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Marketing Monday: Power of Proofreading

Back in 2008, I wrote a blog post about Bear on a Bicycle – and the importance of using good copy (or at least having a good editor).

This week, a similar phrase caught my eye on the back of a four-pack of Crest Complete.

The box says: “Fights cavities + whiter teeth in one tube.”

All I could think was “Why would you fight whiter teeth?”

It reminds me of all the promos I've seen this month to “Raise Money for Breast Cancer”. Uhhh… I may be weird, but I'd rather raise money to fight and eliminate it. 😉

What do you think?

  • Effective or not?
  • Would you have noticed this?
  • What would you do to make this piece more effective?

Talk to me. 🙂

Nicole Dean

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Tawra

    Ok, don’t get me started on this. 🙂 In the 12 years we have been in business this is our BIGGEST time waster!

    We have tried 8-10 proofreaders/editors and have yet to find one who really does a good job. Every time Mike has to go back in and re-edit it. He is the only one who finds mistakes like the one above.

    Now, he is the one who judges. He is the one with a communications degree so he knows what he’s talking about. (At least that’s what he tells me. 🙂 To make matters worse, mom and I are both sick and because of our illness what ends up on paper isn’t what we are thinking so there are times he does have a big mess to clean up.

    But…I say all that to say if we can find a good proofreader/editor, IT WILL CHANGE OUR LIFE!!!!

    I have 400 pages on cleaning and organizing that if we can get it together we could have another product, I have 4 cookbooks waiting, that if we can get the info. off the website, edited and into a book we could have more products to sell.

    Someday our perfect editor we will find! LOL


  • Tawra

    Oh yeah… I listened intently on your outsourcing video. I can’t wait to try this out.

  • The Mom

    Oh Nicole… you speak straight to my heart! Well, of course this subject would interest you – apple didn’t fall too far from the tree, eh?! Yes, I would have noticed the glitch right away.

    I linked on this comment to a blog post I wrote some time ago about an honest-to-goodness comma disaster I found in an apple festival brochure. Who wouldn’t want their kids to go on a “Children’s Hay Ride and Wine Tasting.”

    Maybe it takes a special talent, or twisted sense of humor, to notice these things… I’m not sure which. Anyway, thank you, dear Nicole, for bringing this subject up. As a writer, I love the topic. As an editor, it can really get frustrating.

  • William

    George Carlin made a living out of such wording as “Jumbo Shrimp” and “Semi-trailer”, I believe the best laugh is that companies pay ad agencies tons of money to write for them. I would also question just what “Extra Whiting” is that makes it better then “Whiting”

  • Alicia Jay

    Hey Nicole!

    I’ve been following you for a while but I don’t comment often. When I saw the title of your post I just had to say something! Ironically, I just wrote a post about this very topic on my website. I do believe that proofreading and editing your work (or having someone do it for you) is so important for your business. As a virtual assistant, I have clients who are thrilled to take that item off their plates and hand it over. You want your prospective clients to take you seriously and see you as an authority. That should be reflected in your writing. Like you, I often notice things like the toothpaste box and it just irks me! At least I know it’s not just me:)

  • Sandy Halliday

    Oh yes, Nicole, I notice those all the time. Maybe that’s what the copywriters intend.

    I am on vacation in Spain and see “Buffet Libre” (Free Buffet) a lot outside Indian restaurants. Funny, I never see a line at the door! It’s really misleading because it’s not free at all. What they mean is that you can eat as much as you like once you pay a set price.

  • Emma

    Hi Nicole,

    Honestly I probably wouldn’t have picked that up without you saying something but now you mention it… it really does sound bad doesn’t it?

    I have a friend proof all of my blog posts and I do one more check the week before they are dut to be posted. I find it makes a big difference to take a day (or a few days if you can) rest from it then go back with fresh eyes. Sometimes I can’t believe what I wrote the first time!


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