Wake Up And Smell The Roses? Advertising Malaprops and Other Silly Mistakes

Jon Bailey // Oct 23 // Insights

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When advertisers get it wrong, it can be so annoying, like...

the Glade commercial airing right now on national network and cable TV that starts with the line “Everyone always says to wake up and smell the roses”.

Um, no they don’t. People wake up and smell the coffee (did you know Ann Landers penned this phrase?) Or they stop and smell the roses.

They most certainly don’t stop and smell the coffee, or wake up and smell the roses. Thanks to my gifted cousin, fellow marketer and editorial snarkster Kate Molloy Carpenter, this disgraceful malaprop was first brought to my attention and is now haunting me. It must be the journalism training I received in college, but misuses of colloquialisms and sayings, misspellings and made-up words MAKE ME CRAZY. It’s like I have a red pen installed inside my brain, constantly editing things as I hear them.

DO YOU DO THIS TOO, OR AM I THE ONLY CRAZY ONE?

Plus, this begs the question: who is getting the ax at S.C. Johnson for Glade’s egregious error in grammar/syntax/English language? Or maybe someone at DraftFCB will take the fall. After all, as agencies we’re responsible for vetting this stuff and presenting our brand partners with good ideas that are correct and dependable. Or maybe Glade doesn’t care and thinks it’s funny – which is worse.

While we’re on the subject, I loved this recent Buzzfeed list of misused and made-up words. Although it didn't make the list, my personal pet peeve is “alls,” as in “Alls I need is just another hour to finish this blog post”. Ugh.

Got any crazy word pet peeves to share?

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