The property developers lobby group the Urban Taskforce has taken a radical step towards setting the agenda over apartment building recently, with a web and Facebook campaign aimed at getting young people to demand that the government allows them to build more apartment blocks.
Launched with an online video called ‘Welcome Home’, we see “ordinary” young Australians telling us how much better it is to live in an apartment than spend two hours a day strap hanging on an overcrowded bus or train.
Hey, you’re preaching to the choir here. Even so, it’s a very odd campaign (and I realise we are doing exactly what they want by publicising it.) One of the slogans is “homes we want to be in, where we want to be” (that’s a still from the video above).
In the video, a dapper young chap talks about attitudes to free-standing homes as being “old-fashioned”, and how people in apartments have a better quality of life while being “closer to the action”.
In a voice-over replete with trigger words like community, caring, barbecues and Facebook, the message is clear – this is a generational thing.
The home page even says, “all too often, debates about housing are dominated by older Australians who want to protect their 1970s suburban-sprawl way of life.”
You get the picture. Old fuddy-duddies are preventing young people from enjoying the lifestyle to which they aspire as they are bussed in and out of the city, to and from the suburbs of the living dead.
Facebook visitors are invited to sign an online petition.
But hang on, the number of people who have already signed on are exactly the same as they were yesterday and the day before.
Has the campaign been such an abject failure? No, because this isn’t a counter – it’s editorial presumably written days if not weeks ago.
Oh, dear, maybe what they want, young people, isn’t so much your support as your email address and postcode.
Would developers be so cynical? Surely not!