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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hi, I'm Lise. Buy this phone.

Flipping through a lifestyle magazine in a waiting room last week, I couldn't help but stop my speedy flip through the rag on an ad for Blackberry featuring Asymptote's Lise Anne Couture. While easily more photogenic than co-principal Hani Rashid, nevertheless I was quite shocked to see an architect hawking expensive mobile electronics. I was also surprised that a more well-known architect didn't get the job. But when one pictures the most famous woman architect, Zaha Hadid, it's easy to see the shallow, surface-oriented minds of the advertisers easily making that decision, particularly with the fact that advertising isn't limited to the page these days, but also includes the requisite sound + video.

15 comments:

  1. I believe she was also in a fairly recent Blackberry TV spot, as was Winke Dubbeldam about 2 years ago...

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  2. I recall a TV ad in Barcelona back in the 80's were Ricardo Bofill said he never left home withought his American Express Card.
    "People know my buildings but rarely know who I am..."

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  3. This stuff just makes me want to vomit...i knew the economic climate had slumped but i had no idea thing were this bad for architects...No thanks! Stick to publicity via doing what you do best!

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  4. Here's Klein Dytham architects work shown in a Nokia ad
    http://www.pushpullbar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4436

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  5. The phrase "woman architect" strikes me as odd. Maybe "female architect" or just "architect."

    It sounds like when the Republican party in the US refers to their rivals as the "Democrat" party not the Democratic party.

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  6. Andrew - Female architect is grammatically correct, though for some reason after I first wrote that I balked and changed it to woman, not recognizing it as an error. Don't know why I changed it...guess I'm unknowingly being brainwashed by politicians and the media.

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  7. Maybe the firm needed some fast cash & advertisement. The Blackberry ad certainly gives Asymtote both.

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  8. There's nothing wrong with architects making a little money on the side - god knows most of us need it.

    And really? "Shallow"? "Surface-oriented"?

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  9. Look's like she's capitalizing on the success of their Men's Vogue photo shoot.

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  10. nice add, I’d do the same if given the opportunity. I saw a VW Touareg TV addvert with Scott Lindenau from Aspen in it. The addvert had sketches and buildings in the background, quite informative for the layperson, great for Exposure! Why so much negativity? ----EpEd

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  11. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion, or Arabic Language Institute in Fez?

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  12. Hmmm...can't say I'm familiar with that one. Maybe anonymous meant ALF (Alien Life Form).

    To clarify my position, which I didn't necessarily try to push in this post but inadvertantly did to some extent, there's certainly nothing wrong with architects hawking goods and/or services, though my basic dislike of advertising makes me critical of the what and the how over the why, which is all too obvious. And while I may consider advertising shallow and surface-oriented (I left out one-sided), to put it that way is a bit unimaginative.

    In a way this specific ad makes sense, as so many architects use phones to carry on business with employees, contractors, and so forth away from the office, at the job site, etc. I'm sure that Blackberry is presenting Couture and other personalities from other professions to show how everybody gains from using those devices, hitting the most targets and making the most on sales. But this is a bit too much of the tail wagging the dog, as Blackberry and other mobile communications companies tell us what successful professionals must do to remain competitive these days. Eventually it fulfills its intention, as one must get one to keep up with the next person. Sure, I'll probably end up with one of those things some day, but for now I'm not a fan.

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  13. Well, figured out what AILF stands for in, of all things, PIN-UP Magazine for Architectural Entertainment. It's the archi-version of MILF.

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