While reading a trade magazine, I came across an Epic Fail by the editor. You know those green and red squiggly lines that appear in Microsoft Word when you have a spelling or grammar error? Yeah, this published ad had the little red and green squiggly lines printed! They had intentionally used incorrect spelling by saying, “soooooo…………”, and the red squiggly appeared to indicate the spelling error. They had also put spaces between words and colons or semi-colons, which makes the green squiggly pop up to indicate the grammar/formatting error. Why, WHY would this be printed in a professional trade magazine?
The entire magazine encompasses strong editorial writing, high-res photos, and glossy, high-quality paper, so I can’t imagine that an ad would intentionally include the squiggly error indicators. And, if for some reason someone (well-meaning but clueless Marketing person, perhaps?) thought it would be a good idea to include the error indicators, it’s still an Epic Fail on the part of the editor! It looks completely unprofessional and sloppy, and makes your company look like you don’t have a detail-oriented employee on staff. It’s one thing to intentionally go a little overboard with text like, “sooooo……” and multiple exclamation points at the end of a sentence, but including the squiggly error indicators? I just can’t seem to get on board with that, no matter how many ways I try to twist my thinking into believing it was intentional. Bold, obviously intentional mistakes can make an ad different, as in the case of the Chic-Fil-A campaign with slogans like, “Eat Mor Chikin”. Here, everyone can plainly see that “more” and “chicken” are intentionally misspelled to create interest and humor. Yoda, from the Star Wars movies, always speaks with poor grammar or unusual sentence structure, but it’s clear that this is a unique character trait. But, if your audience has to wonder whether you deliberately misspelled a word or wrote with poor grammar, you’ve missed the mark.
My plea to Marketers: don’t include ambiguous mistakes just to make a statement! My plea to editors: if your Marketing person tries to include ambiguous mistakes to make a statement, just say NO. This ad shows one example where someone really should have put their foot down to avoid an Epic Fail.