Disruptive Approach to Residential Marketing

An unexpected fusion of high-fashion aesthetics with suburban living has recently reset the expected world of multi-family marketing. The agency Think Joule, in collaboration with Aaron Lee Photography, dared to disrupt the norms in a field often riddled with clichéd visuals and predictable themes, reimagining what it means to portray a ‘living’ community. Their audacious and lively project titled “Mercato Grove” successfully injected a refreshing spin into the heart of Lake Oswego’s residential scene.

By: Jamie Bourgidu, Think Joule, Studio Director

Multi-family marketing photography rarely diverges from a predictable set of images: clinking wineglasses, ladies with shopping bags, the impish head cock of an adorably unkempt lab mix. These manicured micro shots are as nondescript as the properties they represent. Glossy? Sure. Charismatic? Hardly. 

The Setting: the Portland suburbs of Lake Oswego, affectionately nicknamed LO (rhymes with ‘glow’).

The Offering: Mercato Grove, a destination apartment community offering residents the very best of downtown in a suburban area previously thought of as ‘uncool.’ Amenities for days, treasured local restaurants, and the most show-stopping apartments in the Portland area. 

The Challenge: To bring a dose of daring and glam to the often-bland world of multi-family marketing. 


With a modest budget and goal to break the mold, Think Joule embarked on an ambitious two-day shoot involving more than a dozen models with multiple wardrobe changes and staged activations in 15+ locations.

Each activation is set against a distinctive colorful backdrop, replete with eccentric props and the bemused deadpan expressions often found on the faces of Wes Anderson’s beloved and quirky characters.

By emulating the cinematic style typically reserved for film, from staging pasta making to simulating retro swim days and activating spaces in unexpected ways, these images jump from materials, beckoning curiosity, the promise of ordinary activities made extraordinary. 

The result is a golden-toned apartment love story establishing Mercato Grove as a lively community and cool destination, unlike anything in the ‘burbs. Not your dad’s apartment building. 

Art Direction and Production: Think Joule. An integrated creative agency generating brand power. Women-owned, PDX est. 2008. Think. Create. Deliver.

Social: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn

In collaboration with:

Photographer: Aaron Lee Photography

Assistant: AJ Meeker

Stylist: Patty Harding

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Author: Graphis