As the Robert Ledingham Collection at Stirling House proved with its “cutlery-love” campaign, marketing to rich people demands close-ups of objects that most of us consider trivial in the context of buying a home. Crescent West, a luxury development coming soon to UBC, revels in its fascination with the ridiculous. Never mind the 2,000+ square feet of the floor plans, the focus of Crescent West’s advertising is a pillow and a well-upholstered chair.
I wish today’s post could be as trivial as this ad and I could simply poke fun at the silliness of its imagery and messaging. But as I browsed through the Crescent West website, I found myself overcome with revulsion.
It all begins with a page about the project’s developers in which they are described as having “an absolute commitment to old-fashioned value” and “quality craftsmanship.” The copy goes on to describe their knowledge, skill and passion and how it has resulted in “landmark homes” across the Lower Mainland. It is a bold description.
Now look at this copy taken from another page on the very same website — a website, I might add, that appears to be a modest seven pages in size:
A serene, private place for restful and reflective moments. Or the warm and welcoming venue for entertaining guests. Whatever the day holds in store, your impecable [sic] home is at the centre of it all — and [sic] exquiste [sic] setting for your treasured possesions [sic]. Here are the light-filled interiors, open floorplans, innovative features, and flexible spaces you can define.
Consider the audacity of this paragraph. It goes beyond the carelessness that we’ve become used to, moving into territory suggesting contempt for the reader. Hell, forget the paragraph. Just take that one sentence. Four extraordinarily obvious mistakes. All within the context of developers who pride themselves on quality. It is shameful.
At condohype, I’ve been very open that I do not provide real estate advice. I’ve never worked in construction and I have no knowledge of what it takes to build a proper home. But what I do know is that the marketing out there does not bode well for the industry. It suggests disregard, haste, and neglect.
Today, we’re in a era in which homes are sold before homes exist. The “pre-sale” is a defining element of the Vancouver housing market. In fact, it’s Bob Rennie’s claim to fame. When buyers are asked to commit to what’s likely the biggest single purchase of their lives, they have little more to consult than the developer’s marketing materials. So when a developer is so careless with his communication, what are we to think?
The marketer behind Crescent West is Platinum Project Marketing. The developer is Redekop Group.