Are Typos In Ads Intentional?

If you’ve come across an ad while browsing the internet that features a glaringly obvious spelling mistake, your immediate instinct might be to check which brand the ad is from. And why shouldn’t you? An error as basic as a typo is not to be expected from reputed brands that spend a good chunk of their revenue on advertising expenditure each year.

Besides, featuring a typo or typos in an ad can greatly damage a brand’s reputation and image. Simple spelling mistakes can even distract users and cause them to focus more on the error staring them in the face rather than the product the ad is supposed to be promoting. Another major drawback of having typos in ads is that it interferes with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO is one of the most useful marketing tools any company has on hand today that enables them to make the most out of Display Ads or Discovery Ads. Therefore, interfering with it can lead to brands losing out on valuable clicks and consequently, sales. Misspelled words aren’t going to do you any favors if you’re planning on using the most advanced SEO tools that Google and other search engines have to offer to your advantage.

However, it’s not all bad after all. There are several big brands (think: Snickers) that have used typos in their ad campaigns to create a big impact. More often than not, reputed brands choose to make typos the starring feature of their marketing campaigns and have managed to pull off the same with considerable success.

This success is the main reason behind your having to view ads with deliberate spelling mistakes. Having spent years on the internet, I can confidently say I’ve come across dozens, possibly hundreds of ads with typos in them. At first glance, we tend to dismiss these typos as genuine error or plain incompetence. However, as outlined above, what if these typos are intentionally featured in ads to create an effect?

For the most part, people who find a spelling or grammatical error in an ad are likely to view it with suspicion. After all, if you can’t trust a company to pay enough to hire a competent writer, why would you trust them to supply you with quality products or services? Well, maybe that’s the key consideration here: trust.

Not everyone who comes across a Display Ads that features a typo or typos will notice these. In other words, not everyone reading the ad will be well-versed enough in the language that it’s written in to pick out errors that aren’t very obvious. To such people, the question of trusting the brand doesn’t arise simply because they see no reason to mistrust them.

The same cannot be said for those who can identify a typo. Such people are likely to lose trust in a brand right away and steer clear of it. Well, that’s unfortunate for the brand in question…..or is it? It has come to light in recent years that several brands use such typos to weed out users who are susceptible to falling for scams, from those that aren’t. Typos more or less play the role of a filter here and help a brand capture the interest of potential customers who trust in it and its offerings.

To some extent, typos can help companies engineer successful ad campaigns and they have. Note here that we’re talking about typos, not puns as the latter are very obviously intentional. For one reason or another, ads that feature typos seem to be enjoying a fair bit of popularity and are helping companies increase their conversion rates.

It’s difficult to say why this is the case. One reason could be that audiences find a brand more relatable if their Display Ad features a typo. After all, we all make them now and agian, don’t we? Oops! Sorry, I meant again. Another reason could be that many people either don’t notice or don’t care about a typo, as long as an ad is creative enough to pique their interest.

While making use of typos to generate clicks, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind to avoid creating confusion and mistrust among your target audience. One of these is to pay special attention to the word you’re going to misspell deliberately. You don’t want to misspell the name of your brand or the name of the product you’re advertising as it can interfere with your general strategy. Choose a word that doesn’t hold much importance in the context of your ad and you’re good to go.

Another useful tip to bear in mind concerning typos is to misspell a commonly-used word. If you’re going to use your dictionary or thesaurus to come up with some rare or archaic word to misspell in your ad, it’s not going to have the kind of impact you were hoping for. On the contrary, it may leave viewers scratching their heads wondering why you’re including words they’ve never seen before in your ad. When floating an ad with a typo, you don’t want to come across as incompetent, but you don’t want to come across as pompous (so what if I wanted to use the word pompous?) either. Bear this in mind when asking your PPC expert to add a typo to your beautifully designed ad. 

All said (or typed) and done, typos – both intentional and unintentional – can prove to be effective at drawing in audiences and converting clicks into sales. You could use A/B testing to compare how an ad with a typo fares against one without and make a well-informed decision on which version you should go with.

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