Signal v. Noise, a publication about the web
“More effective, useless.” The Devil is in the details.
What do you recommend, a bigger spacing ? :)
And talking about “devil”, searching rails devels recommend searching for “rails devils” instead.
“less needed” would have been just as effective, requires 3 more characters, and keep this out of the FAIL Blog.
Of course, this might have been the intentional work of a disgruntled employee wondering what she could get away with.
Of course, simply making the word “less” a different color (I’m thinking red) would have prevented this and served to highlight the advantage of their product.
Anonymous Coward: (the other one)
When I hear “less needed”, I don’t think of using less. I think I have less need for the product. I need this product even less than I needed it before. It’s the new improved, but less needed, version. Marketers want their products to be more in need, not less in need.
“Wash more with less”
I don’t think this fails in any way, and succeeds in several you’re either oblivious to or not addressing.
It would be silly if it read useless. But it doesn’t. So instead, you’re being silly.
Yeah… useless.. OH LOOK they’ve got the word “down” in “downy”... that must mean we’re in a recession, coz the economy is going DOWN. Damn!
I don’t see it as “useless” at first glance and think the wording sounds better than other options mentioned above. I think maybe increase the spacing a little to make it less obvious could help a little, but not necessary…
Well, a few people here seem to doubt it, but when I first saw it, I saw it as “useless”. I though it was a parody. I don’t think any claim was made that everyone will misread it that way.
I don’t think any claim was made that everyone will misread it that way.
If only there were some standard rules we could all agree on so that all these printed characters could be interpreted the same by those who are taught to read them.
Oh wait, there is.
Even after reading your title, setting up the frame of mind, I still read it as Tide intended when I saw the image.
They have trademarked “Use Less” that is even more funny.
@Chris, I don’t think that they’ve trademarked “Use Less”?
That mark is an asterisk for you to note the small print that you will only use less in laboratory conditions and only compared to their own regular product.
I also read it as use less not useless. Hmm, could be just me.
“The Devil is in the details”.
If detail is so important, why resort to cliche?
Even before your comment the only thing I noticed was “Useless”
I don’t think the point is who specifically saw Useless vs. Use Less.
The point, more likely, was that when possibly try to avoid that situation!
The real issue here is “More Effective”...not “Use Less.”
Imagine how much money they are saving by selling us half as much detergent for the same price. And they can do this by saying it’s 2x concentrated and twice as effective.
Is it really? Says who?
Kinda like McDonald’s “Premium Bold Coffee.”
Yeah right. It’s the same old shit they’ve always served…just slightly stronger. You can actually smell how bad it tastes.
I digress…my clothes still seem to get clean, so it’s all good.
Humm.. I’m not sure how to put this, but have thought about changing the title of this blog to “Noise and More Noise”. Because the signal is getting incredibly thin.
Huh… use less, or useless – who cares? The only true mistake is “MORE EFFECTIVE”. WTF? More effective than WHAT?
I try to baby one of my cars, and unfortunately, I was in a hurry and needed a wash. I was driving past a car wash and it advertised a touchless car wash. So I paid my $10, the machine took hold of my wheels, and pushed me and the car into the tunnel. To my horror, big gigantic brushes appeared in the middle of the 100’ Tunnel of No Escape. My blood pressure soared. My paint job!! After the beating was over, I went into the office to ask them WTF. They said that the car wash was touchless, not touch free. Their system touches your car less than others do. Sorry, had to vent somewhere, this seemed like a good opportunity.
this is real “useless” to discuss, i will say all are useless. i didn’t see anything funny or serious mistake in that.
Ajax Imported from the US
This label makes no mistake at all. It’s not misleading, nor would any american-english speaking person misread that as “useless”.
It’s a cute observation though. ;)
to the failblog with it…
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Funny how something that just seemed to be posted to be funny is taken so serious. I like how 37Signals is so successful now that every little thing they do no matter what it is has to be criticized. They’re no longer the company that anyone can create and people look up to and are inspired by, they’re now the multi-million dollar corporation full of people who just aren’t your normal average person any more. How could they be? They’re successful.
@JSimmons, this wasn’t posted to be funny. It was posted to be negative and snarky. That’s why people who see no problem with the label are being critical of this post.
It’s being criticized because it makes no sense. It’s a Creative Director working overtime to put his mark on something that doesn’t need his input.
I can hear my former CD now…
“So what are we really trying to say by USE LESS?”
Well, we’re saying that you don’t have to use as much. But thanks for playing.
Pose this situation to a million consumers and they would probably say “Oh yeah, that’s pretty funny.” But what bearing does it have on their advertising message or their brand?
Here’s another one for you…
The Chevy Nova.
Means “No Go” in Spanish, right? Heralded as one of the all-time branding goofs.
Yet it’s still one of the most popular classic muscle cars in the country.
I don’t think the vast majority of people would read this and get a negative connotation from it simply from the fact that we are all trained to expect nothing but positive statements on product packaging. If you did happen to mis-read it as “useless,” it would be so off from what you’d expect that you would undoubtedly read it again.
Never would have noticed it. Ever.
And I’ll guarantee you, the designer in the trenches tried to yell it up the line, but top down design management once again shows it’s ugly unflinching head. “They told me to!”
Love Snopes…kinda like Wiki with an opinion.
Either case…”No Va” or “Useless”...they assume people are stupid.
Read all of Sarah’s posts.