Lexus has been consistent in their use of the modern house to sell their cars. Why would they stop now when it obviously is working for them.
I'll never grow tired of making this point, so here it is again. When Lexus creates a context around their product in their ads they want it to make their cars look as desirable as possible. So how do they do it? Time and time again, they choose to show the owners of their cars as also owners of beautiful modern houses. Not just any kind of house, but the modern house. Because they know, and we all know, that this will immediately signify that owners of their cars have impeccable taste, and that if you purchase one of their cars it will signify that you have impeccable taste, just like the modern house owners in their ads.
Lexus knows this, you know this, I know this, we all seem to know this. But our housing industry here in the US does not seem to know this. Instead of offering the kinds of houses that we all know that we admire and ascribe to good taste, they offer an unending parade of mediocre wishy washy sort of old fashiondy historicish looking mcmansions. Sigh. Maybe some day they will wake up and start offering what we all know is the real good stuff. The modern house.
Tip of the hat to Chad for the tip. And the house has been ID'd, thank you Mike:
Just as all the other auto manufacturers, when it comes time to show your product in front of a house, they choose the modern house.
Cadilac has had to come a long way to win back the confidence of auto buyers following the near failure of GM. They needed to show their product in the best light, backed up by a setting that made their cars look like the choice of successful and tasteful owners. So of course they put their product in front of the modern house. Its clearly come to be the only choice for shedding good vibes on your automobile product.
Yet the housing industry seems to be missing this widely understood fact. Every ad agency serving every auto manufacturer knows that the modern house equals desireability. Yet the housing industry fails to offer the modern house as a choice. Hello? Is anybody home?
Here is the video:
We all know where Chrysler has been in recent years. Bankrupt, bailed out, taking a stab at it again, turning over a new leaf, chasing quality, reinventing themselves. This time they are going to do it right, freshen those designs, build that mystique, park their cars in front of the modern house.
Same old cars perhaps, but they have trimmed them up, new headlamps, new logos, new look. And to put that new image across to car buyers, this time they are going to do what works so well for those other car companies. They are going to show us that the kind of person that owns a modern house is the kind of person that owns their car. They are successful, smart, and cool, and Chrysler's products are one of the things that cool people gather around them. Everyone knows that, except maybe those mcmansion builders...
In Nissan's new commercial for their Maxima sedan, the happy couple expecting a baby live in, what else - the modern house. Because, what other kind of house would this hip, yet successful young couple live in? A colonial? Nope. A giant McMansion? Uh uh.
Nothing but the modern house will do when Nissan wants you to understand that their product is owned by cool people. And a sure fire way to make yourself cool is to own their product too. So when Nissan sets out to make sure the owners of their car in the commercial look cool, well they have to be sure to put them in the perfect modern house. Not too big, not too fancy, but 100% modern. The message comes through loud and clear to us. How about the housing industry? Hello? Anybody home?
Over on the Chevrolet web site the new Chevy Volt has been rolled out, the hope of an ailing industrial giant, the Prius killer, the Hail Mary Pass, the last chance to get it right - call it however you see it. When GM closed its eyes and swung for that home run they did what any self preserving Fortune 500 company would do. They put their product in front of a modern house to make it look good.
Because we all know that the cool folks, the smart folks, the folks we want to be like, the folks that GM wants us to copy and buy a Volt, all live in a cool modern house.
But not the housing industry apparently. You remember the housing industry, don't you? I may disparage GM, but GM did not drag the rest of the world economy into the dirt with their own self indulgent out-dated relationship with their own dinosaur, the SUV. However the housing industry did manage to crash the world economy by encouraging us to flip ever bigger McMansions. Where is the Housing Industries Volt? Hmmmm? Where is its smart, green, efficient, and modern product to turn around its fortunes?
In this promotional video by Corning about the role glass will play in our future, the modern home plays a prominent role. But sure you might say, its a video about the future - of course it has a modern home. No, the house in the video is clearly a mid-century modern style home, likely somewhere in California and chosen to be the domestic setting for the video.
So even when making a speculative video about the future, Corning looks to our present to define the modern house. It makes sense though. We could hardly imagine all of these futuristic high tech tools and accessories integrated into a traditional home. It would be a complete contradiction. No, in their eyes the modern house is the inevitable future. But not here in the real world. Builders and developers haven't figured this out yet. Even when its all around them and in their face in popular media. They still remain blindly focused on traditional homes. Perhaps time moves backwards for them and the future never arrives. So long builders, its been nice knowing you...
