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Thread: American stories and planning advertising

  1. #1
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    American stories and planning advertising

    I'm a Masters student at UC-Irvine. I moved from a rural area to Orange County and have been surrounded by developer advertisements for the past year. Is anyone out there studying those things? I'm primarily wondering about the narratives/myths that underlie those pictures of idyllic golf courses and swimsuit-wearing condo buyers.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    I remember those TV ads from about 4-5 years ago from Fannie Mae: "the American Dream makers." I hated those commercials then, and looking back at them now, I hate them even more.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by s_puttnick View post
    I'm a Masters student at UC-Irvine. I moved from a rural area to Orange County and have been surrounded by developer advertisements for the past year. Is anyone out there studying those things? I'm primarily wondering about the narratives/myths that underlie those pictures of idyllic golf courses and swimsuit-wearing condo buyers.
    "Narratives" I can live with...but "Myths"?

    I think you forgot "Discourse", "Archetype" and "Sociatelly-mandated roles/imagery".

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    It's called advertising. It's always had the same narrative: "purchasers of this product/service are admirable/enviable in some way or another; associate yourself with them".

    If people in the OC like pristine golf courses and swimming pools, this will naturally be reflected back at them. A similar kind of ad for some new (urban) developments here in London showed a pretty woman wearing lacy lingerie, an open fur coat and heels reclining louchely on a balcony (of said develoment) and staring seductively at the photographer/imaginary prospect.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I noticed that the marketing for residential development is MUCH more sophisticated in Western states than it is in the Rust Belt. Small mom and pop builders reign supreme. Instead of focusing on lifestyle, marketing promotes the basics; home features, and possibly school district too if it has a good reputation. Four bedrooms, three baths, master bath with an optional garden tub, second floor laundry room, and Williamsville schools; what else do you need?

    Promotional signage, if there is any, is usually quite basic, and the idealized depictions of golfing, children at play, happy young couples and so on are uncommon. Permanent signage is equally unsophisticated; for instance, typefaces such as Brush Scrpt or Comic Sans may be used. Some subdivision entrance signs in suburban Buffalo more closely resemble tombstones rather than the elaborate entry features typical California.

    Print advertising is limited to the basics; home features, the reputation of the developer, and sometimes schools. Real estate development is seldom advertised on television; when it is, commercials have all the charm of a public access production. Pan the exterior, pan rooms, and close with a real estate agent shaking hands with a plain couple by the front door. Chyron the name of the builder and their phone number on the screen.

    This wasn't always the case. Try to find some of the early advertising for Shaker Heights from the 1920s; it's quite sophisticated even by today's standards.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Advertising

    I'm trying to decide if "luxury" is better than "signature" as in a Luxury Townhome vs. a Signature Townhome. I also love it when they add an unnecessary and incorrect "e" to words such as Sunset Point becoming Sunset Pointe and Shops becoming Shoppes.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Favorite marketing “signifiers” for real property here in the UK:

    Luxury (of course)
    Sophisticated (the show-flat has décor that is only 3-5 years out of fashion)
    Water-front (as in: abutting a disused industrial canal)
    Urban living (it’s tarted up to look like Shoreditch, but it’s in Slough)
    Period (we’ve forgotten how to build nice buildings so we’re turning any old wreck into apartments and it still looks a million times better than our other developments)
    Brand-new (it looks really cheap and ansty but the plumbing more or less works)

    As for the extra “e” thing:
    > it’s not “wrong” as such, just ridiculously obsolete
    > I agree it is retch-inducingly twee
    > It’s more common in the US than in Britain, which says a lot
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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