Gables Pressler: Not-So-Green Marketing
Posted by Rosepixie on October 22, 2009
This is a brochure that I got in the mail from an apartment complex called Gables Pressler.
(click on the images for full size)
The text on the front reads:
A Community in Your shade of green
The inside lists these “Green Amenities”:
– Stained concrete and bamboo flooring
– Granite countertops with stainless appliances
– Computer nooks and bookshelves
– Verdant courtyard and large pool
– Washer and dryer in each residence
– Hybrid car electrical outlets in parking garage
So clearly this apartment complex is trying to sell itself as being Earth-friendly. The problem is that I’m not convinced. First of all, this brochure is printed on glossy, high quality cardstock that in no way appears recycled (and is not marked as such anywhere). It also came in a clear plastic sleeve. Seriously. A plastic sleeve with a gummed down flap. Doesn’t that scream “Green”? There is a little disk (that blue circle in the picture) that is apparently embedded with seeds and will grow flowers when planted. That’s a very cute touch, I must say, and likely the reason they decided to use an envelope. But why not use a cute recycled paper envelope with their logo on it instead of the wasteful clear plastic?
The “green” amenities don’t really impress me either. The only feature listed there that actually strikes me as “green” (unless you want to be literal and count the garden) is the hybrid car outlets in the garage. Now, if you read into the giant block of rather uninviting text it also lists they provide energy efficient appliances, “organic interior finishes” (I’m not sure what makes interior finishes “organic” and suspect that it’s as subjective, since “organic” isn’t a very well regulated term), and solar shades. And if those are really what they claim, that’s potentially more Earth-friendly than many apartment complexes. That said, that rooftop garden must use a lot of water (not to mention the pool and on-site dog bath). Despite the promise of concrete floors, which sounds decidedly unappealing, this place sounds more “posh” and “snooty” than it does “green”.
The biggest impression that I got from this brochure was that someone missed the point. I don’t know if it’s the people behind the complex itself, which would imply some problems with the complex itself (or at least with the idea that it’s really Earth-friendly). This might just be a disconnect is with the marketing people (who I assume probably aren’t even connected to the apartment complex), which only implies some really dumb marketing that should never have made it to press. Since all I have to go on is the marketing, I really don’t know which it is. I hope it’s the marketing and I hope someone learned from this and decided to hire a different marketing firm in the future.