Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

May 25, 2004 • Volume 3 Issue 47

Creative signs & Advertising mistakes

Sometimes it's because the writer is in a hurry.

Sometimes it's because the language is complicated.

Most of the time it's because the legal profession has made a mess of law. Quickly followed by the insurance industry ... between the two they feel they just must tell the rest of us what to do.

Yet, it really doesn't matter why, there are some interesting signs and advertising messages. Over the last several years I' ve collected about two dozen of the most entertaining. Read on, smile ... and EnJoy!

  • in a furniture store; "New Antiques" (by definition I have a problem)
  • in a department store; " Semi-Annual After-Christmas Sale" (how many months a year has a Christmas?)
  • in a hotel kitchen; "Keep this door closed at ALL times!" (okay, so I guess we have a wall, not a door)
  • on a car steering wheel lock; "WARNING - remove lock before driving" (if you insist)
  • on Coke bottles in some countries; " OPEN OTHER END" (and what is the option?)
  • on a camera box; "This camera only works when there is film inside" (well, we'll show you and get a digital - so there!)
  • on a bottle top; "After opening keep upright" (what if I want a drink?)
  • on a bicycle helmet mirror; "Remember - objects in the mirror are actually behind you" (you've got to remind these cyclists of just about everything)
  • at a cemetery; "Cremation is irreversible and final" (it would be interesting to know what the question was)
  • a mortuary sign; "Caskets - with LIFETIME GUARANTEE" (how many times can I bring it back?)
  • in a grocery store; "Snickers 5 for $1 ... limit 4" (must be new math)
  • on the outside of a snack food bag; "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside" (marketing written by the local attorney general)
  • printed on the bottom of a package; "Do not turn upside down" (your message is a little late, buddy)
  • ad for cell phone; "UNLIMITED AIRTIME ... some restrictions apply" (am I surprised?)
  • on an artificial fireplace log; "Caution: Risk of Fire" (well, I hope so!)
  • on a baby stroller; "Warning: Remove Child Before Folding" (this really depends on what type of day you've had)
  • on a portable windshield sunshade; "Do not drive with sunshield in place." (ah shucks, I was planning on hiding behind it)
  • on a hairdryer; "Do not use while sleeping" (hey, that's the only free time I have)
  • on a frozen food dinner; "Serving suggestion: Defrost" (yet, it's only a suggestion)
  • on a new iron package; "Do not iron clothes on body" (why not? ... it would be much more convenient)
  • on a child's cough medicine bottle; "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication" (we just gotta keep these kids off the street)
  • on a sleeping aid package; "May cause drowsiness" (let's see, why am I taking this stuff anyway?)
  • on a package of Christmas lights; "For indoor and outdoor use only" (and the other option is . . . ?)
  • on a child's superman costume; "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly" (is it different with an adult superman costume?)

Hope you had a chuckle. Or two. "See" you next week.


Anonymous brings good ideas to us from many places on earth.

Some of these places many of us don't know how to pronounce, how to spell ... or in some cases even where they are. With all the nation and cultural 'divides' of the last decade of the 20 th Century, there are frequently 'groups' many of us are not familiar with.

One such could be Uzbek, where this Anonymous proverb originates;

"A word said is a shot fired."

The RJm Story

An eon ago I wrote a series of 48 Magic Marketing Minutes for Canada Post. A collection of ideas about direct mail.

These were updated and offered week-by-week, one at a time, in this E-zine for the previous three years. Cycled around about one a year.

If you miss them you can find the total collection @ www.rayjutkins.com/mmm/.

Of course, you can reach us @ 1+801+771-8300 any time. Or by sending your E-mail message to Ray@RayJutkins.com.

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

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