Tuesday, August 03, 2004

So have you seen the new Victoria's Secret ad where Tyra Banks is all "Take a look at my tits"? It's all about some really nice bra (really nice if you have really nice, big breasts already), and at the end of the ad text on the screen says:


What?? Why are those quotation marks there? I don't get why they're emphasizing that word. That's not how you emphasize something, anyway! Unless they're being sarcastic about "IT," which makes no sense. Can anyone explain this to me? Because this is the kind of thing that makes us editor-types lose sleep.


Anonymous said...

From one editor-type to another: I'm totally with you on this one. Recent ads seem like they are all about grandstanding and abusing syntax. And the big ad campaigns are the worst offenders.

Every time I see this one sign on a beer distributor downtown, I cringe. It reads: "Save Buy the Case!" (Pause.) I mean, give me a break. Really.

Still, nothing compares with Dubya. He’s the Leatherface of this grammatical horror movie.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy the banner at the Hotel Northampton:
(Something like) Enjoy a perfect "Sunday" with a perfect "Brunch." Apparently it's not really Sunday, and it's not really brunch...

debl said...

Both of those examples make me laugh. The Hotel Noho one - Enjoy a Perfect "Sunday" with a Perfect "Brunch" - used to drive me crazy. So crazy that I once vowed to never eat there again. Now it just makes me laugh.

It's very rare to see that kind of mistake as part of a huge, expensive television ad campaign, which is why the Victoria's Secret one sticks out so much.

p.s. I am very happy that people are commenting. But would it kill y'all to sign a name to your posts? You don't have to sign in to Blogger, just add a name to the end of your posts. You know, only "if" you want "to."

Anonymous said...

In the case of weird, out-of-place quotes, it's important to remember that old people used quotes for emphasis. So in that "Sunday" brunch situation, they could be trying to attract an older crowd. That kind of stuff seems crazy, but there could be a crazy-like-a-fox marketing genius behind it.

I doubt Victoria's Secret is trying to get the word out to the elderly, however.

As an aside, I have to mention that my Aunt Helen signs all my birthday cards like this:

"Aunt Helen"

Is she not really my aunt? Is her name not Helen? It's a thing old people do. We aren't going to understand, so it's probably silly to try.

Anonymous said...

Because you asked so nicely, I'll "try" to "sign" my "posts" from now.

I put up the "Save Buy the Case" post, and my name is Shawn (no, not Shawn the White Rapper from the Stern Show.)

On another note, you should post a link to your hilarious story about the whiskey ad from a few years back. It was syntax-erriffic!

debl said...

Thanks, Shawn. On your behalf, I looked up the post you referred to. Here it is:

Have you seen this ad for DiSorrono liquor? After some flirting between a fancy lady and a gross-looking man who clearly has been told that he is very handsome, the voiceover says "DiSoronno's warm and sexual taste...." Excuse me, sexual? A sexual taste? What the fuck does that mean? It tastes as though you're having sex? What part of the sexual experience does it taste like? Because that would be a big factor in my decision to order this drink.

I think they meant sensual. Sensual would make sense. But I can just picture the stupid overpaid beDockered ad-guys sitting around and saying "Yeah, it's sensual, but I want something stronger that that. You know, like sexy, but also sensual. ... I know, sexual! It's like sexy and sensual in one word!" (high-fives all around.)


Henning said...

"I'm pretty sure that they took down that stupid banner at the Hotel Northampton."

Anonymous said...

in my neighbourhood there is a school zone. in the school zone you have to drive slower than in the not-school zone. there is a sign that says, "Please" slow down. Our children are worth it!

I have been meaning (for 2 years now) to add a sign that says "Please teach your children correct spelling and grammar. You are a school. Then, and only then, do I promise to slow down." But I haven't done that yet.

I also used to have pen pals in Australia and they also "used" quotation marks for "emphasis". Very distracting.

"love" emily

debl said...

See, that one almost makes sense: They are saying "Please" out loud, kind of, so quotes should set that off. Like they added a vocal "Please" to the Slow Down sign.

It still doesn't work, but I kind of see how they got there.

Trace said...

I haven't seen the V.S. ad, but it does sound like an exploitation of the language, among other things.

I wonder if the erroneous quotation marks might have been a nod to the new trend of putting large, exaggerated quotation marks (because they're, ahem, two aesthetically-appealing rounded forms) around a pull-quote?

Happy b'day, BTW.

debl said...

oh my, I didn't even consider the subliminal possibilities! Whoa.

My birthday's not until the 31. But I know lots of people who were born in August, so I tend to start thinking about it early.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother must've known "Aunt Helen," because she signed all her cards "Na" - "Na" with a little swirly line underneath each Na. This is Kitty Bukkake, posting anonymously. Debl I like that ass shirt!