aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

OnStar, who in the heck is writing your ad copy?

I used to write ad copy for a living. This OnStar ad is the craziest thing I've seen. First of all, "OnStar is the responsible way to keep you safe, secure, and connected on the road" sounds like it was translated from another language. "Responsible" is not quite the right word. Consumers don't think "I want to be safe, secure and connected - what's the responsible way to do that?"

"Simple touch of a button" is redundant. Touching a button is by definition simple.

The next sentence is what really got my goat. "Available at consumer electronics stores like Best Buy, getting it installed..."Hello! You don't need to know it's called a dangling modifier to know that the sentence doesn't sound right. The copywriter should be talking about the product after that modifying clause, not the installation.

And let's look at that sentence as a whole. "Available at consumer electronics stores like Best Buy, getting it installed on-site is quick and easy by a trained professional - a must since this is an important safety device."

Really, it should read, "Getting it installed on-site by a trained professional is quick and easy" - but I'm guessing the writer wanted to get in that addition how important it is and couldn't figure out a way to do it except by contorting the sentence even further.

"Better yet, there are no dangling wires, no rips, no tears, no mess - how good is that?"

No rips, no tears, no mess? Wow, what strong selling points. And "how good is that" again sounds like it was translated from another language. "Wouldn't it be "how great"?

It's like this ad was supposed to be about what makes OnStar great, but instead the copywriter got sidetracked into talking about how you shouldn't try installing itself, because you'll rip holes in your car and the device might not work.

Also check out the shaded box: nothing drives me crazier than random capitalization, like "live Advisor."

[Note: I'm sure this rant is full of its own grammar issues. But I didn't get paid to write it, and I'm not selling anything.]

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