Grammatically Incorrect Winston Ad Speaks Truth


Here's an interesting ad from the old school days. Back when smoking was cool, Winston had the headline, "Winston takes good like a cigarette should," which according to grammar Nazis was incorrect leading to tremendous levels of free publicity when the utterance of that headline would often come with the reply, "Winston Tastes good as a cigarette should." As is often the case, the grammatically incorrect version sounded far more natural than the correct version.

The ad belittles that whole debate, as flickr user ChicagoEye points out, and gets to the real heart of the ad's visual: the hook up. The third thought bubble, spoken by the woman, says "What do you want good grammar or good taste?" to which the man replies, "I want your phone number." Assuming this was a real ad, it's a terrifically insiderish approach to the whole grammar debate. Much like the debate we have here on Adrants. To wit, "Do you want good grammar or good advertising news?"

by Steve Hall    May-19-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Magazine   

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Hey, and even while blasting grammar Nazis, the print ad delivers a double whammy with incorrect usage (or omittance, really) of punctuation. That "What do you want" should really have a comma or a dash after it. HA!

Posted by: Ben on May 19, 2005 10:48 AM

The like/as Winston "debate" is exceptional. No copywriter -- no reasonable person anywhere -- would argue that "Winston tastes good as a cigarette should" is preferable. Overwhelmingly more often than not, however, good grammar and good taglines co-exist peacefully. Where Adrants is concerned, it's not grammar but typos that are the problem. That and gratuitous T&A.

Posted by: Chapin on May 19, 2005 1:59 PM


Posted by: Melissa on May 19, 2005 2:06 PM

At least the ad says tastes rather than takes for your version.

Posted by: kab on May 19, 2005 5:57 PM

Ah...someone finally got the joke!

Posted by: Steve Hall on May 19, 2005 9:10 PM