Advertisements Aimed at the Wealthy


For some reason, I find advertisements aimed at the world’s wealthy very interesting to read. The creativity the writers must employ in summoning this very specific type of prose must be considerable. You basically have to make the statement that your product is so good that the reader needs to weigh their own value against it while simultaneously congratulating the reader that they are among the best the world has to offer. And this two way ego-stroke must be accomplished in a sort of hushed tone. It is like trying to convince someone you have found the fountain of youth, and that they are worthy to drink of it, while not raising your voice, because you are in a cathedral, which is full of interested assassins.

I particularly like the way ordinary objects raised into the super-luxe strata often take on new names. An excellent example here would be the wristwatch. In ads for women’s luxury watches they are still typically called a watch. Or more frequently watch for women. But in an ad for a man, they are most often called chronometer, chronograph, or my cherished favorite–wrist instrument. I like to imagine the conversation:

Matrone: “Dearest, I do fear that we are getting late for the Opera.”
Patrone: “None such. I have just consulted my wrist instrument.”
Matrone: “Nevertheless, I should feel comforted if you would instruct the driver to tax the Bugatti more heavily.”
Patrone: “No sooner said than done.”

I could go on about this, but I think it boils down to the fact that ads aimed at the super wealthy are every bit as transparent as those for the rest of us, yet slightly funnier because they pretend not to be. Where is all this coming from? Well I ran into a motorcycle company on the internet the other day. Actually they are “the world’s most luxurious, sporting two-wheeled device” company. Their words, not mine.

Confederate is the richest, densest vein of high-luxe ad copy I have yet witnessed. They have this game on lock. Bear witness:

“Our foundational mantra is therefore a triumph of the principals of individualism, romantic zeal through self-expression is sought. Matters which concern short-term financial gain are not prioritized because this goal is driven by collective expression which is organically mediocre.”

What I really like about what Confederate is doing, is that they haven’t just renamed the product in some obscure manner. The product itself is now barely recognizable. I have a degree in mechanical engineering, and it is not readily apparent to me how the front suspension on their Renovatio motorcycle works. It is not clear to me that it even has any.

I think this is where the fusion of high luxury and high technology must take us. Product designs pushed so far that they become incoherent. I can’t wait to read some of the copy.



5 Responses to “Advertisements Aimed at the Wealthy”

  1. david Says:

    My fav quote: She exudes inner beauty through absolute follow through of truth of concept. I imagine the copywriter laughing as this tripe gets approved.

  2. david Says:

    “F” architecture is unquestionably the stiffest, strongest, most rigid welded platform ever to run the Iconic American radial twin power plant.

    Last time I read something that graphic my parents grounded me for a week.

  3. Leigh Ann Says:

    You should read cosmetic and beauty ads… WOW… the wealthy have more deserving skin, and should only apply products with higher standards… :)

  4. maureen Says:

    Now just imagine how all that would sound if described in engrish.
    Whoa, I just blew my own mind.

  5. Sage Says:

    What’s an advertisement?

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