“Do You Pop Out At Parties?” And Other Odd Phrasings

Some of you will recognize the title quote, “Do you pop out at parties?”,  from the classic TV show I Love Lucy. But to many others, it sounds like a terrible wardrobe malfunction. And that’s why it was a terrible advertising idea from a major women’s clothing company.

I’d love to have put the ad here, but copyright laws prohibit such things. And I doubt if the company would like me to mention their name in this context. But if you get their emails, you know who I’m talking about.

Here’s why that quote struck so many people so wrong.

The ad shows women posing in dresses – strapless dresses. So naturally, I assumed the company meant that they’d come out with something like a rubber strip at the top of the strapless dress to keep it from falling down. In fact, I was so sure that was what they meant that it took me a minute of further reading to realize that they were actually referring to color. Does the COLOR of your dress pop out at parties?

Wow. What a difference.

If that ad had been edited or proofread by someone who was removed from the situation (i.e. not their full-time style editor who already understood the context), this obvious misinterpretation would have been caught quickly and the whole thing would have been reworded.

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