Sunday, October 01, 2006

Busting the Dubai Bubble City

At the height of the Dubai property boom, an advertising agency called The Creative Council proposed an idea to Damac Properties for the teaser launch of their project, Park Towers. The idea was simple enough - to create a spoof of The Gulf News business page using a two-sided page wrap which would serve as a teaser for the launch. Considering that Damac's idea creativity was always limited to putting their buildings in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or to show over-sized golden keys getting morphed into a tower, it was quite surprising that the idea was accepted and implemented.

The main heading in the advertorial was exciting to say the least - "Bubble City: Amazing New Project Launched" with a picture photoshopped badly enough to suggest that it was a spoof. The news items in the page also supplemented the idea with some ridiculous articles.

Little did the agency nor the developer imagine that a seemingly obvious spoof would become the most talked about project in the property industry. Being used to such announcements of bizarre projects, many of them failed to see the whole advertorial in the proper context and no one even remembered the advertised project.

I was amazed by some peoples reactions to this advertorial and how easy it is to spread wrong information in this region. Even today, this refuses to die down, even finding mention in the Washington Post, increasingly associating Dubai with real-estate projects which does not go beyond an artists impression. (Thanks to Grapeshisha for the scan)

Some of the reactions at various blogs, forums and websites regarding the launch of Bubble City..
"Arabian people are selfish guys they just spend money on these unwanted things..."

"Ummm, I think you meant $30 BILLION, not $30 million."

"Heh.. well, I always told people that ruling Dubai is like playing SimCity with the money cheat ;)"

"whoah. i thought that sorta thing happens only with the jetsons."

But this quote is a gem..

"2 words: STUPID" . Yes, you said it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Prometheus said...

Whoa dude. You surely are brave. Prometheus just stumbled on an old post on UAEComm about that trash bin bachelor pad. Typhoon in a teacup, Prometheus would say. Wonder what this post would yield. Earthquake in a champagne flute?

11:54 pm  
Blogger sid said...

hi dude !! wonderful blog ... spent some good quality time on it reading ole n new posts .... my research on creating a marketing map of UAE led me to your blog ..!! thanks a ton for wonderful links and posts!

Can you help me with data on detailed profile of UAE consumers and the kind of products present in this region ...

second can you please send me the report of vanity fair mentioned on this post of your blog

http://wokeupjustnow.blogspot.com/2006/05/vanity-fairs-take-on-dubai.html (links mentioned on post dont have the file)

It would be great help to me .... and can I bug you on ur mail id if i need some help with my report ??

cheers

s ! d

4:01 am  
Anonymous Dubai Property said...

Many building company's using in they`r advertisement photoshop fakes. I thing Government must do new law about adjustment all adverts. Especially for invest projects

5:16 pm  
Anonymous Dubai Email Marketing said...

My friend Nitin Krishnan sends me a scanned cut out of a newspaper for the Dubai's proposed Bubble city, sounds exciting. a city that will be stationed 200 metres above the earth with the help of two giant helium ballons. Entire city will be powered with Solar energy and it is expected to cost around $30 million dollars.

-Tsajan

5:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys this was actually an April Fools joke... http://gulfnews.com/pictures/news/famous-april-fool-s-day-hoaxes-1.605903

8:07 pm  

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