windex likes the glass house

Johnson & Johnson has been running a series of TV ads for its Windex brand that relies on the large glass walls of the modern house. In the spots a pair of birds (crows?) torment a home owner, ringing his bell, closing his sliding door, in order to watch him run into the very clean and clear glass because Windex "leaves a streak-free shine." - much like a poor bird would. In follow up spots the birds watch on while the home owner manages to do it on his own. I don't know that they have really leverage the desirablility of the modern house in these pieces but they certainly exploit one of its greatest features which is the transparency to its outdoor spaces.

Audi says progress is beautiful & the modern house = progress

audi1.png During the opening ceremony for the 08 Summer Olympics Audi ran a new commercial. It starts with a scene of a traditional living room, well appointed, affluent. The camera starts panning around the room, and as it moves the scene starts transforming to modern. The objects on the shelves, the furniture, the wall surfaces and floors all transform, the plaster fades away, then the studs and the solid wall transforms to a glass wall with a view to the garden, and a Mercedes sitting in the driveway, which blinks away to an Audi! Very well done, obviously with computer animation. audi2.png Clearly Audi is trying to make a statement about their product representing progress, and replacing the product of one of their prime rivals. And clearly they believe that the modern house contributes to the progressive spirit they wish to imbue their product with. When they want to paint their cars as desirable they apply a healthy coat of modern house. Makes you wonder why America's big home builders are missing this message. audi3.png For now you can also see the new spot on Audi's home page in a higher resolution flash movie.

welcome to mod house media watch

Modern houses and residential interiors often appear in the popular media as a prop to sell other products. Consumer products are often shown in the context of a cool modern house or a hip modern interior to cast them in a desirable light. This represents a great disconnect in our culture. The marketers clearly understand that the Modern House carries positive capital in the pitch of their product. But the housing industry lags way behind, conservative, the last to follow a trend, the first to ignore one. But it is useful to realize that the Modern House has cultural value, that it represents desirability, mainly through its exclusivity, an exclusivity that is primarily derived from its unavailability. Because it is unavailable the Modern House more often than not emerges through a singular custom commission, an expensive endeavor which brings us full circle to its exclusivity and desirability. Astute observers will realize that this represents a window of opportunity. Developers and Builders willing to offer the Modern House will enjoy a virtually untapped market. This Mod House Media Watch is intended as a wake-up call, a location to collect media placements of the Modern House in order to evidence the cultural value of the Modern House to would be Developers and Builders. This is a tool for those trying to move the market, one more piece of evidence to put before those you are trying to sway. We are primarily interested in tracking advertising, however placements of the Modern House in film, tv programing, and other entertainment media is still of great interest, particularly when the placement is meant to influence the context of the program, ie using the Modern House to inject cool factor into a scene or build the aura of a character. We can include programs on home improvement as well when they have a modern focus. Advertising for modern furniture, high end modern kitchens, and other products already inclusive of the Modern House will not have the same significance and we likely will not include them. You can help. If you see a placement post a comment or send us an email, and see if you can track down or capture an image. We will enter it into the blog. Hopefully we can track down the back story about some of the houses in these placements. Who was the designer, where is the house, how did the placement in the ad come about. Some of you may remember this blog was started sometime ago on LiveModern. If you wish to read those older posts you can still find them there.

About Mod House Media Watch™

Mod House Media Watch™ is a weblog featuring a record of the placement of the Modern House in advertising on television, in print, on the internet and other media.

OWNER/EDITOR: Gregory La Vardera, from Merchantville, NJ (just outside Philadelphia), an architect and enthusiast of modern homes, workplaces, furniture, and design. All photographs, product names, quotes and otherwise are copyrighted and/or trademarked by their respective owners.

Don’t steal; it’s bad karma. © 2007 - 2011 Greogry La Vardera