Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An Improdent Decision

My children hate me.

They know every time we take a road trip there's a chance I'm going to spot something that merits a 180 degree U-turn, the grabbing of the iPhone and the mandatory blog snapshot.

This gem came to us after a recent ski outting at Mammoth Mountain over the Christmas break. I believe the Town House Motel is located in Big Pine on the Southbound side of Route 395, only the most scenic road in the Golden State.

What I find puzzling about this sign is that owners clearly did not mean they have the Best Rat in town. The FTC does not allow those type of advertising claims without any proof. I know this from my many years in advertising and my extensive knowledge of weasel words.

And who is to say that the rats across the street at the Big Pine Inn aren't any better?

Obviously they were appealing to to the bargain hunter who is looking for the Best Rate. Perhaps they ran out of E's.

Here is where a little editing might have come in handy. Given a choice between a nice motel room and clean motel room, I would opt for clean. I suspect most people would. In that case, the owners of the Town House could have easily omitted the word 'Nice' from the sign and found themselves with an extra E to change Rat to Rate.

Of course I also know from my many years in advertising that copy changes and major marketing decisions like that are never made lightly. Had that option been nixed they could have 'borrowed' an E from one of the other words. For instance:


That would have been very interesting.
And to the further displeasure of my children, I definitely would have pulled the car over for a picture.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Years ago I worked on a Coco's spot with an end super that read, "Prime Rib, Steak and Shrimp only $8.99." Even though the spot had been on the air for three weeks, and 40 pairs of eyes had seen and approved it before it shipped, someone finally called and asked, "Why does it say shimp instead of shrimp?" My solution was to take the "r" out of 'prime'.