We live in the great country of the US of A, where anyone can start a business and bring the masses a surplus of goods and services they never knew they needed before. It’s a beautiful thing, really.
And in this great nation of America, we typically speak the English language—admittedly one of the most perplexing, vicious and downright nonsensical inventions this side of the equator. Some people live an entire lifetime without conquering the proper use of “your” versus “you’re,” or mastering the exceptions to “I before E, except after C” (weird, right?).
Most business professionals are by no means expected to be grammar or spelling experts. Everyone has different abilities, and that’s why proofreading is a thing. While a quick cruise through any social media site indicates that punctuation and spell check are long-abandoned notions of a forgotten age, I’m here to tell you that, as a seller of anything, proofreaders and copy editors are indispensable to your cause.
Because, while your nephew’s barely legible Facebook status can garner 100 likes in less than five minutes, people still keep a watchful eye on the brands they love. Any discrepancy in the message or scratch on the surface creates a breach of trust that’s hard to forget—and also sometimes hilarious.
In this series, I present to you some of the most epic fails in advertising. They will make you cringe, laugh out loud, and hug your proofreader a little tighter at the end of the day. Or…you know. Give them a high five or buy them a coffee or something.
1. If you can’t even spell the service you’re offering correctly, chances are people won’t trust you with their deceased relatives’ corpses. Just sayin’. (Credit: funnytypos.com)
2. Thank goodness—I’ve been searching everywhere for my approved since it got out last night! (Credit: robersharpassociates.com)
3. Well hey; at least they’re using real meat, right? (Credit: happyplace.someecards.com)
4. I like to think the team who created this billboard really took it upon themselves to thoroughly test out the product during the production process. (Credit: kcmeesha.com)
5. In all fairness, $160 is a pretty great deal. (Credit: no-boxes-allowed.blogspot.com)
6. Kerning, people. It’s important. (Credit: funny.funnyoldplanet.com)
7. An unfortunate abbreviation…did no one second-guess this one? Really? (Credit: izismile.com)
8. Hey, at least they’re honest. (Credit: tnmedia.com)
9. OK, so this might not be a grammatical error, but this sunglasses ad is a result of poor judgment that (possibly) could have been avoided if more people had been required to approve it. (Credit: Adweek, “20 Biggest Brand Fails of 2012”)
10. And I saved the best for last. Either this one is a joke, or the creator hates the English language and wants it to die. (Credit: Unbounce)