Archive for the ‘Chilliwack’ Category

How things used to be

October 29, 2008

Do you remember when Metro Vancouver real estate could be advertised like this? A few colours here, an upward arrow there, a splash of urban alcoholism and voilĂ ! You’re a professional condo marketer.

This ad, promoting a Chilliwack condo called Vibe, ran in the rags in 2006. In real estate time, that’s decades ago. This project is long past the sales stage. Today, a trip to the website takes you to a page titled “10 main reasons why the person needs life insurance.”


Worthless by the lake

July 6, 2007

The Cottages at Cultus Lake

Today’s subject for evisceration is imaginatively named The Cottages at Cultus Lake. I must confess to having to do a bit of research on the location of said lake; my knowledge of the Lower Mainland is mostly limited to areas around SkyTrain lines and ‘hoods accessible by trolley. It turns out Cultus Lake is on the outskirts of Chilliwack, making it roughly within the GVRD — meaning it qualifies for a condohype critique. I’m sure the developer’s thrilled.

If you’re looking for insight into the quality of this investment, you might find guidance by looking at the name of the lake. You see, cultus has its origins in First Nations languages. Taken from the Salish word kul, it means “bad” or “worthless.”

Don’t look to the French for anything better. In French, cul means “ass” if you can pardon my, uh, French.

Now to be fair, the name of the lake has nothing to do with the developer. The same can’t be said for the ad copy, which I present to you here in all its superfluous exuberance:

It’s moments like this that will hook you. Come home to Cultus Lake. To real moments. To the rush of a mountain stream. To the sharp smell of wood smoke. To your cottage nestled amidst towering cedars. And to people you love. Here at the Cottages you are just 90 minutes from Vancouver, yet a world apart. Beyond your expectations. So close to home.

I love how the cottages are “just” 90 minutes from Vancouver. As if three hours roundtrip to downtown is a breezy good time. Commute times of that length pretty much mean an end to daddy spending time with son. I say nothing about commuting’s effect on the daddy-mommy love life. (OK, maybe just one thing: cultus in the sack?)

Returning to the father-and-son angle, there is something very peculiar about this ad. In small text, a caption reads “Fishing with Dad – the Cottages at Cultus Lake, May 25th, 2007 — 11:00 a.m.” Why is this mentioned?

My best guess is that the marketer wanted to take their River Runs Through It imagery and connect it to reality, using a date stamp to ground the message. Problem is, they didn’t take care to check the date. Flip your calendar and you’ll see May 25th was a Friday, meaning lil’ Craig Sheffer here should’ve been in school.

A River Runs Through It? This is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

And what does this say about dad? Cool dad, maybe? Nah. I’d say kul.

Above all

May 2, 2007

Paramount Properties - Chilliwack, BC

I don’t even know if this is a condo ad. In fact, I’m not sure if anything is for sale. What is for sure is this may be the worst designed real estate advertisement the Lower Mainland has ever seen. Like, above all, the worst.

The offering is Chilliwack’s Paramount Properties where the only thing more “distinguishing” than the address is the designer’s use of the gradient tool. Of course, that’s assuming this was done in Photoshop or Illustrator. Who’s taking bets this ad is “designed” out of Microsoft Word?

If you think it can’t get any worse, think again. A quick click to the Paramount Properties website treats visitors to a shot of a deer’s ass.

No, I’m not making this up. If I could be so creative, I’d have a job in condo marketing.

Chilliwack legacies now

April 12, 2007

New Mark - Downtown Chilliwack

Here’s another hunk of gold from the team at Platinum Marketing. For the New Mark condo development in “downtown” Chilliwack, Platinum disowns its traditional lifestyle approach in favour of a more historical sensibility. Because this is Chilliwack, what is called for is not lifestyle but legacy. That’s right. Buy now and own the legacy.

I love the choice of the couple, standing before a clouded sky in a field of wheat, dressed in the purity of white. Without question, these birds are “living the countercultural message of chastity to its fullest expression.” (If you know where I stole this quote from, you are awesome and have great taste in reading. If you don’t, that’s OK. Just read Russell Shorto’s fantastic article.)

Though you might say the upward tilt of the woman’s arm refers to buyers’ hopes for rising property values, I think she’s just pointing out the spot where she hopes to consummate her marriage. Again, this is Chilliwack.

Jump on over to New Mark website for a tease of a Flash animation with music. Actually the music and graphics kinda reminded me of the opening of a Neil LaBute movie. For a split second I was excited. Misanthropy and relationship dysfunction as a marketing device? Then I got to the copy and my hopes were shattered:

Picture a thriving community bright with promise. Open spaces, new opportunities, and room to grow. Play. Learn. Work. Live. This is Chilliwack, one of Canada’s most progressive and fastest growing cities. In this desirable destination, you will discover New Mark – the address of new beginning today … a legacy for tomorrow.

Progressive? Chilliwack? The last two federal elections in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon saw the Conservative candidate win with more than 50% of the vote. If that’s progressive, what do you call East Van?

The legacies begin at $125,900. But please, smart buyers only.