Saturday, August 25, 2007

Truth In Advertising

Last weekend, my husband and I worked together, vending our wares at a festival called Western Welcome Week. 80,000 people or so show up to this thing. We vend at the farmer's market that is on a connected street to the festival, so the market could glom on to the success.

This was the biggest single craft fair that I have ever seen. Not too much direct competition for our stuff, but overall, a lot of competition. Our day ended up being less than an average take for a farmer's market day. We will remember this for next year.

Looking for the silver lining, I remembered that I was given some promotional material by a young girl. I accept all promotional material that is handed to me, so that I can examine it to see if I can get ideas for my own promotional material. Let's look at this particular specimen, shall we?

You can see that I have obscured the town. Look at the cover, here. You can see that this is 8.5 x 11 paper, in a blue color, with the title "(town) SMALL BUSSINESS." IN ALL CAPS. Okay, and so I asked myself, "Are they targeting small businesses? Is this a directory of small businesses? No, it says 'business,' singular. Furthermore, business doesn't have a double-ess after the u. WTF?" Naturally, I decided to open it up and satisfy my curiosity.

Um....okaaaaay. I have obscured the name of the company, and its address. Wouldn't you think it would be more effective on an advertisement of any kind to have your serivces made very clear throughout the entire ad? Is this an ad for a restaurant? A custom shoe shop? No, $15.00 isn't very much for shoes anymore, and who "PRE-- PAY"s anyway? Okay, okay. I'll tell you. The ad is for "cleaners." What do they clean? Why do they insist that I pre-- pay? Oh, and do I get the dollar off only when I pre-- pay, or only when I bring in the flyer, or both?

Yes, I can surmise that it is an ad for clothes cleaners. My point? These ads are shit. I can't wait to turn the page.

Hmmm. No more cleaners, here, as evidenced by the font change, and the fact that it says "nails" at the top. I'm not going to get uppity and wonder what kind of nails. I get it. Again, I can bring in the flyer for a discount. (Anybody else annoyed by the alternate spelling of "flier?") This is a good marketing tactic--people will hold on to your flyer if they must bring it in later, thereby putting your business in front of their faces for longer. I'll give you that.

What I won't give you are props for your misspelling of "company." Nor for the misspelling of "suite" in your address. Nor for the glaring typo, "sullset," where it should be the two words "full set." Nor the fact that you are putting this "speacial" ad out in front of everyone, claiming that your companie is "American." Don't claim me, lady. And for the love of Pete, will someone please tell me what the hell "doabetic " foot care is? This nail companie has a very low opinion of their target market if they think we will overlook these glaring errors. I couldn't. I couldn't look away. It's like a train wreck. Let's keep going.

Wow. That particular chemical that you don't use must really be bad. Were you exposed to it, and it damaged your kindneys? What were your sysptoms? What are sysptoms? I find your ad confusing. I might just break down. On my nails.

Moving on:

Wow. Great color on this one. Big font size. Random word "reference" at an angle. Hmm. What kind of reference? Do you want me to refer you to someone? Well, I can't, because why are you going to shop and "do transportation" while cleaning the house? Oh, now that I've said that, I realize that you are offering to do MY shopping and transport yourself while doing it. I get it now.

Except that I'm still not going to hire you because you are the same woman who is supposed to be doing my nails at your companie. You are obviously overworked to the point that you can't be bothered to spell check your flyer. For your companie. You can, however, make words go slant-wise on the page. Nice touch. Try touching the "spell check" button as well. It just takes a second.

Within this 8.5 x 11 flyer, there is an actual flier. It is a tri-fold brochure for the nail companie. Apparently, we didn't have enough eye damage from the big booklet. Luckily, most of the text in this brochure is spelled correctly. I am especially excited about the reflexology message that I get with my pedicure. What exactly is this message? "Relax, bitch, while I clip your toenails?" Or perhaps, "Lady, you have got to pay me now. I've got a house to clean and then go shopping. Thanks for visiting my nail companie." Maybe the message is, "Take care of your kindneys!"

My ghetto camera doesn't do this justice, so you are going to have to squint. But believe me, it's there. Yes, we know this is a classy companie, because they have a dollar sign ($) in between the beginning of their companie name and the end.

This is possibly the worst example of print advertising that I have ever had the pleasure to experience. The only redeeming factor, in my opinion, is the fact that these folks went face-to-face, handing them out. That takes balls.

Especially when the ad might cause blindness.


  1. Anonymous2:00 PM

    I am pretty much guessing that the writer/writers of those ad copies are "not" english speaking people, at the very least english is not their first language. :(

  2. I'm sorry to inform you that they are native English speakers.

  3. Yowch!

    I hope your kidneys are OK. How hard was it to misspell those words on purpose?

    I think I misspelled "misspell"...

    I need a nap

  4. Wow...if these people are native English speakers, our public school system has failed them greatly. What a read!

  5. They are adults--at least I'm not the teacher that failed them.

  6. Maybe they come from a family of spam senders, and they are trying to get it through your filters.

  7. question not related to this post yet it is...

    you mentioned on your soap site that izzy plays the guitar? has he ever recorded a CD? maybe that'd be a good thing to to soap yourself up to take a relaxing bath by, and pack it up with soap!

    just a thought