In this Edmunds Inside Line article the brand new and shiney Hyundai Genesis sedan is posed in front of the modern house to good effect. Its not clear if the photos were shot by Edmunds, or stock material provided by Hyundai. But either way the intention is clear. The car is the newest and greatest. If you want to emphasize that you show it in front of a house that everybody looking also understands is the latest and greatest - the modern house.
See it at Edmund's site.
Thanks to Jim for spotting this one. Reader contributions greatly appreciated.
Acura is running a commercial about overindulgence at the holidays which appears to aimed at the Lexus campaign featuring modern houses and cars as gifts. Only they don't have any objection to cars as gifts of course, they just want to try to make modern architecture look silly.
Nice try, but it backfires. The fool in the Acura commercial may be a fan of fancy gingerbread, but he's holed up for the holidays in a traditional house proving once again that in advertising only the cool people live in the modern houses.
Every year Lexus makes a holiday pitch to give its vehicles as Christmas gifts. As improbable as that seems for most of us, never the less they have something to say about who might be able to so casually gift an expensive automobile.
And surprise - our generous gift giver is a family with a modern house. And why not. Lexus wants us to envy these folks, they want us to want to be like them - buying a new Lexus by Christmas time. And who do they think will make us feel that way? The guy with the modern house, of course. They know the modern house will make their product look more desirable. Yet the US housing industry doesn't get this, do they? What's with that?
In this Lexus UK as from 2007 once again the driver takes their car home to a severely modern house.
The UK is similar enough to the US to make our case. When Lexus wants to make their vehicle enviable, they show it parked in front of a modern home.
It appears from trailers released in Europe that the upcoming Tron Legacy movie will use a modern house for the home of its protagonists, the Flynns. I'm not sure if the home was ever shown in the original Tron movie, I think not, which means that this is a current appropriation. No doubt the movie makers turn to the modern house to imbue their heroes with the sense of cool the audience will admire. Of course we all understand the cool guy lives in the modern house. America's home builders, do they get it? Hmmmm.. not so much.
This is the apartment of a minor character in the movie. Quite unexpected when they enter from the hallway to reveal this soaring two story modern dwelling.
And here is the apartment of one of the main characters. I loved the look and feel of this place. Concrete waffle slab ceilings, and brick walls in the living room.
And later on a brief scene showed an exterior view of the home of one of the other main characters. A night scene but clearly a modern house.
In many scenes of this movie they went to great lengths to show us that cities and buildings were still the same familiar places. Yet the protagonists all had modern dwellings, and strangely enough the antagonist as it turns out lived in a traditional dwelling. Interesting. Clearly deliberate. The modern settings were used here to distinguish the roles of these characters just like bad cowboys had black hats and good cowboys had white hats. So you have to wonder why the good guys got the modern dwellings? Obviously the film makers know which kind of house will make the protagonist appear cool, progressive, informed, admirable. And they count on us understanding that as well. Since we all have this figured out so well, then when is the housing industry going to get the message. HELLO!!
Yep, you read that right. McDonalds. As in hamburgers in a cardboard box McDonalds. They are embarking on a program to literally modernize their image with a new corporate design aesthetic that is unabashedly modern.
So when McDonalds decides to reinvent themselves they don't turn to Colonial architecture, its not pseudo Tuscan, or euro Tudor. Its Modern. Modern Modern Modern. Because McDonalds knows that this will elevate the perception of their product and in return the entire brand. Yet home builders across the USA are prepping next years collection of Toomanypeaks, and Phoneyshmoney styles served up McMansion style. Come on home builders - time to get a clue!
Learn more about the McDonalds redesign in this article at FastCompany.
This movie was called to our attention by reader Larry. He pointed out that the house featured in this movie, while not meant to be a new house was certainly modern. Not having seen the movie I was quite surprised by the house.
The house is at once old, and thoroughly modern. It appears to be an iron age structure - evoking some of the earliest iron framed structures from the industrial revolution such as the Crystal Palace in London. Yet, for a house it is a glass walled box, with an open floor plan, the perfect Meisian home as glass box - the international style from the late 40s.
Such a house would never had been made in the era it was presuming to be from, so we have to wonder why the film makers would put together such a hybrid structure to be the setting for this story? The fact that the house was old played a part in the narrative of the story. The one character an architect somehow acquired the home, or rented it from an older architect. But any old house would do for that. Why this strange hybrid. The house was meant to be the place of this temporal anomaly whereby the characters communicate across several years. In much the same way the house is an artifact at once in the industrial revolution era, and the idealized international style.
