Golden rule of advertising - never apologise?

by Alistair Helm in

I was quite literally taken aback when I saw this poster on a street along from where I live in Central Auckland.

A real estate company; the largest Auckland real estate company apologising (if I am reading it correctly) for increased popularity and thereby by insinuation for high property prices in the local area!

B&T poster.jpg

I would say that is a risky marketing strategy. For whilst in my interpretation, what they may well be trying to say is that as a function of their success in selling property locally the suburb has become incredibly popular.

I might suggest that what it conveys to observers of the poster is that the company is in someways smug about riding the property wave of demand (and profiting from it) rather than taking the opportunity of reinforcing the value of their services or possibly demonstrating the value in their sales success as judged by market share or customer satisfaction.

Now I know as a marketeer that part of good advertising is "standout" to create interruption and thereby become memorable and distinctive but I can't recall a campaign that has built credibility or memorability through apologising! 

Now maybe the concept of this campaign is to start a series of these ads around this company's core Auckland market. I can just see these future version:

Herne Bay sure has become pricey - sorry about that

Otara sure has become unpopular - sorry about that

Meremere sure is a long drive to the CBD - sorry about that

Albany sure has become congested - sorry about that

It's just my opinion, but I feel that apologising is not the best platform for a brand building campaign - maybe you disagree. Happy to hear your views. Please feel free to share a comment below.