Individuality has a floor plan


For once, I’d like a condo ad to appeal to something other than individuality. Can’t people buy shelter for its value as — wait for it — shelter?  

Today’s ad is vintage fromage.  It’s stinky bad.  Get a whiff of this copy:

For you, everything is not black or white.  You appreciate both refined classic elegance and innovative contemporary flair.  You respect the past but revel in the possibilities of the future.  That’s why Q1 is the perfect showcase for your sophisticated style.  In South East False Creek’s newest community you’ll find comfort, convenience and an exciting, distinctive neighbourhood that mirrors your individuality.

Q1, more than an address — a bold statement of your signature style.

You could have a master’s degree in English and there’s no making sense of this.  I bet the author doesn’t even know what it means.  A neighbourhood that mirrors your individuality?  Incredibly, someone thought the ad would be “lacking” if it didn’t have the prose.

If Adam Smith were alive today, he’d strangle himself with his own invisible hand.

38 Responses to “Individuality has a floor plan”

  1. anon Says:

    I love the silhouettes… who do they think they’re marketing to, Bjork and frumpy mod B/f circa 1988?

    What woman under 70 in this day and age wears a pony tail? The thrift store 70’s midi skirt has got to go too. Surprised the boots don’t have 5″ heels…

    All she needs is a bull whip…

  2. giup Says:

    Please do the quotation properly! It is “your OWN individuality”…

  3. betamax Says:

    It’s on Quebec and First? What a lousy neighbourhood.

  4. rf Says:

    Anyone else see the MAC add in the paper about the 4 new projects being discounted?

  5. blueskies Says:

    shouldn’t that be Qu1

    always u after Q?

  6. Proponent Says:

    wow, giup really wanted to make that quotation clear!
    because it could have been mistaken at “your OTHERPERSON’S individuality”
    cumon CH, stop confusing people like that!

    Also not sure how the neighborhood will mirror my own individuality as well as the individuality of the other hundred people that live in the building…?
    And how exactly does one Mirror individuality?

  7. ArC Says:

    “South East False Creek” – that’s hilarious.

  8. The Pope Says:

    This ad shows an absolutely astounding lack of both refined classic elegance and innovative contemporary flair. Advertising generally shows an idealized or ‘better than real’ version of the product being sold. If this is demonstrative of what the marketers feel is ‘stylish’ that bodes extreme ill for the ‘style’ of the development.

    I would complement you on finding this extremely bad example of condo marketing, but it hurts my eyes, and for that my complements turn to curses.

  9. Dave Says:

    I’m not even sure if this project will get off the ground. There used to be a big sign in front of the Burger King at that address for months, but a while ago it was taken down.

    This isn’t going to be another V6A is it?

  10. Panda Says:

    “For you, everything is not black or white”

    Drug use and prostitution are not black or white. Could be a fun place.

  11. Disbelief Says:

    Probably be another 999 Seymour

  12. Morgan Says:

    Too bad it will not be completed by 2010, nobody needs drugs and prostitution more than Olympic Athletes , oh wait they can still have Burger Kings!.

  13. vancityguy Says:

    Q1 — more than an address – a ‘bold statement’ of your signature style.


    Q1 — more than speculation – a ‘bold income statement’ for the first quarter of diminishing returns

  14. Chilled Says:

    No mention in the add if the place is waterproof??

  15. Canada's Poorest Postal Code Says:

    Stinky advertising for a very stinky development.

    It’s meant to go up where a stinky Burger King held court for years.
    That stretch of Main Street has some sort of stinky air pollution record for Vancouver (there used to be a sign up at the Main St. skytrain station).
    Lots of stinky auto-related businesses on either side of the street.
    Stinky, stinky, stinky False Creek.
    And, last but not least, stinky ole rats. Tons of them. Walk along there any evening (the Quebec Street side is especially choice). AIEEEEE….

    I really can’t believe this one is proceeding. Tell me it’s a hoax. The ad is so bad, it could be a joke.

  16. Happy Renter in North Van Says:

    It sounds like output text from a web-site translator… Maybe the developper ripped off the copy from a Real Estate ad in Hong Kong and was too cheap to translate it professionally…

  17. Lily Says:

    Hilarious! The silhouettes look exactly like a couple I saw at Ikea two weekends ago. They stuck out like a sore thumb because they were such trendy posers. Well, I probably wouldn’t have noticed them if they hadn’t been sitting on the patio set I had bought a few days before that I was picking up an extra cushion for, but still. Yes, the girl had the side ponytail, the boots, everything!

    I wonder if they would fall for this?>>>yes!

  18. greg Says:

    That fashion statement is commoner than some people here seem to think. Think Japanese ESL student, and suddenly the boots and ponytail thing fit the “uniform”.

