Category Archives: Advertising

Old Spice Redundancy

I’m watching TV and this Old Spice commercial just came on:

If you can’t watch video right now, this is a commercial for Old Spice Hair and Body wash — which, they say, is “for hair and/or body — or both.”

Isn’t “both” already contained in the “and/or”?

Just saying.

IRONIC alert!

I’m watching American Idol right now and a commercial just came on for Milla Jovovich’s new clothing line at Target.  In the commercial, Milla and her design partner, Carmen Hawk, describe their designs.

The line features 1930s-style flowers incorporated in 1970s ways.  Milla then describes the line in a few words: “It’s whimsical; it’s fun; it’s ironic.”

Ironic.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves.  It seems like the word is only used correctly about 10% of the time.

(I can’t tell you how many times Paula Abdul has said things like, “I find it really ironic that you choose a song that would be so good for you!”)

So, this clothing line is ironic?  It’s entirely possible.  I’m sure there is a way to find this clothing line ironic.

Now, my question to you:

How could a clothing line be described as ironic?

It would be so different if we added a comma….

I love this.

Source: “Good Grammar Is Hot” group on Facebook, posted by Corynne H.

Can you spot the error?

This was one of my favorite Super Bowl commercials this year.  The song will always remind me of the Brood and drama club cast parties, everyone head-bopping in unison.  :-)

But can you spot the error?  It’s brief, but there.

Is this even legal?

Earlier today, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, I Don’t Like You In That Way, and I came across a curiously worded ad for an adult DVD rental service.

Read it closely:

porn.jpg

Really?  This was recommended by Oprah magazine?

Well, technically it’s O: The Oprah Magazine.

There’s no way that an ad for this appeared in O.  If it had, we would have heard about it now, with Oprah sending her Mafioso henchmen after the perpetrator.

I’m no legal expert, but are any of you?  Do any of you know if it’s legal for this ad to say it was endorsed by Oprah?  Or does it mean nothing because the magazine, though clearly implied, was technically correct?

Heh.  I know this isn’t exactly grammar, but it’s along the lines of something I think you’d like.

And, just because it made me crack up when I saw it:

drphil.jpg

Slightly Unnerving

Ignore the fact that Heather Mills is insane. Focus on the text in these Viva ads.

I know that these are British, and there are different rules and styles in British and American grammar, but both of these don’t look quite right to me.

I’m not saying that these are outright wrong; I’m just saying that something doesn’t seem to be quite right.

Take a look.

What do you think?

Facebook Ad

Hmmmm.

This is a bit tough to make out — Blogger won’t let me enlarge the picture any more than this — but I find it to be deliciously ironic.

Is that supposed to be an apostrophe in the second mistakes?

It’s hard to see, but there’s definitely no apostrophe after sellers!

"Medford" escaped from the mob!

I saw this sign the other day:

Location: Red Line train, Boston/Cambridge/Somerville, Massachusetts

This sign invites you to meet “Medford.” Now, why is it necessary to use those quotes?

I imagine that “Medford” had a normal life — a job, a spouse, a family and a white picked fence. He also had a normal name, like John or Paul.

That all changed the day he witnessed a heinous crime.

No. That all day he decided to do what every single movie tells you not to do and GOT INVOLVED WITH THE MOB!

John/Paul was removed from his normal life, along with his family, and became “Medford.”

That’s how I interpret this ad.

Luck of the Irish

Is that all there is?

Happy “Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day,” everyone! If you’re in Boston, there’s a big party at McFadden’s tomorrow night. I’ll either be there or down the street at the Hong Kong.

Glade Scented Oil Candles WHAT?!

I was watching TV with my roommates Omni and Jessica (who just moved in Wednesday!) tonight when I spotted some egregious grammar in an advertisement.

But first….this was my first experience watching The Hills. Ugh! First of all, the show is so fake that it’s painful to watch. More importantly, however, I cannot believe how Spencer proposed to Heidi! That was the most uncomfortable-to-watch, ingenuine, made-for-TV proposal that I have ever, ever seen. Ugh.

Anyway, a commercial came on for Glade Scented Candles. This is how the commercial ended:

Glade Scented Oil Candles
Quickly fills the whole room with fragrance

Oh, no.

