In his latest offensive outburst, Donald Trump on Monday called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. Yet Dubai’s Damac Properties said it stood by its deal for the Trump Organization to operate a golf club under development on the outskirts of the city. His remark drew swift rebukes from across the political spectrum. Regardless, Mr Trump was always a dated choice to promote property, writes Sean Cronin.
Is it time to dump Trump?
That must be the question for every regional corporate to have aligned their brand to his. If you want a celebrity bouffant from the 1970s to sell your real estate, surely The Fonz is a shoo-in.
Arthur Fonzarelli, the iconic television character of the period, was the personification of cool in blue jeans, white t-shirt and a black leather jacket with the collars upturned.
He could turn on lights with a click of his fingers and teenage girls loved him.
In many ways, Donald Trump is to middle aged property developers of today what The Fonz was to teenage girls of the era.
“He’s such a dreamboat,” they coo, hoping he can conjure the same light bulb illuminating magic with their off-plan apartment sales.
The problem is that even before his latest Islamaphobic outburst, Donald Trump was a throwback. Now he’s an offensive throwback.
If there is any positive to emerge from this sorry episode it is that it will at least expose the potential pitfalls of selling personality-branded property - which has become something of a regional obsession.
What homebuyers really want is property sold on build quality, not bald celebrity.
If developers finally have that epiphany, there will at least be something to cheer. Or at least say “aaaaaaay”.
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