11 January, 2010

Saftey Frist

Being that I started at Renegade as a proofreader, this is a topic of discussion I hold close to my heart. Here's a picture of the warning label on the "Cheetah" Stun Gun my friend received this Christmas.

You'll note it reads, "Compact Size, Saftey Switch, Free Holster."

The spelling mistake alone wasn't enough for me to explore this product further, but then I thought, what does a cheetah have to do with a device that can administer 1.5 million volts? Other than the next time you're being mugged, making you think, Man, I wish I could run like a cheetah, rather than have to trust my life to a stun gun manufacturer that can't spell safety right.

So I visited www.cheetahstunguns.com/, and here's what I found. Click to enlarge.

1) Safety isn't the only word they can't spell right. They twice refer to the product as the "Sun Gun." That's like Nike saying they sell speakers. 2) Apparently geocities still does web work, because it looks like this site was designed in 1997. 3) An important selling feature of this Sun Gun is the "cool Cheetah logo." I understand asking to see the label for a premium product and all, but did Smith & Wesson advertise their logo or did they advertise the ease with which someone might "cap" a would-be assailant?

There's a small, obvious lesson to be learned. If you proofread and no one remarks, "Hey, they took the time to proofread," no big deal. If you don't proofread and no one notices, again, not a problem. But if you make a small mistake and your client takes big notice after you've printed two million copies, that's gonna cost somebody a lot of money, and even if your client foots the bill, you may not be the first company they call for their next print job.

Also, when a company gets little details right, it gives you more faith that they'll get the big details right, like halting a mugging and not electrocuting yourself.

I've already begged my friend to never use this product. I say give it to the mugger and wait for him to shock himself with it. Or better yet, carry the $100 this costs with you, and just give it to the guy mugging you. At least you'll know it was well-spent.

--George Convery, Copywriter

PS I'll give a bonus fact if someone can spot my spelling mistake in the body of this post. Good luck. Alicia, you're not allowed to play.

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