Yellow Media has a new ad campaign running in Canada about the “new neighbourhood,” which includes a video promising to transform the accidental or secretive nature of the local hidden gem into something deliberate.

This seems counter-intuitive to the hidden gem.  The hidden gem isn’t just the quality of whatever’s in the shop—it’s the story attached to it as well.  That story begins with “So there I was…” and has within it “…and suddenly, there’s this place…”

This ad campaign makes me think Yellow Media wants to destroy that story structure, to change it from “So there I was, running blindly from a sudden downpour into some alcove, and suddenly there’s this place I never noticed before promising warmth and a good meal” to “So I looked on an app for ‘food’ and this place came up. It had 4 out of 5 stars, so I tried it.”

While both stories can be true—both can be authentic—one seriously lacks that romantic touch that’ll sink the location’s magic into your memories like claws into carrion.  That place’s food or wares had better be spectacular or quirky, because otherwise, no one’s going to remember it exists.

Thanks, Yellow Media, for taking the magic out of the hidden gem.