‘Vancouver Is Awesome’ “Community-Based Social-Venture” Blog Actually A Stealth Paid Promoter Of Olympic Village

Above from a 12 Feb 2013 post on the ‘Vancouver Is Awesome’ site

“Marketers of the in-receivership Olympic Village are paying the editor of well-known local culture webzine VancouverIsAwesome.com to blog about the joys of life in the village – but it does not say on the website that he is being paid to do so.
Rennie Marketing Systems awarded the deal after receiving a single pitch from VancouverIsAwesome.com editor Bob Kronbauer, who says feels like he won a contest to be paid to flog the Village in False Creek – much like the public contests held by Vancouver International Airport and Tourism Richmond to find paid bloggers to promote them.
“I was visiting the Village a lot as a resident of Mount Pleasant before we moved in and fell in love with it and wanted to share the stories of all the positive things that make it great,” Kronbauer said.
“Beyond the budget and all this stuff I really have no idea about as an average citizen, (I wanted) to sort of expose stories about what it’s like to actually live there.”
Kronbauer lives in a market rental unit at the $1.1 billion complex, marketed by Rennie Marketing Systems, but declined to disclose his rental rate. He began a $2,475 per-month, six-month contract in May 2012 that was renewed in November. The year-long gig is worth a total $29,700.
“Beyond this, beyond my contract to promote the Village, we’ll be staying there in our suite because we love it so much, that was the intention to move there,” Kronbauer said.”

– from ‘Life in the Village pays off for local webzine editor’, Bob Mackin, Business in Vancouver, 14 Feb 2013

Elsewhere in the same BIV edition, Glen Korstrom suggests this is part of a broader trend of media manipulation by the real estate industry:
“Such tactics seem to be part of a trend of real-estate marketers manipulating media perception to sell condos.
Business in Vancouver has learned that VancouverIsAwesome.com editor Bob Kronbauer is being paid by the in-receivership Village on False Creek, formerly the Olympic Village, to promote life in the village – even though nowhere on his website does it make it clear that he is being paid to do so.”

“Vancouver Is Awesome, and we are dedicated to everything that makes it that way.
A community-based social venture sharing positive stories of arts, culture, lifestyle, and everything awesome about Vancouver. No bad news.
If you want to read ugly, bad news about this beautiful city of ours, you’re going to have to look to traditional media and other blogs; V.I.A. promotes everything that makes our city awesome, from old to new and everything inbetween. We’re like the human interest piece on the news… only different.”


We’ve previously tried reading the V.I.A. blog, but each time we break out in a terrible rash and can’t continue.
Advertising is irritating enough when it’s clearly advertising; when it’s in a stealth ‘product-placement’ form, far more so. And the ‘trend’ of media manipulation by the Vancouver RE industry is something that has been going on for years, it’s only coming to light now because the current state of the market makes people ‘ripe’ for the realization.
For the record, we ourselves aren’t paid anything, by anybody, for anything we archive, post, or say on this blog; it’s a labour of love and morbid fascination. We actually pay a small fee to wordpress each year to keep ads off the blog.
When news is “bad”, we call it “bad”; when something is “ugly”, we call it “ugly”; and that’s precisely how the RE market here looks to us right now – ugly.
A grand spectacle is playing out in our town, and we’re keeping notes.
– vreaa

If you are interested in developing your own ideas about the truth of the Vancouver RE market, and whether it is ugly or otherwise, read as broadly as you can about the market. If you don’t already do so, make sure you also consider the opinions expressed in posts and discussion on the following sites:
Vancouver Condo Info
Whispers From The Village On The Edge Of The Rain Forest
Vancouver Price Drop
Vancouver RE And Then Some
Housing Analysis
The Economic Analyst
and, of course,
Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive

21 responses to “‘Vancouver Is Awesome’ “Community-Based Social-Venture” Blog Actually A Stealth Paid Promoter Of Olympic Village

  1. Nauseous Resident

    All I heard was “douche, douche, douche”

    So contrived – it all reads like baby talk

  2. jealous brown noser

    “Brown is, in a sense, a mystical color, in that it indicates the presence of white, red, and black in certain combinations. As the shade is, so will its influence be.

