an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘homes’

Direct Buy: Because it’s Not Home without the Right Stuff

Posted by Rosepixie on December 17, 2009

I came across this banner ad on a news website.  It’s for DirectBuy, a company that sells home remodeling products (flooring, appliances, counter top surfaces, cabinets, etc.).

The thing that struck me about this ad is that while it says “turn your house into a home”, the image doesn’t look like a home at all.  At best it looks like a model home (you know, the kind of house nobody lives in but has all the latest shiny designer stuff and you can go walk through it and find out about the stuff?), at worst it looks like a room on a show floor – not part of a house at all (at least it has windows).

I guess that I just resent the idea that it takes shiny cupboards and new appliances and slick flooring to make a house a home.  To me, those things make a house, a home is some place that people live and love.  It’s the place where the couch looks like it gets used all the time, there might be places you suspect spaghetti sauce was once spilled, family photos or mementos are around and you find things like dilapidated teddy bears and books that have clearly been read a thousand times.

A “home” is more about the people and pets that live there than about the furnishings.  A run down apartment with old appliances and cracks in the wall can as easily be a home as a shiny newly built house because it all depends on the people inside.  Living room full of toys when guests arrive?  No question – that’s a home, even if Mom is apologizing for the mess.

I guess what I’m saying is that a home has character.  And while I agree that it’s important to love your house and make it your own, which can sometimes mean remodeling, that’s not what makes it a home.  It can be a home before the remodeling happens as easily as after, even if everyone really wants the remodeling to happen.  And model houses never look like homes to me.  They have no books that look like anyone has ever read them, no toys that look like they were ever played with, no children’s drawings on the refrigerator, no half-finished projects tucked into a corner or in a side room (usually not even half-finished projects if there’s a sewing room), the pet food bowls don’t look like they’ve been eaten from or pushed around the floor, no half-squeezed toothpaste tubes in the bathrooms.  These things don’t make a home, but they’re a good sign that you’re in one.


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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.

The front:

Gables Pressler 1

The inside:

(click on the images for full size)

The text on the front reads:

A Community in Your shade of green

Gables Pressler

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.

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