  19. paulb Says:

    Where do we line up to buy? 😉 I didn’t know anyone would be crazy enough to launch a condo project right now. Chance of success…0%

  20. anon Says:

    Some people get the message later than others; some NEVER get it and lose everything.

  21. anon Says:

    Absolutely right. Marketing to people’s sense of individuality is completely misguided.

    “You’re nothing special, so why should you live somewhere that is? That’s why you should check out Q1. Not that great, but not bad either. And let’s face it, you really have no taste anyway, so our bland style and the typical neighbourhood will be just right for you. When you leave your boring job, you’ll have a comfortable, non-threatening place to come home to.”

  22. dingus Says:

    Crowd: “Yes, we’re all individuals”

    Man in crowd: “I’m not”

  23. johnqu Says:

    “my own individuality” – hahaha, did someone say pleonasm?

    Did the creator of this ad really imagine people reading this and nodding furiously, saying to themselves, “Yes, why yes, I DO respect the past and revel in the possibilities of the future. In fact, my girlfriend just yesterday was saying how my reveling so much in all the many possibilities of the future was what first attracted her to me. That and my appreciation of refined classic elegance.”

    Do people really get paid to write these? At least while criticising developers we can also laugh at them being ripped off by pretend copywriters. Do they hire these people on Elance?

  24. johnqu Says:

    PS, you tagged this blog MAC so I googled them and checked out their website at Would you hire a marketing company with a glaring typo like this in their main About Us copy?:

    “We assist developer’s with highest and best-use guidance…”

    Ignoring the apostrophe howler, what does this even mean?

  25. anon Says:

    It appears to be some sort of Oriental-English hybrid dialect… I’m going to guess Japanese…

  26. anon Says:

    Hmm… you’re correct, a translation IS difficult, but I love a challenge:

    We assist developers with our highest guidance, which is the best you’ll find anywhere.

    Something like that. Reminds me of the English-Japanese subtitles in Goldmember.

  27. patriotz Says:

    Probably be another 999 Seymour

    Hey, that used to be Seymour Billiards. Another Vancouver classic gone and replaced by crud. What did they do with the sign?

  28. anon Says:

    Wow, now that sign was class and kitsch in one.

    If they’d had any class, it would have ended up in the lobby.

    I doubt it. Too bad.

  29. Luna Says:

    Johnqu, don’t know about about the apostrophe in that line but “highest and best use” is a phrase used in the real estate valuation field.

    Appraisers will determine the “highest and best use” of a property along with it’s value. I suppose some real estate agents and marketers may feel they are qualified, or maybe MAC Marketing has an appraiser on staff?

  30. Larry Yatkowsky Says:

    Struck a cord these words did – ” refined classic elegance and innovative contemporary flair.”

    Moving as they are, they inspired me to check my jumbled collection of ties in my closet. Surely my signature style must be in here somewhere.

  31. Noz Says:

    Wow….BC defines YUPPIE. I thought California was over the top with that stuff.

  32. john Says:

    Hey as long as the liberal yuppies keep moving to Vancouver to die off by not having kids I figure the future is safe for guys like me.

  33. dingus Says:

    Looking at this again, I find it odd that an ad that markets to “individuality” would use a shadow cut out of people as an image, which is about as anonymous and generic an image as you can get. “Here — this cookie cutter image? That’s you!”

    A lot of ads use actual people — it is easy to identify, even despite yourself, with two cuties on a scooter, or a steely eyed J Crew wearing possible sexual predator in a Muskoka chair and think “Hey, that sophisticated bon vivant with the full head of hair and obviously fulfilling sex life, that’s me for sure!”. With the cutout? Not so much. But I guess real people cost real money, so….

  34. jin Says:

    NOTHING screams ‘refined classic elegance’ like leaving graffiti on your signage for months on end.

  35. tragicspin Says:

    Translation ” Building tomorrows ghetto’s today”.

  36. doug r Says:

    My wife and I lived on 7th av between Quebec and Main. One day when we came home, there was a naked bum sleeping on the stairway.

  37. How Perfect are Your Fashion Buying Habits? | My Style Blog Says:

    […] Ind&#105v&#105dual&#105t&#121 &#104as a floor plan « Condo&#104ype […]

  38. Justin Says:

    Sad but true… individuality is definitely lacking in most of the interiors that the developers provide in a lot of these developments. Floorplans are always similar and so are the finishings. I’ve often wondered why developers don’t offer a discounted sale price for totally unfinished suites so that buyers can completely design their new homes. This might also help the developers to get their projects completed on time for a change instead of the typical 2-6 month overdue completions that we’ve become accustomed to. Still… we do live in a beautiful city and the neighbourhoods are fantastic, especially around False Creek so there will always be that upside to owning in Vancouver.

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