It would be one thing if they said that Glade quickly fills the whole room with fragrance. The noun and verb would have matched, even if it didn’t make sense.

Why did they decide to do this? Quickly fills the whole room with fragrance is not the only Glade motto — in fact, it’s only the motto for Glade Scented Candles. (Check out the Glade site here.) Because of this, I can’t even imagine why they wrote fills instead of fill.

Fill makes more sense for two reasons:

1) It matches the noun

2) The statement could mean a command.

Come on, FILL the whole room with fragrance, why don’t you? Make the scent of your charmingly annoying ten-year-old son’s dirty gym socks nothing but a memory as you unleash the scent!

That, Glade, would make sense to me.

Because of your error, I doubt your credibility. That’s the truth.

I did it on the T!

It’s been a while since I outright vandalized anything, so I kept an extra-sharp eye out for any kinds of errors on my commute time.

It didn’t take long — I saw an error on an ad in a red line car.

TEFL CERTIFICATE
“Learn to teach English worldwide”

So we have the quotation marks, and we don’t even have an exclamation point?

Ugh, unwarranted quotes are awful! Are you supposed to imagine a guy in the back who just shouts these lines out?

Location: MBTA Subway, Red Line, between Kendall Square and Central Square

I crossed them out with my trusty Sharpie, which I now keep in my purse at all times.

There we go. Perfect.

That’s the closest shot I got, but the train was a bit bumpy. (I didn’t want to do it while we were at a stop. The MBTA is strict — people weren’t allowed to take pictures until very recently. Still, I didn’t want to press my luck.)

Unwarranted quotes are bad.

I felt like defacing a Budweiser ad that said Beantown on it. I hate the word Beantown. I don’t know of anybody who lives in Boston and actually likes it.

But I could be wrong. Does anyone from Boston out there like Beantown?

I did it on the T!

It’s been a while since I outright vandalized anything, so I kept an extra-sharp eye out for any kinds of errors on my commute time.

It didn’t take long — I saw an error on an ad in a red line car.

TEFL CERTIFICATE
“Learn to teach English worldwide”

So we have the quotation marks, and we don’t even have an exclamation point?

Ugh, unwarranted quotes are awful! Are you supposed to imagine a guy in the back who just shouts these lines out?

Location: MBTA Subway, Red Line, between Kendall Square and Central Square

I crossed them out with my trusty Sharpie, which I now keep in my purse at all times.

There we go. Perfect.

That’s the closest shot I got, but the train was a bit bumpy. (I didn’t want to do it while we were at a stop. The MBTA is strict — people weren’t allowed to take pictures until very recently. Still, I didn’t want to press my luck.)

Unwarranted quotes are bad.

I felt like defacing a Budweiser ad that said Beantown on it. I hate the word Beantown. I don’t know of anybody who lives in Boston and actually likes it.

But I could be wrong. Does anyone from Boston out there like Beantown?

The Moment I Became a Grammar Vandal

This is the sign that infuriated me.

RUN EASY BOSTON.

RUN EASY BOSTON?!

Sheesh.

I already spoke about this at length in the previous post, not to mention in my original blog, katesadventures.com, so I won’t rattle on and on about this.

The adhesive comma came from Lynne Truss’s book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. To be honest, I started the book and don’t really have much of a desire to finish it. I’ll elaborate on the book in a later entry.

It just blew my mind that this sign ended up in public. Aren’t there editors that work for Reebok, or Reebok’s advertising company?!

Most people know that when directing a statement at someone, the comma separates the name from the rest of the sentence.

Examples:

Those are my urine-stained pants, Floyd, and I do hope you return them soon.

Really, Mathilda, do you find it necessary to be a cold-hearted sycophant every day of the week, or just the days that you see me?

I’ll see you in hell, just as I do each day between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Joe.

The comma, you see, is necessary. You make the pause in your speech, and that is why you add a comma.

The fact that this error made the final cut in Reebok’s advertising is beyond egregious. Because of it, I believe that I need to write a letter to Reebok, and possibly also to Reebok’s ad agency, letting them know just how much this error chills my bones.

I know that I’m not alone. The entry on katesadventures.com caused so much of a stir, I know there are thousands who feel the same way.

So, Reebok, what do you have to say about this?