Gain and Loss in the Big City

Gain ad

This ad for Gain is another example of an ad that’s too clever for it’s own good. In this case, the copy is photoshopped onto an image of a building, which makes it really difficult to read.

Once the reader deciphers the copy, it’s barely comprehensible. One of the reasons for the lack of clarity is a missing comma. It says:

fell in love
with the scent of
Gain at the same time
when they smelled
Sarah’s towels
at a dinner party
last week in 9A.

A comma after the word time would have clarified that the writer didn’t mean “at the same time as they smelled Sarah’s towels…”

As it is, the whole thing is a big mess. They don’t even bother to define the product. If the towels smell good, then it’s probably either detergent or fabric softener. The manufacturer and the ad agency know what the product is—why not clue the reader in as well? After all, the reader is the person they’re trying to persuade to buy the product.

By Marc Librescu


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