Condo copy and paste


Working in marketing is a grind. Those who’ve been in the business know it’s one thing after another after another. There’s little time to reflect on your work or connect with the product you’re selling. The client wants an ad, you make an ad. Then you move on to the next thing.

Despite its image as a “creative” industry, the marketing business is notoriously uninspired and boring. If anything, marketers seek homogeneity. Why be original, when it’s so much cheaper to do the same as everybody else? What start new when you can do what you did before?

In marketing their developments, Polygon Homes seems to have fully embraced a template approach to condo advertising. Look at this copy for Montage, a new condo in the Brentwood Mall area of North Burnaby:

Discover Montage, Polygon’s newest collection of apartment homes in Burnaby’s up-and-coming Brentwood neighbourhood. Enjoy the convenience of urban living surrounded by a sense of freedom.

That’s straight from Polygon’s website. See how it compares to the copy for another Polygon project, Meridian Gate:

Discover a community rich in both tradition and lifestyle in central Richmond. Discover Meridian Gate – the first of many new communities by Polygon in the up-and-coming Alexandra Gardens neighbourhood.

But why stop there? Take a sniff of this stink from Polygon’s Cathedral Grove:

Nestled in a serene setting amongst a grove of existing trees, you’ll discover Cathedral Grove, Polygon’s new executive-style townhome community in the revered Morgan Heights neighbourhood of South Surrey.

In each case, the reader is invited to “discover” the said condo or townhouse. Each property is positioned as belonging to a certain kind of neighbourhood, which is further characterized as being part of some larger community. All suggest an enveloping experience for the buyer — i.e. urban living surrounded by a sense of freedom, a community rich in both tradition and lifestyle, a serene setting amongst a grove, etc.

Polygon commits no wrong in marketing its properties with a set style and format. But it does suggest an emptiness to the ideas being presented. Once broken down into elements, the messaging is easily seen as being applicable to any condo, anywhere.

As a final thought, I offer a definition of the word montage:

The technique of combining in a single composition pictorial elements from various sources, as parts of different photographs or fragments of printing, either to give the illusion that the elements belonged together originally.

The illusion of originality as a name for a condo? This may be the smartest and most honest thing I’ve seen in condo marketing in a long time.

8 Responses to “Condo copy and paste”

  1. JSt Says:

    Of course it’s meaningless how else are they going to market something that doesn’t exist yet. Well I guess they could be creative, nah why bother.

  2. solipsist Says:

    “Live your way”. Weird ways. The girl on the left is nursing two glasses of wine almost as big as her head, and eating some kind of rice concoction with a soup spoon. How cosmopolitan! The chairs in the upper right pic’ look very uncomfortable, in fact, they look to be just an ostentatious decoration, serving no function (that’s soooo Vancouver), and the girl in the lower right looks to be shopping at Value Village (forget about Saks, or what-ev’e’e’rrr.).

  3. Panda Says:

    I’m glad the girl in the ad is eating. She looks a little bit bony to me. Sorry, that’s all I can think of when I see this ad.

  4. The Aesthetic Poetic Says:


    I want to live in an “up-and-coming-serene-yet-urban” neighbourhood.

    Are all the residents “up-and-comers” as well? do their fashion sensibilities reflect the glory of urban freedom nestled amongs the surrounding serene yet “up and coming” atmosphere?

    ahhhhhh. I crave serenity and yet I’m F!cking addicted to stylish urbanity!

    save me polygon! save me from myself!

  5. dingus Says:

    Generic ads for generic developments. As a copywriter what can you do?

    I find most of these ads disorienting — they say little about the actual product, and I think deliberately obscure the location by making up new names for locations. “Welcome to Generica Gate, nestled centrally in vibrant and sought after Homogenia Acres”. Where is Homogenia Acres? Surrey? Burnaby? Anywhere specific? They often won’t say. No doubt it’s intentional. If you imagine a specific place, you have to stop the suspension of disbelief and orient yourself. You think about intersections, minimalls, bus stops, bridges, traffic, and the illusion is shattered. You no longer associate the product with the skinny chick with the red wine and fusion food who is overcome with amusement at the bons mots that alight from your yap as you flirt sophisticatedly in your stylish pad. No, you instead think: Whalley. Boy, does that place suck.

  6. ghostsmachine Says:

    Embrace the ambience of anonymity in Strathconas moody alleys. Enjoy your DT’s in a gloomy doorway at dusk as another raucous Vancouver evening blossoms before your eyes. Take in the sights, sounds and one-of-a-kind smells of the Downtown East Side as you trundle through the ooze of a world-class dumpster.
    Slip into Cardboard Box – the definitive destination for the mentally unwell.

  7. Real Estate Attorney, Miami Beach FL Says:

    Marketers simply plug the data into their standard format. To sell it to the client they describe what they have done as one of a kind fantastic and innovative. Then they praise the client for such great input and ideas, that way the client feels like it was their idea, and cannot complain when it fails.

  8. exx Says:

    You should get ahold of the Vancouver Alto flyer. I recently received it in the mail, fancy foldout as per usual. I think the second fold reads “Are you high?” Obviously they’re playing off Alto which translates to high, but nevertheless very fitting for Vancouver in many ways…

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