Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Say What?

There have been a lot of times in advertising and communications when I thought it might have been better to have a professional in charge. Or maybe even a third-grader.

These are a few of those times:

I heard a radio ad looking for volunteers for a weight loss study to test a “revolutionary new pill.” They said, To participate in this study, you must lose at least ten pounds.
Hmm… Not going to be much of a "study," I guess.

Lipitor commercial: Claims about Lipitor are backed up by over 450 ongoing or completed studies.
Umm… How can you back up a claim with an ongoing study?

I was exiting a Chevron bathroom with the door offering the new "touch-free handle." The picture showed someone putting their arm through it and opening it with their shirt sleeve.
That’s great news for all you germaphobes out there, but I have a question. Can we really still call this giant thing a “handle?”

Saw a sign on freeway runaway truck ramp – the ramp designed to stop an out-of-control big rig. The sign said, "No stopping anytime."
Uh, doesn't that sort of miss the point of the ramp?

I was in the McDonald’s drive thru ordering an Egg McMuffin and the lady on the speaker said, “That's with Canadian bacon, right?” My first thought was, do you guys not know how to make it?

I saw an official US Army bumper sticker in Spanish. It said, Yo soy el army.
Umm... Que? One of my main hopes for the army of my country is that everyone who has a gun understands what the guy in charge is saying.

I saw a license plate bracket that said “VFW Life Member.”
Isn't that kinda automatic?

Heard an ad for a pharmacy that apparently specialized in pet medicine. Does your pet run and hide when it's time to take their medication? We can turn your pet’s medication into a cream that you can rub on their ears.
If I'm giving them their meds by rubbing it on their ears, doesn’t that mean I’m taking their medication, too? That can't be a good idea, can it?

I heard a radio ad for some place called, advertising high-end shotguns. Whether it’s waterfowl, upland game, clay pigeons, turkey defense, or tactical…
The words “turkey” and “defense” were said far too close together, so it sounded like the clientele were constantly needing to defend themselves against attacking turkeys. I am assuming that is not the case, but I can’t be sure where these people live.

On a Folsom Lake Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep ad, in the monster truck radio voice – Giant Inventory! If we don’t have it, it’s not in stock!
Uh… yes. That is exactly what that means.

Heard on a radio ad for, which billed themselves as an offsite phone system service for small businesses to have professional voicemail, etc.
Set it up online at, or call 1-800-ring-one. If our agents are busy, please call again later.

Mac’s Plumbing radio ad - This month’s special… We’ll unclog any drain for $99 or it’s free.
Question 1 - Why would I pay if you can’t unclog it in the first place?
Question 2- Isn’t it normally “the same day or it’s free” or something like that? I don’t understand “$99 or it’s free.” Can I bargain with you? How about, $1 or it’s free? That way we wouldn’t have so much to figure out.

Radio spot for The Mutual Fund Store - Do you change your own oil? Cut your own hair? Do your own teeth cleaning? Of course not. Why would you do your own mutual fund planning…
I don’t think I’m their target audience, because I answered “yes” to all three.

Seen on the wall at our local electrical utility: Accident Prevention Awards.
How are these distributed? I mean, how do you really know that you prevented an accident?

Ad for Mercy Orthopedics  - If you are experiencing joint pain or limited mobility…
I have been experiencing limited mobility my whole life, but I don’t think it has to do with bad joints. I’m just slow.

Saw “INKNPPR” on a personalized license plate, with a license plate bracket that said, “It says, Ink and Paper.”
If you have to explain your personalized license plate with the bracket, I think you did it wrong.

On the local talk radio show, the news guy was teasing an upcoming story. “Prepare to be shocked.”
Can you even do that?

Driving down in the rural California central valley I heard an AM station weatherman refer to himself as “KMJ 580 meteorolist”
I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly the first time, but over the next few hours I heard the meteorologist mispronounce his own profession at least four or five times.

This last one is different, and probably falls under the category of “unintentional marketing,” and I swear every word is true. We were early to Son Number One’s teeth cleaning visit and hadn’t gone into the office yet. Sitting in the car, facing the dental office, we watched one of the hygienists arrive for work. She got out of her car and walked right in the front door carrying an 18-volt DeWalt power drill with a twelve-inch-long drill bit.

Took me fifteen minutes to catch up to my son.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

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