Archives for posts with tag: advertising

As a Bargain Booze lorry passed me yesterday, I noticed its strapline:

Bargain Booze: Making life richer…for the pourer!

This is a terrible pun. I think they need to employ a (better) copywriter.

Similarly, I notice door-to-door cosmetics company Avon have an anti-wrinkle cream called Anew Genics. This is a play on words of ‘eugenics’, it seems to me.

eugenics n. the science of genetic improvement, especially of the human race.

Although advances in genomics and genetics puts eugenics in a new light, it is a concept particularly associated with the Nazis. Is this really what Avon had in mind at the product meeting?

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Here’s an example of selling yourself by slagging off the competition:

This is a Liberal Democrat campaign leaflet we got through the door yesterday (for local elections, believe it or not – what Alistair Darling has to do with Sheffield City Council is beyond me). It mentions Labour 17 times! While this negative marketing may grab attention, is it really an effective way of winning support?

And anyone who doesn’t proofread their materials properly and misspells Britain (in first bullet point) doesn’t win my vote, I’m afraid.

There’s nothing that shows the evolving nature of the written word more than the fast-paced changes in punctuation conventions.

This week, Associated Press announced that it was dropping the hyphen in ‘e-mail’. Its style guide now recommends ’email’, which just about everybody else has been using for years, as discussed in the Mind Your Language blog. Keep up grandads!

The Shady Characters punctuation blog (thanks Pete!) introduced me to the history of the interrobang, a new punctuation mark created by ad agencies in the America in the early sixties. It aimed to convey the surprised/rhetorical question, where usually we’d use both a question mark and an exclamation mark. This image from the blog shows some proposed designs:

I wonder why it never took off. And why do our punctuation marks look like they do? I shall investigate and report back…