Friday, February 10, 2012

misspelled brand names: clever or controversial?

Ah, grade school spelling tests. Did you pass with flying colors, or would you sweat buckets, hoping your teacher wouldn’t call out words like possession (is that one “s” or two?), principle (vs. principal) or caffeine (so much for “i” before “e”…)?

As an adult, you no longer receive a letter grade when you write something down. But like it or not, you are still being judged, only this time it’s not your teacher—it’s your customers and clients. And they may come down hard on you if they sense misspellings.

Some people won’t think much of the errors, but others won’t think much of you. Maybe this isn’t fair, but it’s a reality. I know, because I’m one of those (judgmental) people. Only my biggest pet peeve isn’t a lone typo (we all do that sometimes)—it’s business or product names spelled incorrectly on purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. I love puns. I dig wordplay. But when you’re trying to come across as a reputable entity, promoting cutesy spellings just doesn’t cut it.

Especially when you’re producing educational toys (Playskool) or attempting to educate children (Las Vegas-based preschool, Kidz Kidz Kidz).

Food establishments and items are super guilty. Krispy Kreme, Maid-Rite, and Cheez Wiz are double whammies. 

And any brand ending in “z” in stead of “s” drives me bonkers. Examples include Tastee Freez, Darq Tanz, and Karz Auto Sales.

I understand that many names are misspelled to enhance brand recognition, I can’t help it—this sort of thing still bugs me. How about you? Do intentional misspellings annoy you? Or do you think they hold value?

No comments: