Monthly Archives: April 2010

Why so many Facebook ad typos?

Amazing. I see typos in Facebook ads pretty often. And marketers/businesses pay money for them. You’d think they’d take these ads seriously enough to PROOF them before they launch them! Can you find the mistake in this one?


Shoes sold at retail will NOT make music when bent or twisted.

Another cool ad from Nike, created by Wieden+Kennedy in Tokyo. This one shows a couple guys creating music via Nike running shoes. (MAN these shoes are flexible!)

The funny thing (to me) about this ad is the copy at the end. I’m sure a legal department is involved, and I’m pretty sure it was legally required for whatever reason, but it comes across as funny:

“The Nike Free Run + is absolutely a running shoe. Shoes sold at retail will NOT make music when  bent or twisted.”

Really? Then I’m not buying them!

Anyway, this spot is good because it shows a feature of the shoe (the flexibility). And the copy tells you exactly what type of shoe it is (“absolutely a running shoe.”) Plus, it does this in a memorable, unique and ATTENTION-GRABBING style. How many other videos have you ever seen that portray shoes creating music?

Firestone’s “Ballad of a Baseball Coach” is ALMOST perfect.

Firestone’s commercials are often pretty good. And although this newest one isn’t bad, it does contain a few minor oversights that should have been avoided.

The upside:

Catchy, rhyming copy. Copywriters have known for many, many years that poetic copy and catchy tunes really sell products. Especially if the copy involves storytelling. It all depends on the product, of course, but I think it works well in this commercial.

Plays on emotions. Dads who coach their kids and take them to games want to be remembered as a dad who cares. And this commercial’s song says This is dedicated to a guy we all know. Taught you how to hit and how to throw.” So this spot will relate well to its audience. The song also tells us that this great dad “keeps the team moving on his Firestones.” Which connects the product to doing something really worthwhile.

The downside:

Copy went slightly too far. At one point, the song lyrics say The players, umpires, folks in the stands, see the Firestone performance and think it’s grand.” The copy was great when it inspired its audience to do something wonderful and worthwhile with the product. But it went a bit too far when it claimed that other people see the guy’s tires and the performance that he gets out of them. Dads know that although people see them interacting with their kids and coaching them, people don’t notice them for their tires.

A weird visual that didn’t belong. The commercial is supposed to be about a dad that takes his kids to games on his Firestone tires. So the visuals should include nothing but the dad, his truck, the kids, the tires, and the game. What on earth is a group of elderly croquet players doing in this commercial? And why are they singing along with the tune? This distracts the audience from the message.

SunChips commercial is more credible than Brita’s

In my last post, I suggested that the copy in Brita’s commercial (“The Earth Needs Brita”) will most likely come across as too much of a stretch to its audience. But this SunChips commercial got it right. And it was created by a consumer rather than a marketer (which gives it much more credibility.)

The commercial is advertising SunChips’ new compostable bag. The narrator tells a story about how she and her roommate threw the bag into their compost pile instead of the trash. Then, their whole apartment building started using the compost pile, too.

Where this commercial gets it right is that rather than making a big, unbelievable claim (like Brita did,) the narrator ends with “Little steps make a big difference.” Note that she didn’t say something over-the-top, like “The Earth needs SunChips.” Brita’s copy was big and bold, but Sunchips’ copy is believable.

SunChips also got it right because it’s striving to build a community of advocates around its brand. The commercial wasn’t created by an agency, but by a consumer (a brand advocate) who’s telling a story. And the story is about other consumers who are inspired to take positive action because of SunChips’ new bag.