Does this bother anyone else?

August 9, 2006

Ok, so I’m flipping through Bon Appetit magazine, looking for a useful recipe (and not feeling hopeful–Bon Appetit has some great recipes, but not much that’s practical for a working mom of two), and the word “Charlotte” catches my eye (I live in Charlotte).

It was an advertisement for The Palisades, a new residential community being built in our area. The top half of the ad featured a picture of a wood/stone home with a huge front porch.  The banner “Choose Charlotte’s Natural Upgrade and Enjoy the Very Best Course in Life” was written in tasteful type across the picture. That headline struck me as a little much (as did The Palisades’ slogan: ‘Live High Above the Lake’), but it was the ad’s copy that really made my head spin!
Here’s the write up that accompanied the picture:

At The Palisades seven miles of natural trails connect your new “life” to 300 acres of woodlands, equestrian, soccer and private elementary education surrounded by Lake Wylie and the 1,100-acre preserve of McDowell Park.  Here your “very best course” includes The Palisades Country Club with Nicklaus Golf and a fifteen-acre fitness, swim and tennis faciltiy.  Here too is the world’s only community with residential, golf and town center amenities meeting Audubon Internation’s stringent environmentally sensitive Gold Signature standards that make this your “natural upgrade.”

The cost for this “life”?  Homes start at $400,000 and run up to $3 million.  

Why did this ad disturb me?  I can’t deny that much of what the ad describes is extremely desirable–good schools, environmentally friendly architecture, miles of walking trails, easy access to woodlands, and readily available recreational opportunities, including golf and horseback riding. This is all good stuff! But, should a person have to lay out a MINIMUM of $400 K to get it!  No!  (And, as a public school teacher, I was particularly irked that “private elementary education” was a selling point)

The ad struck me as elitist and exclusionary.  I cut it out as a reminder of the kind of life I DON’T want to live.

And, one more thing: I marveled that the ad actually put “life” and “very best course” in quotation marks–to me it strongly indicated that the “life” being offered was a very artificial one, and the “very best course” was anything but.

So, does anyone else find this ad beyond annoying?