Confusing moments in marketing


Cliquez ici pour ecouter ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’ par Jean Sablon!

The whole front page of everyone’s must-read Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Ta Kung Pao today is occupied by an advertisement for Avignon, yet another pretentiously named, atrocious-quality-for-money scam in the government/tycoon-rigged pyramid scheme that is the Hong Kong property market. It is hard to imagine anyone habitually reading the newspaper being interested in buying overpriced real estate. In fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone reading the thing at all. Among the key target customers of the Big Lychee’s so-called luxury developments are rich Mainlanders looking to park wealth offshore or simply have an overseas apartment to brag about along with their race horse and case of Chateau Lafite, but they certainly don’t read our local CCP organ. So we can assume that Sun Hung Kai placed the ad there as a friendship donation to a politically correct but cash-strapped relic of a bygone propaganda era.

The apartment complex on Castle Peak Road is inspired by the paintings of Claude Monet, and each unit comes with a HK$120,000 Gaggenau refrigerator with tempered (they damn well better be) glass shelves. There’s a wine cellar, purples and greens in the show flat, and no doubt garish chandeliers dangling above dazzling marble foyers.

As it happens, authorities in the nation’s capital have just announced a ban on (outdoor) advertising that excessively promotes ‘foreign’ things and uses words like ‘supreme’, ‘royal’ and ‘luxury’. Other cities may be following suit, attempting to soothe disharmony resulting from the growing wealth gap by removing reminders of the expensive goodies the rich elite can have and the rest of the rabble walking past cannot. (I vaguely recall a time when South Korea banned red cars for this reason, or maybe I dreamt it.)

Perhaps this trend will extend as far as Sun Hung Kai’s Shenzhen sales office. Maybe it will then spread across the border, and expanded to encompass such adjectives as ‘exclusive’, ‘lush’, ‘unparalleled’ and anything followed by ‘lifestyle’. Backed up by firm enforcement.  For starters, whoever made the bim-infested Billionaire Royale video would have to be nailed to a tree by his ears…


… for inflicting his hackneyed tawdriness on the perfectly innocent and inoffensive slum district of Kowloon City.

This would be the sort of cross-boundary integration and cooperation we could live with.

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21 Responses to Confusing moments in marketing

  1. seasider says:

    Discerning… prestigious… premier
    Describing anything as an “experience” as in “shopping experience”

    And the main reason that I can see for stopping the building of “Baroque on Lamma” is the name itself. Talk about an oxymoron.

  2. Sir Crispin says:

    (I vaguely recall a time when South Korea banned red cars for this reason, or maybe I dreamt it.)

    When I lived in S. Korea several years ago, I commented on the inconvenience of their largest denomination note being only 20,000 won (approx US$20) as trying have a few US$ hundred in your pocket was exceedingly bulky. I was told the reason why the government didn’t produce larger denomination notes was because they didn’t want the poor people to feel bad they didn’t have any…as opposed to not having a stack of 20,000’s. WTF?!

    Also, they have the annoying habit of shutting down ATM’s later in the evening to prevent soju-swilling salarymen from draining the accounts. Apparently this change was enacted after lobbying by many a pissed of housewife, (or middle-aged ajumma), perhaps because it interfered with her ability to shop endlessly and live an idle life.

  3. Morgan (Capital M, small organ) says:

    “Lammoque” sounds kind of classy, in a dead-body-behind-the-couch sort of way. Or “Lammorgue”

  4. Smedley Tangbottom III says:

    When it comes to selling shite-packaged-as-Monet to HK’s aspirant classes, then I am with the property developers.

  5. LivinginHK says:

    Those urban nightlife pictures look suspiciously like San Francisco, NOT Hong Kong…

  6. Probably The Injunear says:

    Not quite sure what they were advertising there. Was it some sort of high class escourt service?

  7. FB3 says:

    Ads like this are taking the piss out of gullible people.

    I don’t have the skills myself but it would be good to see a spoof site that shows what these developments & surroundings really look like when compared against the glossy ads.

    Anyone in the ‘Post 80s’ generation up for it?

  8. jing says:

    Why Monet and Avignon ? Oh yeah, Wing Tai already named their property Giverny.
    “a luxurious development … whose meticulously designed layouts embody spaciousness.”

  9. FB3 says:

    There’s an app for Avalon too.

    Will download it & see if it includes Thomas Kwok doing a Jean Sablon number.

  10. Maugrim says:

    I wonder how the residents will pronnounce the name, that would be worth the admission price alone. I know plenty of older flats in HK have names like ‘Prosperity” etc, perhaps the ‘Coq D’or’ is next, or maybe only for Portland St?

    Seasider, maybe it will be ‘Broke on Lamma”, which after all has a ring of truth.

  11. Harry Barraclough says:

    PTI – I have just checked the vid. Berlusconi’s underage Moroccan slapper should consider appearing in stuff like this.

  12. ushekim says:

    What’s with frog music in Hong Kong? Does it make men rise and women wet?

  13. Million City kid on Elgin St says:

    I don’t know how the residents will pronounce Avignon but the estate agents flogging it are calling it A Wah Lon

  14. Shanghai Bling says:

    A Wah Lon – wasn’t that a song by Bryan Ferry?

  15. Maugrim says:

    Yeah, I can hear it now ‘sur le pont ah wah lon”

    Seeing as the Kwoks are into thuings biblical, why not names like The Gilgamesh? The Soddom? The Ark?

  16. Morgan (Capital M, small organ) says:

    The Arch is in Tsim Sha Tsui, I think.

  17. Maugrim says:

    Ark, Morgan, as in ‘fark’

  18. Posher Still says:

    I hear that the esteemed English educational establishment Harrow will soon be opening, right next to the prestigious property.
    Harrow on the Hill comes to HK:
    Hal Low upon Ah Wah Lon

  19. Plod says:

    CPK Rd starts in Sham Shui Po and heads north. Nowhere near Kowloon City.

  20. Rory says:

    Yes but Billionaire Royale is in Sa Po Road…

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