If it was just an old home, it would not have been a significant part of the story. But here the modern home speaks to the concept of the story, even if it is only a ghost of a modern home possessing a structure from an earlier era. Once again popular media leverages the modern home to signify the specialness of a place. They count on us understanding that distinction, as we all seem to do. We all know the modern house is unique, special, desirable. Yet the home building industry continues to ignore it. Isn't it time they woke up?
In a TV commercial for the Land Rover Discovery we see a wide range of settings, all with traditional architecture, that is until the driver comes home. And they come home to none other than the Modern House.
Of all the places the driver encounters none but the home are modern - including an Art Museum. Even an Art Museum is a perfect candidate for modern architecture. But why not? Well, its simple. The driver does not own the Art Museum. The driver owns the house.
If you want the house to cast good vibes on your product, to make your product look desirable, to look like a possession of somebody who knows "the good stuff" to own, then of course you want to show your car owner pulling up to a modern house. You want viewers to desire your product, then you show them as the choice of people with good taste, people you want to be like. The thing that everybody seems to know is that we want to be like the guy with the modern house. Almost everybody knows that. Everybody but the housing industry in the US it seems.Much thanks to Preston at Jeston Green for this one!
In this new tv spot for the Lexus RX suv the modern house makes an appearance.
The incredbile thing is the theme of this new ad is "Act Naturally". Through a number of examples Lexus shows us how the operation of the technology in the RX is familiar, the same as using the mouse for your computer, pushing the button for the elevator, and even turning on the lights in your house. Yet the "Natural" example for a house is this very nice looking Modern House.
Amazing. So why the Modern House? Why not a traditional house, as we are sure that most Lexus buyers have? Its simple really. Its because Lexus knows as well as we do that the Modern House makes their product look better. It makes its technology seem more advanced, it makes its style seem better designed, it makes their product more desirable. Yet home builders in America have not caught on that the Modern House will do the same for their product. How come they don't seem to understand what the rest of us seem to know for sure?
A new series on the Syfy channel, Caprica, is set on a fictional world that appears very similar to our own. Perhaps a near future version of real life, the setting shows a city with buildings of all ages, new and old. One of the characteristics of this fictional world is that the setting is largely multi-theistic culture such as ancient Rome or Greece. As a result there the scenery often shows classical sculpture of gods and monumental buildings. Despite that one of the series main characters lives in an overtly modern house that has none of these classical references.
In the program this character is a the head of a large technology company, a successful tech company, hence the large home, the beautiful waterfront site, all the trappings of success. Yet the home is modern, not classical in a culture based on classical beliefs.
This is not really a big surprise. The home is highly technologically enabled. It contains a high tech lab for the owner's work, the enormous glass wall facing the water doubles as an enormous digital display, and the house is tended by an automated butler. But these things could all be incorporated into a classical house. Here the modern house is used to reinforce the character's role in technological change. The modern house frames the way we see him, and embodies a forward looking stance.
No indication if its a real house or a set. If anyone recognizes this we would love to hear about it.this account of by someone who had visited the sets - apparently the Pilot for this show used a real house, and now the series is filming in a recreation of that house as a set. A quote from that link:
While not Galactica’s CIC, the Graystone mansion is magnificent. Pictures of it can be seen on various science fiction news websites, from Syfy’s Digital Press Tour last year. It is a recreation of the original house that was used in the pilot, and is indistinguishable from it; a testament to the construction and set decoration team on Caprica. The thing has two levels to it (upstairs and downstairs) and you could literally live there, with the minor exception that the “basement”â€”where Daniel’s lab-office can be foundâ€”isn’t really down below the main level at all. Furthermore, I’m not sure where the bathroom is, but I know what’s in their walk-in closets! The view of the water and mountain range from the massive living room windows is tremendous… and a fake backdrop that is, itself, completely impressive in its detail.
New Moon, the next installment of the Twilight vampire movies is due out a matter of days. As the fever pitches more information about the home used in the movie as the residence of the Cullens is breaking on the internet. Apparently the home is now up for sale, and hi res photos of the house can be seen on the realtor's web site.
Well once again the modern house is leveraged to signify that the characters who live there in the movie are cool. Yet our home builders can't seem to get that message. Truth remains stranger than fiction.
see more at newmoonmovie.org