Rants on all the ads that suck. Updated whenever it tickles my fancy to do so. Now moved to http://adsthatsuck.ca

THIS SITE HAS MOVED TO http://www.adsthatsuck.ca


Ad hunting

Let me just begin by saying that before I began this thing, I never realized how difficult it was to take a photograph of an ad on a crowded bus without looking quite mad. But, dear readers, fret not, as looking like a lunatic while riding public transportation is a small price to pay for an example of an ad that sucks as much as this one.

I first noticed this a couple of weeks before I started this column (or "blog" in the parlance of our times) and it was one of the driving forces behind its inception. However, I was slow in posting this due to the fact that this is an ad that requires a picture to do it justice. So, like a zombie stalking its prey, I bided my time until I had the proper tools at my disposal, and the bus was sufficiently empty.

And here is that ad. In all of its suckitude:

Granted, this is a pretty obvious one. The design is offensive and the messages are all over the place. I had to do some research to find out that this is an actual place, not just an online thing as I had expected.

But let's go beyond the general ugliness of this ad. I count no less than nine separate spelling and grammatical errors. Let's review:

1. "commissioin"
2. Save 1000's has an unnecessary apostrophe
3. Manufacturers Auction should have an apostrophe, and is not a proper noun
4. Provincial, Municipal or Federal Employee should not be capitalized

5. "eligable"
6. Numbers are not "better" they are higher or lower. ESPECIALLY in the fine print

But this is the one that really confuses me...

Open 8 days a week? I can't imagine what this is supposed to mean. Is this an homage to the Beatles? Are they open so much that they're open an extra day? Have they managed to transcend the surly bonds of time itself?

For a company that can't even spell... I doubt it.

7. "8 Days a week"
8. Days should not have a capital
9. "Yes Sundays too" requires a comma

So there you go. Nine separate spelling and grammatical errors on the same ad, which has less than sixty words of copy.

When did quality stop mattering? Why is it that this company would see fit to spend about $30,000 on an outdoor advertising campaign, but would spend so little on design and on quality control? My distaste for bad design notwithstanding, at least run your copy by someone with a grade twelve education.

Would you lease a car from people who can't string together a sentence? For me, just the sheer disregard for the English language displayed in this ad is enough to shatter my confidence in the company behind it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That ad and its sheer incompetence caught my eye, too. I couldn't look at it too long - its colours were jarring and its grammar was just insulting. It's an assault to the senses.

4/27/2005 09:51:00 p.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha. You obviously haven't considered OC Transpo's large contingent of the Trailer-Trash demographic. That is how they spell. That is how they talk. Those are colours in their world.

4/28/2005 11:47:00 a.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes me SOOO angry when an ad has a misspelling. One of my particular favourites is a place up on Bank St. called "Tutty Fruity"

4/29/2005 05:54:00 p.m.

Blogger Jampaq said...

Ryan, you're a man after my own heart. Maybe you didn't catch my deep obsession with grammar, but let me re-state it: I am deeply obsessed with grammar. Now, working in an office environment, and being subjected to a throng of emails with such treats as apostrophied pluralization "ie: hey guy's!" or countless misspellings, I have resigned myself to the fact that people have absolutely no idea what they're writing and are just grabbing blindly for letters and words to eek out a thought.

But when I see things that people have spent money to print, like "Lot's of door prizes!", I want to slit my achilles tendons.

Thank you for allowing us to come together and vent. Had I seen that ad myself, the person unlucky enough to be standing next to me would have been assaulted with my rage for the remainder of the bus ride. (I'm pleased to say I am a polluting member of the raods with my very own '98 Chevy Malibu and am rarely subjected to bus ads).

Flame on, Ryan! Flame on!

4/30/2005 02:31:00 p.m.

Blogger Fill said...

What the hell is with the rotated "E"? It seems completely unrelated. And it puts me in the mind of the Enron logo. Also, the use of "1000's" (or "100s", etc.) is a personal pet peeve of mine. It reads like "one-thousands" and not the intended "thousands". It's just wrong, wrong, wrong!

4/30/2005 02:50:00 p.m.

Blogger theWaghorn said...

Is that a gavel in the logo? Are we supposed to assume that these cars were repossessed and are therefore such a great deal? Oh I may hate this ad as much as I love Ryan Anderson.

5/03/2005 01:27:00 p.m.


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