On the face of it, good to see an industry doing well but also it is a possible harbinger of the worst of the arsery of the previous boom: The giant building advertising hoarding.
A hoarding around a property development serves multiple purposes. It’s part of the security of the perimeter, it shields the public from dust and rubble, but mainly for a few golden years in the 2000s it was an opportunity for somedevelopers to write in the largest typeface this side of the Hollywood hills, some of the most pungent verbal equine manure every committed to keyboard.
Buying a house or a tiny apartment is a big decision so you need to know it’s the right thing.
Will the place be suitable for your life choices, what will the neighbours be like, is it consistent with your value system? You could do some research or you could just trust the hoarding.
Look at the photographs and the slogans on the hoardings because these were the kind of people who were going to be your neighbours once you moved in. Usually they would depict a man whose close-cropped hair was flecked with grey. The flecked with grey was important — he was young at heart but having settled down could be relied upon to be a good neighbour and possibly be on the management board of the block of apartments and call a meeting about the increasing theft of bikes in the area and send a quick mailshot around about sightings of latchikos.
Other grey-flecked men could be seen about to put on cuff-links with a white shirt and black sleeve — clearly on their way out the door to a charity ball. He obviously worked for a company who, despite their commitment to driving value for their customers and being based here for tax purposes, had not lost sight of their corporate social responsibility.
Flecked-grey may return, although it’s likely it will instead be bearded kidult. The bearded kidult is a staple in advertising — a man who has just recently realised his responsibilities, and luckily the sensible girl in his life is telling him put away the X-box and get down to the mortgage shop.
In fact beards heavily outweigh NakedFace (as we in the bearded community refer to those without the follicles) all over our cities. This boom is definitely one that can’t last.
The other side of the property lifestyle equation was sex. And women sell sex of course. In the Noughties, large photos of women from the nose down were seen on advertising hoardings doing something suggestive. Looking through a window — clearly mad for it. Or eating some sensual food suggestively. In at least one hoarding the sensual food was asparagus. This presumably was not accidental. The Kama Sutra advised drinking asparagus in a paste. The French would eat three meals of it a day to get themselves ‘going’. (Although they’d probably do the same with Curly Wurlys, them lads.)
We just thought asparagus was a bit dear and there wasn’t as much eating in it as in a cabbage.
But in a huge black and white photo asparagus is being eaten by a sexy mouth. It told us if you bought an apartment, this woman would be your neighbour and well… what she wouldn’t do to you …
We’re not sure what the next generation of hoardings will depict. Asparagus has become de rigeur now with the advent of the Fierce Chape Vegetables in Lidl and Aldi — a process known by sociologists as the Democratisation of Asparagus. Suggestions for sexy edibles including passion fruit, African cucumber, and kiwis sliced in half are no doubt on whiteboards in brainstorming sessions in property advertisers as we speak. The ‘hoards’ are coming. Avert your eyes.
The bearded kidult is a staple in advertising — a man who recently realised his responsibilities, and the sensible girl in his life is telling him put away the X-box and get a mortgage