Advertising and Marketing

CBD real estate frenzy

The green billboard in the photo below is a typical Chinese real estate advertisement. There are thousands of ads like this in hundreds of cities across the nation. It's a picture of a building, with some text that means... absolutely nothing.


Intelligence luxury house? I'll take three!

But things are changing. There are millions of square meters of apartments, office buildings and houses that need to be sold. The competition is forcing developers to think about their positioning, and to put some creative effort into their ad campaigns. Nowhere is the competition more intense than in Beijing's so-called Central Business District or CBD, which was farmland a decade and a half ago but is rapidly turning into Bladerunner town.

Click below on 'Continue reading...' for some examples of more interesting ad campaigns in Beijing's CBD.

Jianwai Soho is the latest development from the company Soho China, a real estate venture headed by Gansu-peasant-turned-Beijing-player Pan Shiyi. Soho China's first high-profile project was Soho Newtown, a complex of residential and office towers just outside of Beijing's East Third Ring Road. Soho Newtown was 'based on the loft concept' but had nothing to do with lofts except that the promotional materials had pictures of apartments in New York's Soho.

Jianwai Soho is Soho China's new project. It's a cluster of buildings on the south side of Chang An Boulevard, opposite the China World Hotel. Soho Jianwai's ad campaign has thus far been lacklustre, but the apartments have been selling very well, thanks to Pan Shiyi's media pull and the good track record of Soho Newtown.

But the ad pictured below is good. Jianwai Soho has 'adopted' various patches of roadside grass, and thus been granted the right to put up hippie-looking signs that point out the 'adoption' and also point the way to the development.


Not too far away from Jianwai Soho's adoption signs, the same company that put up the 'intelligence luxury house' billboards has been donning its thinking cap for a new luxury development with the absurd name of Windsor Avenue.

Pompous, hell yeah, but the campaign has some thought behind it:

Windsor Avenue Ad #1
The Chinese text translates as "The Ambassador hasn't stepped into the building yet."

Windsor Avenue Ad #2
"The First Lady hasn't made her down payment yet."

Windsor Avenue Ad #3
"The Prime Minister hasn't seen the apartment yet."

Windsor Avenue Ad #4
"The President hasn't signed yet.:"

A few weeks after the above ads appeared on billboards around the development, this billboard appeared:
"He's moved in. Now he's the President."

Shortly after the ads pictured above appeared, a new office building nearby named Platinum Palace ('bo gong') unveiled it's kitschy neo-classical facade and then draped a massive banner across it, pictured below. The text reads: "It's not the President's office." The joke is on two levels: the Chinese character for 'platinum' is based on the character for 'white', so 'platinum palace' looks a lot like 'white palace' which is what the White House is called in Chinese. And then there's a joke at the expense of Windsor Avenue, which every Beijinger knows will NOT be the place that the President lives in, unless it's the President of Bhutan or Zambia you're talking about.


Expect more posts about real estate on there's a boom on, meaning a lot of irresponsibly spent advertising dollar, meaning a lot of fun for us.

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