The Forefront of Public Awareness

Why doesn’t the NZIA advertise?

Individual practices aren’t likely to advertise themselves much. Every practice has a website (often overdesigned and flash-laden, but let’s not go there right now). A few larger practices run ads in Architecture NZ and the like, but not in popular media. There is probably a (quite justified) feeling that the best advertisement is getting your work published or winning awards.

We need to convince people of the value of architects. If we can’t articulate to a general audience why they should hire an architect, we shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t. The NZIA claim they are concerned with “ensuring that the value of good architecture and the range of skills that architects can provide are at the forefront of public awareness”. But how exactly are they doing this? Press releases to the Herald? Who is the public that the NZIA are trying to appeal to?

Those ads for design-build companies are cringeworthy, but they have a clear value-proposition: cheap, efficient, unthreatening, large houses, in which you get to choose how big the rooms are. What is the clear value-proposition for architects? The Australian Institute of Architects ran a print and tv advertising campaign which could serve as a good model. The campaign showed off award-winning work of different types and offered memorable soundbites.

Australian Institute of Architects, print ad, 2007

Australian Institute of Architects, print ad, 2007

Doesn’t this sound like the sort of thing our Institute should be doing?

UPDATE: bit late to enter this, but I look forward to seeing what it turns up.

[ crossposted to aaa.org.nz ]

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