Mighty Red Pen

January 16, 2013

A little bit of haiku

Filed under: Mad marketing,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 8:32 pm
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I’m a little in love with the Target coupon booklet that came in the mail yesterday.

I admit I just flipped through it and almost tossed it without paying much attention to its concept, largely because it’s got the regular look and feel of most Target mailings. It was just lying on my counter this morning when the front finally caught my eye. I mean, what kind of line is “Hi, Coupons!”? What could it mean?

haiku pons coupons

So I looked at it a little more closely and read the line “(Or should we say, ‘haiku-pons’?)”. Underneath that, it said, “Stock up with poetic savings inside.” This was starting to get a little strange—and a little awesome—for Target.

So I opened it up. Inside, there’s a little explanation of what a “haiku-pon” is and how to write a haiku. Neat.

haiku pons coupons 2

Here’s how it works. You look at the coupons:

haiku pons coupons 3

You see a haiku (I mean, loosely speaking. These maybe don’t follow all the rules of traditional haiku). Then maybe you use one of the coupons. In tearing out one of the coupons, you expose the lines on the back of the next coupon.

haiku pons coupons 4

Now you have a NEW haiku.

Well, the end of this story is that I Googled the Target haiku-pons and apparently this is only new to me; they have been around for a while. And it’s not particularly good or high-brow kind of poetry.

But still, it’s poetry in an unexpected place. And for that, I kind of love it.

June 11, 2012

Zombie headlinepocalypse

Filed under: Mad marketing,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 7:20 pm
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H/t to Krodamai for this, er, delicious tidbit, which he received in an e-mail from congress.org. The juxtaposition of these two headlines leaves kind of a sour taste, doesn’t it? Kind of makes you wish they had cooked up something a bit different, no?

September 20, 2011

Cents and centsability

Filed under: Lit review,Mad marketing — mighty red pen @ 5:35 pm

I just don’t know what to make of Jane Austen’s English Ivy Diamond Engagement Ring. If you are a true Jane Austen fan, is this something you would want because it makes you feel like Elizabeth Bennett, or do you scoff at the crass marketing of that which you love?

The ornate ad copy doesn’t help: “From the era of lace and love, grace and honor. This is a ring that is both romantic and perfectly logical. The romance is in the details . . . it always will be. . . .The Jane Austen English Ivy Ring is a ring for the romantically inclined.”

I’m a Jane Austen fan, and I’m leaning toward scoffing (even though, admittedly, the ring is pretty), but I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has a strong opinion either way, especially anyone who finds this a charming tribute to the author.

August 29, 2011

Keeping the streets safe from bad grammar and punctuation

Filed under: Apostrophe catastrophe,Mad marketing,Perilous punctuation — mighty red pen @ 6:37 pm
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Well, you might have heard we had a bit of weather up here in the Northeast U.S. in the form of a visit from our (now dearly departed) friend Irene. As a farewell party favor, she left La Casa de MRP without power for a bit over a day. It’s amazing to realize how not dark what passes for darkness actually is.

In any case, of the things that happened today, among the best were the turning back on of the power (yay, warm showers!) and the arrival of my Old Navy now-limited-edition “Lets Go” typo tee. Ta da!

As you may have heard, these tees have now been recalled and will be reprinted, so unfortunately, if you did not grab one while the grabbing was good, they are all gone. H/t to @Stefaniya for noting that Old Navy now has this notice on their site thanking the “Grammar Police” for pointing out the error:

If we’ve learned nothing else from this experience, I think it could be that a good proofreading by a member of the Grammar Police Squad can save one a boatload of cash. To protect and serve, my friends. To protect and serve.

August 4, 2011

Tell your representatives: Vote “yes” on proofreading

Filed under: Mad marketing,Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 6:54 pm
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Spotted by one of my West Coast correspondents. We found this typo absolutely devastating.

Somewhere out there is a proofreader who needs to join the American Spelling Conservancy. For reals.

October 25, 2010

Which came first, the chicken or the logo?

Filed under: Mad marketing,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 5:05 pm

I stumbled across this logo recently, and it made me wonder: What’s an ovarian semiconductor? Does it have something to do with infertility treatments?

Here’s the actual logo for Varian Semiconductor Equipment:

Here’s what I thought I saw:

It was only after looking at it more closely that I realized that the orb in the logo was just an orb and not a big O. The company’s business is something scientific, but it’s nothing to do with ovaries or reproduction. At all.


Bonus MRP moment: You like logos? You like to talk about logos, the properties of logos? Be sure to check out Your Logo Makes Me Barf.

February 24, 2010

What a shock

Filed under: Mad marketing — mighty red pen @ 6:54 pm
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In addition to being ridiculously happy that McDonald’s has resurrected the hilarious filet o’ fish jingle, this Minute Maid commercial advertising Minute Maid Enhanced Juice Drink (er, whatever that is) is just comedy genius every time.

Ah, the use of two balloons and static electricity to create an emergency bunny-sized defibrillator. Gets me every time.

January 18, 2010

Taking the pulse

Filed under: Mad marketing,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 7:52 pm

An advertisement of the Boston Public Health Commission, spotted on Huntington Avenue in Boston:

And for those of you without a pulse (and you know who you are), just don’t even bother getting a flu shot, okay?

November 18, 2009

“Pags” gags

Filed under: Mad marketing — mighty red pen @ 6:57 pm
Tags: ,

Steve Pagliuca is one of the candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts left open after the recent passing of Ted Kennedy. MRP just spotted this advertisement for his campaign. I’m sure Pags is an endearing nickname among those who know the candidate, but it’s hard to take seriously as a campaign pitch:

Call me fussy if you like, but I prefer my candidates to have a certain amount of gravitas. “Building a Bridge to a Better Bubba”? “Poppy for President”? “Dubya=Compassionate Conservative”? They’re just missing a certain je ne said quoi.

November 9, 2009

Imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

Filed under: Mad marketing — mighty red pen @ 6:30 pm
Tags: , ,

There’s just something awfully familiar about the new look of Ditech’s advertising:


Wonder where I’ve seen that color scheme and that dang bluebird before . . . hmm . . . where could it be?


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