Friday, May 25, 2007

Bad Ideas in Marketing: Flood

Bad Ideas in Marketing

Part Four

You may have seen the artist renderings of the Signature Tower building in Nashville. The pictures used on the company web site provide an interesting, and believable, look at how the building will appear on the Nashville skyline. Yesterday, I was thumbing through my wife’s June copy of Gourmet magazine, when I noticed this ad for the Signature Tower on page 111. At first I just thought that it was interesting that they are taking the sales effort to a regional or even national audience (many magazines publish regional editions to allow for regional advertising). Then I noticed the river. It seems quite high. In fact, if you know Nashville, it seems dangerously high. About 39 feet high, and just short of flood stage according to the National Weather Service web site. Some graphic design team decided that the real Cumberland isn’t pretty enough, so they give us the “enhanced” Cumberland. It’s kind of like super models, I guess. If you see any parts that are not big enough, feel free to alter things in Photoshop. My wife didn’t see it as any big deal, but I can’t help but think it’s another Bad Idea in Marketing. I guess my point is that if you are trying to sell a condo in a real city, than show the real city. We have nothing to be ashamed about. I can’t imagine the artists who were involved in the fine web site work were involved in this ad. In fact, I don’t know if you can see it in my admittedly poor photos, but there are light poles sticking out of the water, as if the river is actually flooding. And hey if it did, who wouldn’t want to be in the tallest building in Nashville?


Christy said...

That's hilarious. Good catch.

Paul Nicholson said...

Think about it.

They are promoting a high-rise tower.
What better place to be when "The Flood" comes.

Makes sense to me :-)

And it really is a beautiful picture.

Eric and Katie said...

Just heard back from the National Weather Service. They checked it out and say water this high would be about 45 feet, or five feet over flood stage. At this point the water would be creeping up on the tracks for the Nashville Star and perhaps the intersection of first and mcgavock. They say the last time this happened was 1984 or even going back to 1975. Perhaps Tony G. should offer valet boat parking at the new building?

Austin said...

This is quite funny. I do wish to clarify something, though. I work at the graphic design firm that designed the ad, and I must make it abundantly clear that we had nothing to do with the water levels. The rendering came from the architectural firm, and they handle everything with regard to the renderings/city scape/light levels/water levels. We received an image from them, we were told to use it, and we used it. Despite the flood, I don't think the ad is worse than a great many other Signature Tower ads. Basically, the folks at G********* Development tend to write their own copy, photoshop their own photos, and make any number of creative decisions that they ought not. To summarize, I can't in any way disagree with your funny and on-point post. I can only deflect the blame from the design firm onto the development and architectural firms.