Thursday, August 31, 2006

Aldar's Message in a Bottle

Real-estate companies in Dubai often send out some really fancy invitations to VIPs during project launches. Here are a few I came across.

So there is decorative blue box made of card paper delivered to you which says "Somewhere in the world there's a palace with your name on it".

A map, a magnifying lens and Da Vincique instruction awaits you inside the box.

Unfold the map and if you have a rough idea of where the UAE (and you do not have to be precise at all) is, on a badly vectorised world map; you can find a sentence in small type which says "Mr.Your Name's Palace".

Which makes you wonder why they have provided the magnifying lens, since the type is very much readable. Either they found a compass too expensive or they think by the time you become rich enough to buy an apartment in the Grandeur Residences (and not the whole palace, mind you) you will be too old and half-blind.

I like the personalised 'name' touch. The idea of playing with the filthy rich's ego is not a bad idea in the Middle East. Emaar has done it before with a launch campaign when they announced one of their projects by actually resorting to a customised print of some VIP individuals names on Gulf News wraps. Imagine the surprise when you pick up the morning newspaper and find your name in the front page saying "Dear Mr. Yourname, ..".

Great idea indeed.

The Grandeur Residences' attempt at personalisation fails misreably on the execution front. And the latitude-longitude message, the lens and the almost-antique map seems all too farcical with no real purpose. Which is sad, because the building looks lovely and the rendering house has done a fantastic job in making it one of the most realistic renderings done in Dubai.

Aldar has spent a fortune in the UAE building their brand, ruining it, re-stablishing it and at present diluting it with some project launches with no real co-ordination or synergy. So if they send you a small suspicious looking wooden box, you can either freak out like a paranoid traveller or you can find a paper tag saying "The Gulf's Most Spectacular New Address" reassuring enough because you have heard that line a more than 100 times before.

Believe me, the agency has taken the extra-mile to make sure there is some originality to the whole process of opening the box, untying the rope and spending half an hour in trying to take out the small piece of paper tucked inside the bottle.
I don't reckon this message in a bottle will make your day but it is definitely interesting enough to make you attend another of those beach front property launches.

Carrying that box along is not advisable though.

Coming up: Emaar takes to a different kind of bottle


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