Friday, April 20, 2007

condo culture

I have taken swipes at marketing - specifically of real estate in the past. Recently, there is a new blog on the block - so to speak - condohype which is a very good read. Their most recent thread brought marketing into focus, and then I came across an article in one of my favourite publications - The Republic of East Vancouver. I will excerpt some of it below for illustration, as I think that it is particularly well written. Read the whole thing for a lucid take.

Vancouver's condo industry has embraced "culture" and "art" as a fundamental part of many sales pitches. The cultural allusions run thick in local ad copy. Where once the real estate industry emphasized a residence as a good place to “raise a family,” today they use “lifestyle” to lure prospective buyers.

By correlating cultural commodities of distinction with the people of distinction who purchase them, the marketers construct its imagined clientele at the same time it makes its pitch. Who is this new clientele? a recent New Home Buyers Guide article, Susan Boyce enthuses, "When you're ready to explore, you're at the very heart of what makes Vancouver a vibrant, truly world-class city. Perhaps a night at the opera or symphony? Or an afternoon pondering the latest showing at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Maybe you'd prefer wine tasting . . . .”
...this strategy "inspires a new language dealing with difference" and "a coded means of discrimination." The mobilization of taste as a mark of distinction appeals to a specific type of resident in the downtown, one who has had the time and money to invest in developing these tastes, tastes developed outside the exigencies of the labour market. Put bluntly, the ads employ coded class appeals to differentiate their target audience.

Condo Salesperson seeks cool, authentic, risk-oblivious people, either sex, for fun and debt-bondage.

It goes on, and I don't want to reproduce it here, but it's worth reading.

Ack. Choke. Please, tell me who I am, tell me what I want/need. Ack.

1 comment:

Etienne de Cochon said...

This is precisely why I cannot stand living in Vancouver. It's a city whose population thinks so highly of itself it can't smell its own shit.

This is why vanity projects like the olympics and the city's ecodensity initiative take priority over a genuine concerted effort to rehabilitate the downtown east side and its residents. The DTES is a mess that's been allowed to fester for the past 30+ years and the priority to fix the problem is arguably no higher now than it ever was during all this time.

Why is that? Probably because all the hip, stylish, barely professional cultural mavens overextended on their credit cards rarely have a need to go into that area, never mind our "creme de la creme". I guess that's changing...where else are you going to find your 300$ jeans boutiques?