Archive for November, 2007

When results matter

November 26, 2007

SIA Residences

It’s hard being a professional communicator. I know because I am one. But when I say it’s hard, it’s not so much the job. It’s way the job is marginalized by non-communicators. After all, everyone can communicate, right? Wrong.

When a lawyer gives advice, the client takes it as expertise. When an ad man gives advice, the client thinks they know better.

Or maybe the ad man doesn’t give advice because no client ever came through the door. Everyone can communicate, right? So what’s the sense in paying someone to do it? What’s the value in getting a professional when all you need is Photoshop and Microsoft Word?

For the latest proof of why professional communicators matter and how the amateurs are corrupting the trade, take this ad for SIA Residences in Maple Ridge.

You don’t need to look closely to know that this is an abomination of copywriting and graphic design. The script feels like a pastiche of other ad copy put through the photocopier, then the microwave, then laid out on a granite-veneer countertop. “Built with urban quality energy?” WTF?!

What kind of logic is being used to organize the information? The copy starts with something about priority registration, shifts font size to provide us with masturbation-by-adjectives, then goes bold to advise the world the sales centre is “opened” daily. Skip down and we get contact info, a bulleted list with awkward capitalization, and a stand-alone credits section for the marketer-realtor.

The talent behind this is Keller Williams Results Realty. I love that “results” is part of their name. Nothing says results like misspelling the URL in your ad.

Yeah, the URL’s wrong.

Will such attention to detail go into the building of the condo?

For more information about SIA Residences, make sure you go to

Enlightenment at Luxe

November 20, 2007

Luxe in Burnaby

Affordability may have been lost long ago, but the disappearance of sanity in the Vancouver real estate market is a relatively new phenomenon. (Well, not that new if you remember 1981. I can’t because I was a zygote but that doesn’t mean the year didn’t happen.)

Giving us more tease than a good burlesque show, this ad for the Luxe condos in Burnaby titillates us with a hint of the future. “See the light soon” reads the tagline in one of the best double-entendres in Vancouver condo marketing in recent years.

Are they talking about a new development or the coming realization that the RE house of cards is about to come crashing down?

Both, and that’s what makes this brilliant.

Humorist James Thurber once wrote, “There are two kinds of light: the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.”

What kind of light is shining on Vancouver real estate, you ask?

In time, we will know.

Putting on the Ritz

November 15, 2007

Ritz-Carlton Vancouver

Just yesterday, the top dogs at Re/Max admitted there’s something of a housing affordability problem in Canada. In a masterful display of verbal dexterity, they managed to say that things are both fine and going to hell.

“The impact of speculation, especially in Canada’s largest condominium markets, has yet to be determined but concerns for the future are relevant,” said Re/Max executive Elton Ash, quoted in Wednesday’s National Post.

Concerns for the future are relevant? Translate the real-estate speak, and this is akin to the sky is falling.

So what are we to do? What can be said of the young people and those hard-working folks like you and me trying to get into the market so we can have a place to live?

Re/Max’s Michael Polzler has the solution:

“Condominiums are clearly the answer to the skyrocketing cost of land and shelter that has all but eradicated the dream of home ownership for many first-time buyers.”

Condos are the problem, condos are the answer. It’s enough to make you crazy. And sick.

So what does this answer look like? Well, if I take Mr. Polzler’s comments literally — and I think that’s fair given that he says condominiums are “clearly the answer” — then I do no wrong considering them in context to the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Vancouver.

This “affordability solution” — the Ritz-Carlton is a condo — starts at $2.25 million and ranges up to $10 million. For those interested in the penthouse suites in this Arthur Erickson-designed twisted erection of a building, the price isn’t even listed. Gotta make a request and an appointment to learn how affordable it is.

The URL for the project is I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, but maybe the housing market collapse in the U.S. is a hint.

I’m sorry I’ve been angry lately, readers. Things are getting really bad out there.

Concerns for the future are relevant.

Kitsilano melon-choly

November 6, 2007

Pulse in Kits

I first wrote about Pulse back in May and I’ve long wondered what happened to the Kitsilano’s famous Topless Babe in Shades. Turns out T.B.I.S. owns evening wear, as shown here in this deliciously entertaining follow-up ad. Not sure what happened to the shades or why she’s hovering over the tub with a watermelon, but I’d guess it has something to do with “a different kind of urban living in the heart of Kitsilano.” Who would’ve thought a gourd could be a symbol of defiance?

In case you missed your chance to browse the display suite, the presentation centre has moved to a new location. Intrigued yet? Yeah, me neither.

Somebody get me a cantaloupe.