    “Brown ranges from a light through a deep chocolate hue. Many men look their best in earth-tones, making the brown suit an important part of their wardrobe; it is also a popular color for causal options including tweed suits and sports jackets. One caveat: until the early 1980s, brown was not considered a color for business (we can thank Ronald Reagan for their return). While the times have changed there are still some members of the old guard who continue to hold to the old rule that brown does not belong in town. This should not dissuade the well-dressed gentleman from wearing brown with confidence, but it is important to be aware.”

    “Brown says stability, reliability, and approachability. It is the color of our earth and is associated with all things natural or organic”
    How the color brown affects us physically
    * supplies a feeling of wholesomeness
    * stabilizes
    * provides a connection with the earth
    * gives a sense orderliness

    would a person feel stable, wholesome, and connected to the earth, waaay up on the 45th floor of a False Creek concreation? Don’t worry, we’ll use visual tricks and psychological games to avert you from the eventual Buyers Remorse!!

  3. There are still people in Calgary who can be seen wearing their Sun Ice ’88 volunteer ski jackets as well. But people have generally moved on.

    Unfortunately, buying an Olympic condo is going to be even more unfashionable than 1980s era skiwear… in shorter order.

    • Historical aside, E.G. – the Official™ TagLine of that particular event was, “Share The Flame!”…

      Now, can you guess how the NotoriousWags covering that SportingFestival chose to rewrite the slogan when the promised economic benefits failed to materialize (or worse)?…

      Here’s your hint… you only have to change one letter [BonusHint!: Consonant often confused with an apiary occupant]

  4. Not disclosing his rental rate because?

  5. Dimitri Tishchenko

    Terrible site design. When advertising takes up 70% of your first page, your site sucks.

  6. Real Estate Tsunami

    Thanks VREAA,
    For pointing out again all the various other blogs that are home to RE Bears.
    United we stand.

  7. I’ve noticed that you can’t leave comments on that blog. hmmm, I wonder why?

  8. curious if this ever came up at the time? interesting to look back 9 mos … some fun stuff … eg. apparently, vancouver is a brand … pffft! http://tinyurl.com/7y7s2na

  9. why is vancouver awsome?……..winter-olympics only go to Bush league towns Vancouver is right up there with Lilhammer and Sochi

  10. Didn’t Calgary also hosted a Winter Olympics….does that mean Calgary is as awesome as Vancouver?

    People who can’t take any negatives/criticism really don’t come across as someone who’s awesome and confident.

  11. In the fine old tradition of, “Follow the money.”… albeit, at the substantial risk of DeadDonkeyFlogging, there are yet more sinister instances of Politico-Cultural PsyOps/’Product’Placement we could cite…

    Here’s but one local example that nicely illustrates how it works… Now, let me see – what would the GallopingGourmet do?… Hmmm. Yes!

    Begin by obtaining one fresh, FreeRange NeoLiberal BackRoomFixer (pre-plucked is best) then marinate in chilled, piquant BloggerSauce…


    Next, thoroughly coat the carcass with several GenerousDollops of NonPartisanMarinade…


    Then, OvenRoast in an open pan [set temperature to: CivicElection/ConfectionCycle], basting frequently… until the marinade has formed a GoldenBrown CrispyGlaze…

    • And now, for the tricky part… carefully crack open the glaze and, depending on the ElectoralOutcome you will either be presented with a NewlyMinted & SupremelySucculent CityCouncillorRoyale… or… a DeliciouslyZesty LobbyistThermidor. Don’t you just love surprises, DearReaders!?


      Either way… you can’t lose! Because your Donors Diners are going to be absolutely thrilled!

      Especially when it come’s to Dessert!


      [NoteToEd: As any proprietor of a DeveloperDesigned ‘RightToWork’ Smörgåsbord could tell ya, “You can never have too many ‘chefs’.”]

  12. This is not happening, this is not happening…

  13. great post , we offer free property rentals listing in Vancouver BC at http://www.justrenals.ca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s