Diamond in the rough

Jewel

Marketing has never been a business with a firm grip on reality. So housing sales can tumble and the number of listings can be the highest on record and still the condo hucksters promote their product as if it’s as rare as gold from the moon.

But never mind the market evidence. Jewel, a 134-unit “exclusive residence” project in the Burnaby Metrotown area is “a rare find” according to its slogan. The project is marketed by an invisible outfit called Domicile that apparently specializes in condo marketing but doesn’t seem to have a website.

Nothing surprisingly, the ad copy for this “diamond” in the rough is rough. It reads as if it was written on the back of a two-zone transfer by a loiterer at the Metrotown bus loop:

From the sweeping panoramic vistas to the 200 acres of Central Park, Jewel is set in a unique natural environment. An oasis of exclusive tranquility yet close to the action of nearby Metrotown. Each home at Jewel combines contemporary design with refined comfort. Spacious open plans with outdoor terraces for gracious living. Premium finishes and amenities including concierge services catering to discriminating residents. Experience cosmopolitan living at Jewel. A rare find.

So, yeah, not surprising compared to other condo ad copy, but nonetheless highly offensive to anyone who cares about meaningful communication. The copy prostitutes the English language. I mean, come on: An oasis of exclusive tranquility!! Does the writer even know what this means? If a Metrotown condo can earn such a description, how does one describe a Buddhist temple in the middle of a remote mountainous region? Hell, how would this compare to an isolated cabin on Keats Island?

Message to the copywriters and condo developers who compel them: Get some modesty, take some writing classes and spare us of the hype that brings you such ridicule.

3 Responses to “Diamond in the rough”

  1. dingus Says:

    “Marketing has never been a business with a firm grip on reality.”

    Actually, reality is completely irrelevant to marketing. Good marketing maybe has some fleeting familiarity with the reality-based world. Bad marketing though, doesn’t bother with such trifles as the world the rest of us know. Green living along Lougheed Highway. Urban living in Guildford. And now, discriminating residents near that great Metrotown “action”.

    “From the sweeping panoramic vistas to the 200 acres of Central Park, Jewel is set in a unique natural environment.”

    The three elements of this sentence really don’t link up, do they. Vistas are a natural environment? Why the “the” in front of “sweeping”? Wouldn’t “its” (or nothing) have been better? “Sweeping” AND “panoramic” kinda gilds the lily, doesn’t it. And is Jewel actually set IN Central Park?

    “An oasis of exclusive tranquility”

    As you point out, this is nonsense. Why does “exclusive” modify “tranquility”? Isn’t it the oasis that is exclusive?

    “Each home at Jewel combines contemporary design with refined comfort. ”

    The contrast fails to resonate. Refined comfort, or comfortable refinement? Writing is about so much more than having a big thesaurus.

    “Spacious open plans with outdoor terraces for gracious living. Premium finishes and amenities including concierge services catering to discriminating residents.”

    Sentence fragments. A shopping list of features. Irritating.

    As you say, the copy prostitutes the language. All copy does that, though. At best, it can be worthy of a Spitzer-frequented escort service. However this is a twenty dollar half and half in your car.

  2. Larry Yatkowsky Says:

    Of course marketing has nothing to do with reality. Generalizing – reality for many, is a disappointment. Escapism via other methods is almost the norm for a millenium. How we view ourselves or escape by where we live is just another method.

    Would it be a more inviting escape message to say: “hey buddy wanna buy a dump?”

    There is no sensationalism in truth.

    Witch doctors are in every society, some just wear different clothes.

  3. loo Says:

    Keats Island, hardly isolated – the ENTIRE island is privately owned (by camps or cottagers). Gambier Island (across from Keats) would be a better place to find isolation, and the odd fugative.

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