Failing to Understand Your Target Demographic

By Julianne Dalcanton | January 23, 2008 12:53 am

Given that no one seems to have told Seattle about the housing bubble or economic downturn, developers are throwing up Hip! New! Condos! all over the metropolitan area. The most heavily advertised are those just north of downtown, in the South Lake Union area, largely because this area is underdeveloped, awash in biotech firms, and the future site of the new Amazon headquarters. Given the neighborhood’s demographic, the new condos are naturally targeting high-tech urban professionals who can afford $500K for a one-bedroom loft.

Now, if you were marketing condos to someone working in “high-tech”, would you then name your condo development this?

Carbon 56

Carbon-fifty-WHA!?!?! Carbon 12, or Carbon 13, now that I’d consider, but 56????? There’s no “56” anywhere in the address, or even in the stupid phone number. It’s not at the intersection of 7th and 8th (it’s near 9th, but 56 isn’t even divisible by 9). A bit of web research finally reveals that there are 56 units in the building, but that’s hardly reason enough for forcing residents to sound like scientifically illiterate ignoramuses every time they give their address: “Where should you pick me up? Oh, just outside of Carbon-mumble-mumblemumble….”

I just can’t wait till they sell all the darn things, because the ads make me flinch.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Miscellany, Science and the Media
  • Chewxy

    that looks like an IP address with one dot missing (or is that a phone number? I dunno US phone systems XD)

  • James

    But this also guarantees them zounds of free publicity in their target demographic…

  • BlackGriffen

    Maybe more like Buckey Balls?

  • Hmmm

    Shoulda called it Fe.

  • milkshake

    500k for a small condo in a highrise – so that you can drag your groceries into elevator and then through a long coridor that looks like a hotel? And this isn’t Manhattan we are talking about?

    Anyway they have hexa-coordinate octahedral atom depicted there. So it definitely must be the carbon 56.

    (The artful folks who dream up names for new gated home complexes here in Florida are just as loathsome dickweeds: “Venician Isles. Gables Floresta. Clocktower Hammock. Evergreene. The Frenchman’sCove. The Vintage Village. Abacoa.”)

  • David Moles

    Apparently there’s a total of 56 apartments in the unit. They could have had a buckyball if they’d just made it a round sixty.

    Biotech, huh? Maybe it’s named after Pfpl endopeptidase?

  • mj

    I used to work with fullerenes, and a collegue once had a lecture for first-year / high school students. When he told them that he was working with $latex C_{60}$ he was met with scepticism. “Shouldn’t carbon-60 be really unstable”, they asked.

    However, in the picture above they use a superscript and not a subscript, which should indicate that they are indeed talking about an isotope. But not even the molecule $latex C_{56}$ is stable.

  • jick

    Rest assured, it could have been much, much worse. We have “Tower Palace,” “Lotte Castle” and “We’ve The State” (sic) in Seoul… (Don’t ask me what the last one is supposed to mean.)

  • The Mighty Biff

    Maybe they’re up with the latest heavy isotope research :

    Or perhaps not. At least they’re guaranteed a good page ranking on Google. Calling it Carbon 12 would have buried them.

  • Jon H

    I dunno, for a real estate development>/i>, carbon 56, however meaningless in scientific terms, is pretty damn good and defintitely unusual.

  • Jon H

    Oops. Sorry. I’m typing with a broken right pinky.

  • carey

    Well, it sounds scientificky, so I can safely assume that Albert Einstein was on the architectural team.

  • K

    this posting on the web made them achieve part of their marketing goals…

  • Riaz

    the logo reminded me of buckyballs as well.. though 56 doesnt help there either..

  • Dua

    No! Don’t be fooled! It’s all a deadly plot by the Hard Ones!

  • Lord

    I think it is just a clever attempt at carbon steel.

  • Lab Lemming

    If they were talking about an isotope, the superscript would precede the element, not trail it. But evidently sup tags don’t work here…

  • James

    I’ve never looked for truth or enlightenment in advertising. I’ve never met an advertising exec who even had a passing interest in the periodic table of the elements. Not since high-school chemistry, anyway.
    With that, I say let it go.

  • Carl Brannen

    Maybe “We’ve The State” is a double babelfish translation of “I am The State”.

  • Odani of Overlapping Magisteria

    Carbon 56 = We’ve the State. Count the potrzebies on each side of the equation if you don’t believe me.

  • Another silly nukyuler illiterate

    Well, let’s see. Carbon 14 has 6 electrons and 14 nucleons. Each nucleon has 3 quarks, so that makes 42 quarks in the nucleus, plus 6 electrons makes 48, and, um, we’ll add 8 gremlins for the win. Oh well.

  • capitalistimperialistpig

    Sheesh people – you forgot to count the gluons and virtual photons that hold the whole thing together. Of course that has to be a wighted (I almost wrote weighted!) sum to account for the fact that they are off the mass shell, so after doing all the necessary averaging, I get …

  • M

    Actually, A=56 is a reasonable mass estimate for a Z=6 stable strangelet … I’d put it a bit on the low end, but the uncertainties are big enough to accommodate it. There’s your carbon 56: 62 up quarks, 62 down, 44 strange, with blah blah bag parameters etc. stabilizing it against beta decay. Nuclear charge +6 gives it carbon-like chemistry.

  • buck

    talking of horrible ads, there was this one franklin templeton investments ad during the recent australian open where a bunch of firefighters rush into a burning building and can’t see a thing, a situation apparently remedied by infrared imaging technology for the firefighters, a technology in which the company “smartly” invested your money says the ad

    but it made me wonder…would a body at 98F show up in an infrared imaging screen (the ad itself shows the ambient temperature in the room displayed on the infrared screen as 159F)? shouldn’t the entire screen be a single red color in which the “glowing bodies” of humans are camouflaged?

    am i somehow wrong? or should i choose never to take investment advice from such an ignorant company? i mean, if they ok-ed the ad without checking the science, would they also ok such an investment without checking the science?

  • Hal S

    Buck 24

    Most thermal imagers operate by displaying the temperature difference of objects in their view screen. There is a chance of “white out” of the imager for a period of time if it is focused directly on an intense fire.

    I don’t know anything about the model you saw on TV but the following discusses the ability of new thermal imagers to display the emissive temperature of an object (which can be misleading because some things are highly reflective and this temperature may not reflect actual internal temperature)

  • Coin

    What is mainly making me scratch my head here is, let’s find a word that urban hipsters associate positive connotations with at this particular point in history. It’s not “carbon”.

    “Carbon-free” or “carbon-neutral” is an even bigger selling point by now than “electrolytes”.


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