Where to start with this one? I have an example of dodgy marketing techniques and truely ridiculous photoshopping that I stumbled across on the weekend.
A new condo build is going up on the site of the old Chum radio building in Toronto around St. Clair and Yonge. The Chum building is an ugly, squat little site, so anything will be an improvement. The new owners are marketing it as upscale, exclusive living in a hip, urban neigbourhood… which makes me snort with laughter. Great neighbourhood, don’t get me wrong. Wonderful as a matter of fact. Good places to eat, grocery stores, clean, parks, two subway stops within walking distance etc, but the people who live around here tend to be pretty down to earth and quite honestly, hip we ain’t. I’ve been watching people come out of the sales office and stroll down the street to check out the neigbourhood. Some have looked at the apartment building south east of the Chum building with a bit of consternation and confusion. That’s been happening off and on for months now so on the weekend I began to wonder why.
Didn’t take long to figure out. One tour of their website revealed the reason. The flattering mockup views, showing an unhindered vista of Toronto, aren’t quite realistic. In their glossy website, the condo developers carefully cropped the apartment building from all but one image. I guess a 28 story apartment building sitting across the road was an inconvenience to the advertising people. No problem, just crop all the photos and don’t show it. Hence the mild confusion on so many faces. I did find ONE photo with the apartment in it. The marketing department couldn’t crop it out without being too obvious so they did the next best thing – the deleted 6 floors from the building and compressed the size so the new build is nearly as tall:
They removed 6 floors and compressed the size of the building to make the new condo appear bigger than it will be. This wasn’t necessary, the condo, as designed, will be an instant improvement to the dowdy little corner it’s sitting on. No one in the area is a big fan of the existing concrete bunker that’s there now. It’s going to be a attractive building, which makes the bad photoshopping a bit puzzling. A couple of us were discussing this and we couldn’t decide if they pulled this smoke and mirrors stunt because 1 – an apartment building doesn’t fit in with their luxury, upscale vision (in that case, new owners are in for a rude shock) or 2 – they mistakenly believe airbrushing the big ass building will somehow convince prospective buyers the apartment isn’t there. It could also be a case of marketing madness – never leave a photo untouched because we have Photoshop and need to prove our skills.
They also lopped off the roof and threw a flat white concrete slab onto it. Here’s the real roof:
Notice anything missing in the previous photo? Dropping that big white slab onto the building is sheer laziness as far as I’m concerned. There wasn’t even an attempt to make the roof look realistic.
I’m thinking of wandering over to the sales office this weekend. I want to visit the model suite and ask “what about that huge apartment building? I didn’t notice it in your advertising stuff” and see if they react. Could be fun.