Shelby Dorsey

Check It Twice: The importance of editing ads

January 18th, 2016

As the copy editor at MECLABS (parent company of MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments), I see a lot of content. Between the four blog posts published every week and the multiple case studies produced, I have an ample amount of exposure to the testing brands are doing and what their ads look like.

That being said, I have very harsh eyes when it comes to examining ads. My job is to fix mistakes in text, so I often find myself looking for mistakes in text.

It turns out, so do your customers.

Few things are as fun to share on social media as when a company messes up. This claim can be backed up by the crazy amount of attention Starbucks gets for spelling people’s names wrong on coffee cups around the world.

Other companies are getting similar attention for failing to follow basic English grammar. Daily email newsletter theSkimm is obtaining unwanted attention from readers because of its frequently found typos. 


Make sure that your brand isn’t the topic of online grammar abuse and edit all of your ads — multiple times.


Double (and triple) check your copy

Even if you think your copy is perfect — check it again. Mistakes can make their way through to your campaign even if you’ve been diligent about checking for mistakes. A well-thought-out tagline can be killed instantly by a simple typo.


Just because it got past you, that doesn’t mean it will get past your customers.

There are whole websites dedicated to capitalizing on company’s mistakes. Keep your campaigns off of these forums by being extra cautious of what your ads say. 


If it is on purpose, make it incredibly obvious

Chick-fil-A has created a versatile campaign of having cows stand on billboards and misspell words, because silly cows don’t know how to spell. This “chikin” spelling has become associated with the brand.

When customers pass by these billboards, they know (or are supposed to know) that the misspelling is part of Chick-fil-A’s marketing strategy.


Similarly, when Snickers created its “Hard to Spell When You’re Hungry” ad, it was extremely obvious to readers that all the mistakes were intentional.


Snickers’ main marketing tagline is that, “You are not you when you’re hungry.”

This tactic that is usually used in commercials was applied to print marketing with the above campaign. And, again, the ad is conscious of its mistakes, encouraging customers to recognize that this was all done on purpose.

To ensure that your brand gains as much positive attention on social media, make copy editing your campaigns is a not-to-be-overlooked step of your marketing process.


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