Titillating advertisements are a nearly fail-safe way to capture consumer attention in a slower, more competitive market. But their existence also raises the question of how to sell real estate — whether salacious advertising is a smart strategy that can win buyers or a lazy tactic that lacks creativity and alienates viewers. It is an ideological tug-of-war between the stately and the cheeky, between white gloves and bare skin.
"It used to be very much oriented toward elegance," said Neil Binder, a principal in Bellmarc Realty, "the guy wearing white gloves opening up the brass door, or the couple at a social gathering with effective violin and concert music behind it. That's the old-school way of how you sold New York prestige."
"Now," he said, "it's bare backs."