The real world of condo marketing

Laguna Parkside

In response to my post about Jameson House, the insightful Aesthetic Poetic makes a compelling point about how condo marketing brings the concept of Vancouver’s “real-world” existence into question.

Much of my motivation for starting this blog — which, by the way, is now in its seventh month despite the predictions of even bigger cynics than me — relates to the question of what Vancouver is all about. The condo marketers, shilling a product that cannot be sold on its own merit, took the approach of the selling the city to itself and to the world.

Of course, marketers have their own interests, and that means creating a reality that best serves their objectives. This has meant presenting Vancouver in many different shades, each of which is driven by a sales goal rather than a truth. So they shovel up fantasy concepts of chic neighbourhoods and lifestyle living, show us pictures of underused furniture and childless couples, and speak of luxury as if it’s affordable to all.

A postmodernist will tell you that we live in a world of copies for which there is no original. Laguna Parkside with its “live the luxury” pitch sure feels like everything else we see in Vancouver condo ads today. But does it speak to the real Vancouver? What is the “original” Vancouver? Does that even exist anymore?  Did it ever?

I open the floor to you.

11 Responses to “The real world of condo marketing”

  1. aetakeo Says:

    My father’s family first came to Vancouver when I was 8. It felt like a small town with a lot of people in it.

    As I was getting older, in comparison to Ontario, BC politically seemed a naive place filled with passionate arguments on all sides. I think it was Douglas Adams that said Canada is like an intelligent 30 year old woman: if that’s the case generally, than Vancouver to me is an idealistic teenager with pumping hormones, waving placards, stammering speeches, and too much self confidence for the number of pimples on its face. Someday, Vancouver might grow up and be a pretty amazing city: but I think it could also go the other way and just be vain and groomed and narcissistic.

    So in some ways, I think Vancouver is being very true to itself with all the over the top marketing; the over the top is who we are, even if the content is inaccurate.

  2. The AP Says:

    City of glass, and there is a direct corridor between West Vancouver and the most affluent, trendy neighbourhoods in New York and London. What can be said? Trend-oriented Internationalist careerism is the nature of 21st century wealth.

    while the rest of us struggle with a rugged pan-pacificism, the land-barons run the trans-atlantic,

    -The AP

  3. Disbelief Says:

    I have toured a couple of the townhouses and they are 3- 500 sq. ft apartments stacked on top of each other with a nice rooftop deck and your own 2 car garage underground all this for a low price of $1.8 mil. Ah almost forgot the concierge/maintenance fees, those fountains are not cheap to keep up for townhouse suite $1800/month. Great location but not affordable for anyone but a millionaire or maybe speculator hoping to cash in…. Good Luck…. Many in this building are still for sale…. Huge shock

  4. funshine Says:

    I really enjoy your sense of humour and always come away a little more enlightened as to the operation of the marketing machine after reading your blog.

    In terms of Laguna, I think it’s funny that this world-class project is situated next to a great example of how rinky-dink City of Vancouver planning really is. On the causeway into Stanley Park I have chuckle ever time I drive by the three pylons that are used to reduce two lane traffic to one lane traffic as you enter the park. Every time the lane is closed or opened the pylons are moved by hand into the road or onto the median. I guess the long term plan is to have a funtioning gate, but for some reason the gate’s not working yet and hasn’t been since the S curve there was realigned. This sophisticated system of controlling traffic symbolizes for me what a little back water it is that we actually live in.

  5. Vancouver IAM Says:

    Hi CondoHype, I wanted to let you know that VancouverIAM has selected this post as one of Vancouver’s best blog posts. In fact, we like it so much, we’ve decided to include it in one of our Vancouver IAM blog reports.

  6. transplanted Says:

    Disbelief and funshine tag it, Van is about hype over substance, looking good over being it. Nothing but construction quality horror stories comes out of those pretty teal-glass downtown towers, and though a great photo op from the Fairview slopes the neighbourhoods themselves have all the dynamic urban appeal of downtown Mississauga. Municipal infrastructure management is a podunk joke. For civic character, this latest housing run-up is just another in a tradition that includes the VSEx scandals. Get rich quick for minimal effort, leave another holding the bag, everyone agree to maintain the ‘best place on earth’ scam.

  7. Ron Says:

    I’m looking at ‘See the View’ picture.. I can’t imagine this is one of the suites in the project… It looks like it’s from the 500th floor (give or take). 🙂

  8. beammeup Says:

    Does anyone know the background of the developers Prima?
    Are they the same outfit as the operator of Prima restaurant worldwide chain at Robson that own flour mills in Singapore and Indonesia.

  9. dingus Says:

    “A postmodernist will tell you that we live in a world of copies for which there is no original.”

    Perfect. For those post modernists keeping score at home, consider Vancouver to be perpetually in the thrall of a Lacanian mirror stage. The tension between the ego and the imaginary is creating radical alienation. And the move through the symbolic to the real is hampered by narcissistic language (the examples you provide) whose intent is to manufacture lack and absence. And what we get are all these mirrored phalluses thrusting ineffectually into the sky.

  10. Johnny33 Says:

    The “real” Vancouver… The people in this city are impersonal, rude, and self-absorbed. Add to this, growing racial and social unrest between many racial and social groups. It wasn’t always like this. There used to be a time when half the cars on the road weren’t luxury cars or SUV’s, and when Vancouver was a city for the middle class, not for the rich.

  11. panda Says:

    Well, I think the racial tensions are much milder than 15 years ago. But I don’t know all parts of the city.

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