Watercolour blues

Watercolours, Burnaby BC [Condo]

When I was in university, I came across an essay by a guy who as an experiment recorded each and every minute of every single television channel available to him, recording each channel for a full 24 hours. He spent the next semester (or three) watching the tapes and hoped to discover the fundamental message of television. In the end, he concluded television’s message is that you are the most important person in the universe.

Notwithstanding the academic’s dubious method — did he really need to watch all that TV to come to that answer? — his finding is consistent with what most of us consider common sense. But make no mistake, the celebration of narcissism isn’t exclusive to the tube. In fact, TV is but one vehicle in a parking lot full of vacuous media hype machines forever reminding you of your incontrovertible magnificence.

Condo marketing is no different. As the hucksters pitching Polygon’s Watercolours condo in Burnaby gleefully point out, sometimes the world does revolve around you:

At Watercolours in Burnaby, you truly are at the centre of it all. Take the SkyTrain to a downtown restaurant or a hockey game at GM Place. Visit Deer Lake Park or walk to the shops at Brentwood Town Centre. Urban living with a spin.

The last line gets me the most. Urban living with a spin? That’s the understatement of the day. If you’re looking for overstatement, take a browse at the write-up on Watercolours in New Home Buyers Guide:

Animating each face of the [Watercolours] tower is a series of winged private balconies. At ground level, over-height glazing imparts dramatic visual impact to the soaring entry lobby and resident’s amenity area. An impressive water feature, lush landscaping, and a decorative paved drive-in courtyard highlight the grand entry.

Grand indeed. Can you think of any more spectacular way to communicate that the condo comes with a front door and a paved driveway?

The comedy continues as we move into the suite and learn about the kitchen and bathroom:

The family gourmand will slip on an apron with pleasure; superior quality stainless steel appliances by Whirlpool make for effortless mealtimes. Goodbye takeout, hello inspiration…. Let your hard day meet your inviting soaker tub with a heavy sigh. Relax and unwind in your exclusive ensuite and primp and preen to your heart’s content: oversized vanity mirrors lit by elegant designer lighting will transform your grooming and styling into an art form.

The article goes on with even more stylistic flourishes, at one point calling the nearby Burnaby Mountain Golf Course an opportunity to “unleash your inner Tiger” — this is a direct quote. The tower itself is described as residing in a “protective enclave” off the Lougheed Highway. Consider that image. Now that’s a sad painting.

11 Responses to “Watercolour blues”

  1. debster Says:

    Sweet fancy Moses.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve watched The Century of the Self a few times, but I think with this ad we’ve hit the top of overwrought, pandering marketing. I’d guess a lion’s share of the lambs can see right through the excess of this campaign.

    I remember is school we lost marks in English for using what one of my teachers called “flowery” words. At least now I know where those who kept using those words ended up.

    Goodbye integrity, hello aggrandizement.

  2. Swirlyman Says:

    That neighbourhood is close to where I work. I suppose “protective enclave” is newspeak for “light industrial area”. I’m surprised they don’t talk about “walking to Brentwood Mall”.

  3. aetakeo Says:

    I have some sympathy for the copy-writer here. It’s like they’re sending us coded messages to come save them.
    “Let your hard day meet your soaker tub with a heavy sigh” is certainly overblown ad-copy for concrete highrises in Burnaby, but it’s got a rather poetic impulse compared to “Luxurious opulence luxuriates in the exclusive and opulant luxuries of You Made It Manor. Also with granite.”
    The only problem being that poets generally are interested in telling the truth.

  4. bitter Says:

    protective enclave = ditch beside Lougheed Hwy

  5. jesse Says:

    I love the “35 homes sold last month” flag at the top right. I assume last month is May but I feel sorry for the sucker that gets this brochure in July.

    “Urban living with a spin” At least I’m not getting rooted this time.

  6. Fred Says:

    What I would like to know is where you are getting your ad .jpgs from. They definitely aren’t scans, which makes me think that you work for a local publication.

  7. el_bubb Says:

    hmm… my comments don’t seem to go through.
    Seems like the same problem which Rob had with WordPress a couple of days ago.

  8. condohype Says:

    Fred, I appreciate your suggestion that I somehow have “insider” access. I’m flattered that you think I’m offering something special. Thanks for the encouragement. But at the end of the day, I like a clean fight. I get my kicks from knowing that I’m a simple wordsmith armed with no more than his point of view, computer access and a high-speed internet connection.

    You are right that the ads are not scans. They all come from online sources, all publicly accessible.

  9. condohype Says:

    Hey el_bubb. It’s the moderation filter. I like to keep the discussion clean but sometimes the system catches false-positives.

  10. el_bubb Says:

    perhaps, the moderation-filter doesn’t like my sense of humor.

  11. betamax Says:

    this area is more like urban blight: cold-war industrial and roads without sidewalks. If living there was free, I might consider it.

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