The final sellout


Aura at 139th Street and 108th Avenue in “The New City of Surrey” is a one- and two-bedroom condo project geared toward young buyers and girls named Rachel. Or perhaps more accurately, the parents of young buyers and girls named Rachel.

As pitched by Surrey’s Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing, Aura’s “low monthly payments, the excitement of the new Surrey City Centre neighbourhood, the walk to the SkyTrain, all make it easy to call AURA home. How much better can it get!”

Probably best for someone like me not to be asked this question.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this campaign, which is to say there may be a glimmer of goodness in it. Perhaps because it’s less calculated and more clumsy than the standard we’ve come to expect from wizards such as Rennie and Wong.

There are inconsistencies in style (is it “Aura” or “AURA”?) and, more significantly, there’s a complete oxymoron in the call to action. Compare the urgent “move in today” and “do it” in the print ad with the calm “we want you to take your time” instruction from the website. I’m not kidding. The website invites prospective buyers to take their time and consider their potential purchase.

A condo marketing coup? Not quite. That girl still looks like she fell out of a Gap commercial from 1998. There’s this faux New York suggestion that Aura is an “upper east-side cityhome.” And it’s way too liberal in its use of adjectives (i.e. the features sheet lists a “funky” lobby entrance and “bold” 3 inch baseboards). But we’re spared a close-up of a latte and on one of the website’s pages it can be inferred that a resident may actually be commuting to work. Yeah, work. In today’s hype, that might just be worth glowing about.

11 Responses to “The final sellout”

  1. blueskies Says:

    sorry my bad… first impression was a maxi pad ad…

    focus group missed that call

  2. Dorker Says:

    But I’ll bet these are more like mini pads…light days for modern Mary Tyler Moores…

    Not specifically related to Aura, or aura as the case may be, but I thought y’all might be interested is this related article in 7 Oaks:

    “… this strategy ‘inspires a new language dealing with difference’ and ‘a coded means of discrimination’. The mobilization of ‘taste’ as a mark of ‘distinction’ appeals to specific type of resident to the downtown, one who has had the time and money to invest in developing these tastes, tastes developed outside the exigencies of the labour market. ”


  3. Gwen Says:

    Beware – those chunky sandals are soooo 1998.

  4. jeff Says:

    They also spell it ‘aura’ along the side.. they really can’t make up their minds!

  5. A L Says:

    This blog rocks! Thanks for doing all the work for me. Every time I see these stupid ads I just wanna throw my drink at them!

  6. Asun Says:

    Condohype, can you do an exposé on dcorize? ( I’ve been trying hard to google any previous majestic landmark in Surrey or even mere landmark in Surrey and still come up empty.

  7. swirlyman Says:

    Looks like they ripped off A&B Sound as far as the colours and typeface of their logo…

  8. el_bubb Says:

    What is that orange stuff she is swimming in? Leaky Condo? Excitement?…
    or a new twist on ING Orange Savings? -4% interest and counting…

  9. sensoria Says:

    Finally a useful and interesting blog.

    God I am so sick of these tiny, overhyped boxes that suckers are buying.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. buddy Says:

    The features list is particularly amusing. Some excerpts:

    – Thermostatically controlled electric heating
    – Shaw or Telus high speed internet with voice over IP capability (i.e. you can get phone and cable in the condo!)
    – Low maintenance vinyl siding ..
    – double glazed windows (we built to code!)
    – Sprinkler fire protection in all homes and common areas
    – Hard-wired smoke detectors

    somehow the features list manages to make it sound cheap.

  11. exvancouverite Says:

    great header btw …

    “The final sell-out.”

    Anybody here could buy one (or several) of those condos; probably some guys on RET have scooped up an ‘opportunity’.

    I couldn’t imagine it, but I don’t like gambling.

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