In the current scenario of “changing market conditions” the Westcoast Homes section isn’t reading like it used to. I find it pales in comparison to its former self, kinda like how A&B Sound used to be awesome but is now such a total embarrassment you almost feel bad for making fun of it.
Fortunately, there’s still the New Home Buyers Guide. The Guide is pretty much the Swank to Westcoast Homes’ Playboy: more explicit and more intense and without any notion of prestige. It’s hardcore condo pornography without pretense. Ads and content fit together seamlessly because they are one and the same.
Take this excerpt from the Guide’s write-up on Exchange, a “boutique” heritage conversion condo in Southeast False Creek:
Speechless, as my friends will zealously attest to, is not a word that’s often attributed to me. But when I catch my first glimpse of the Exchange display suite, I find myself succumbing to an unanticipated loss of words. Sure, the usual cliches come to mind — unique, exciting, even awesome. But Exchange is clearly something more, something utterly captivating and yes, utterly unique — really.
[Read the full article here.]
On its own, there’s nothing terribly wrong with this introduction, save for the author’s overuse of adverbs. (They are really, clearly, utterly unnecessary.) Where it falls apart is in how the rest of the article fails to live up to the intro. The beginning sets up the expectation that the condo is comparable to a religious epiphany of the highest order. As you read along you become more and more underwhelmed. The details that inspired the author’s “speechlessness” are a parade of disappointments: polished concrete, soft-closing drawers, and — wait for it — golden yellow cabinets.
You don’t have to be a discerning reader to know this article is one big pile of suck. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I like the flow of the text and the structure of the sentences — the writer is a good writer. The problem, like most advertorial copy, is the content doesn’t match the argument. What we get is mindless, forgettable hyperbole. It doesn’t work.
Is it possible to market a condo without positioning it as the best thing in the history of humankind? Is there a way to be promotional and modest? I think so, and Vancouver condo marketing needs to figure it out.