Welcome to your second lesson in “Adventures in Advertising:™ Because Effective Advertising is the Lifeblood of Healthy Capitalism.”™ Our professionally-trained team of researchers, experts, scientists, professionals, specialists, and all-around Renaissance persons will present in this series the fundamental principles of advertising.
So let’s keep going! (See our first lesson for tips on naming a luxury vehicle.)
Naming a Housing Development
OK, so you’ve got plans to buy Farmer Brown’s farm and turn it into something useful to society, i.e., a gazillion identical homes slightly further out from the lights and noise of the city, or even from other suburbs. The only problem is that you can’t think of a name for it.
What do you do? Well, my financially enterprising friend, you’ve come to the right place.
Introductory Principle: We’re not in the business of presenting a development as it really is. People are fleeing from the crush and crawl of the city for a reason, so you don’t want to rub it in their faces that they’re moving into a vanilla middle-class suburbotopia. You want them to think that they’re moving into a neighborhood that has more wildlife than rats and tree rats (squirrels), which may or may actually not be the case. They’re reaching for freedom, and you can give it to them (for a price, of course).
You also want them to feel pride every time they pull into the neighborhood while listening to “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Baby” by Barry White in their all-new AX5, if they can afford one; simply seeing the development’s clever name on the faux-brick sign that you’ve devised at the entrance to the neighborhood will instill a sense of gratefulness in the development’s denizens for your perspicacity.
Two Easy, Simple, Not Hard Steps
Step One: Make it Sound Naturey. Nobody wants to move into neighborhoods like Concrete Country Club or Treeless Terraces. They want to think that they’re enjoying some scrap of the peace and quiet of nature, enjoying the good life in some pristine pre-modern village out in the boonies. To effect this, always make one word, preferably the first, something naturey-sounding. Whether the development actually has or had those naturally-occurring features is irrelevant. Here is a list gathered by our specialists for inspiration (which may have been mostly taken from actual developments in the western suburbs of Chicagoland):
Summerlakes, Walnut Hill Apartments, Country Ridge Apartments, Fox Hollow, Butterfield Oaks, Ginger Woods, Linden Grove, Marywood Meadows, Oak Meadows, Timber Trails, or, quite simply, Savannah.
Don’t you just want to drop everything and spontaneously go hiking? Stop right there, partner, because we’re not done yet. Notice how all of these examples have a natural element; this is because the developers knew what they were doing. They wanted people to have naturey associations with their housing developments, however real or imaginary those associations may be.
(We may note in passing that the developers of “The Trees of Wheaton” and “Sunny Apartments” could have used our life-changing tips to rectify their stunning lack of imagination.)
However, avoid a major pitfall by also applying our next step. You can have a naturey word in the name of your housing development but still fail disastrously. Nobody wants to move into neighborhoods like Reykjavík Rocks, Kiev Steppes, or Archangelsk Cottages. Borrowing place names taken from anywhere in the world but a single particular island could be, well, really bad.
Step Two: Also include, if possible, a name sounding English. You want to associate your development with the peace and poshness of the English countryside. Think “Pride and Prejudice,” “Shadowlands,” heck, even “Nanny McPhee.” Try these names on for size:
Cambridge Pointe, Prestonfield, Chesterfield, Cambridge Countryside, or London Square. (Most Americans haven’t been to London, but this serves the purpose just as well.)
If you can combine our two career-changing two steps, we guarantee that you’ve have a gaggle of middle-class folks lining up in their AX5s while pumping Barry Manilow’s silky-smooth tunes to buy one of the gazillions of clone homes you are offering at a reasonable price.
Career-Changing Advice in Action™
Believe us now? Of course you do!
Now you try it! Stun your business partner by combining something naturey and something even remotely English-sounding in the name of your new housing development. Make people think that they’re moving into a bucolic paradise with all the swankiness of Mr. Darcy’s country estate. As you climb the ladder of success, always remember our motto: “Effective advertising is the lifeblood of healthy capitalism.”™
Join us for our next Adventures in Advertising™ post as we reveal the secret of making consumers think that they deserve something good!