What a Difference a Letter Makes.
Earlier this month Pringles put up a billboard ad for their new line of crisps (or should that be biscuits? Remember that old chestnut?), it read: NEW MULTI TASTY MULTIGRAN PRINGLES. Now, as the lucky granddaughter of multi grans — I’ve managed to end up with three wonderful grannies — I can confirm that they are, indeed, a delicious extra to my life. But do I wish to eat gran-flavoured Pringles? No. The thought of killing old ladies and dusting crisps with their ashes is a bit too Roald Dahl-cum-Katie Hopkins, for me.
Of course, the ad should have read: NEW MULTI TASTY MULTIGRAIN PRINGLES. (Woe to those who signed off such a glaringly obvious spelling error). Twitter was, as ever, quick to ridicule the mistake but Pringles dealt self-deprecatingly with their oversight, tweeting: @Specsavers Can we get a block booking for our whole marketing team please? #MultiGRAINnotMultiGRAN.
After laughing my way through the string of tweets calling Pringles’ error out, I headed to Google to dig up all the spelling mistakes in ads I could find. Below are my top five:
On a motorway billboard outside one of their restaurant branches in America, Mcdonald’s tried to advertise their new bacon and cheese Angus beef burger. Except, what they ended up advertising to the millions of cars driving past, was a bacon and cheese anus burger. Oh dear, Mcdonald’s.
Unfortunately, the copywriter for one of Miller’s billboard campaigns couldn’t quite handle the pressure of a three-word line. Where the copy should have read: ‘A tasty contradiction’, it awkwardly read: ‘A tasty contraditcion’. Ruh roh Miller.
“Not everything needs to be done in a New York minute”, Reebok says—or intends to say—and their marketing team certainly would have benefitted from taking more time to read over this billboard ad. Sorry Reebok, I am what I am; and that’s a spelling-nut.
More grammar than spelling, the Victoria’s Secret team made such a boo-boo of this campaign that it ended up having to be pulled at cost and entirely new copy written. Not only did they mess up the apostrophe on “BODY’S” (they were clearly trying to include their new “Body” underwear line’s name but in such a case it should have read “BODYS”), they highlighted the error like a flashing Tom and Jerry thumb by placing it in amplifying quotation marks. Come on, Vicky S.
Brand honesty and integrity are key to attracting potential customers, making this ad’s spelling mistake all the worse (but also all the funnier). The devil’s in the detail, Stratford Hall.
And that seems like a fitting place to end this SCAB. So I’ll leave you with one piece of advice: when it comes to the work you create, read, re-read and re-re-read. You don’t want to be the next McDonalds or Reebok slip-up and you certainly don’t want to be the next Pringles; publicly embarrassed and ridiculed for making crisps out of OAPs.