The Tutor Crowd: A Great Spelling Campaign

Some graffiti artists, while being rather talented creatively, fall a bit short when it comes to spelling. Online spell checker tools or your average website spell checker would attest to this if one attempted to analyse the colourful copy that adorns many of London’s buildings. But there’s one company which is trying to take advantage of all the misspellings, with a very clever marketing initiative.

The Tutor Crowd, which offers private tutoring, has started a new, innovative campaign to promote their offer of a free English tuition trial. They’ve taken to the capital’s streets to correct the misspelled graffiti found plastered on walls, benches and wheelie bins. Spelling errors are amended with a marker pen and stickers then placed over the errant scrawls, which promote the Tutor Crowd’s site.

The Tutor Crowd’s Tumblr page reads, ‘English tuition doesn’t have to be stuffy, boring and expensive. At The Tutor Crowd we’re taking the classroom to the streets, correcting London’s graffiti to spread our message.’

This novel marketing approach is the result of the company’s collaboration with award-winning marketing agency, Arc. The campaign, which is called ‘Take the Classroom to the Streets’ is running across London in places like South Bank, Camden, Old Street and Shoreditch.

It was written and directed by Dan Kennard and Ben Smith respectively and the goal is to make the tutoring group appear relevant and fresh, especially to young people. Arc, which is part of the Leo Burnett Group have a history of conducting clever marketing campaigns and have worked with big brands including Peroni, Kenco, McDonalds and Tesco.

Beri Cheetham who is Executive Creative Director at Arc, said: ‘To change the traditional perception of English tuition, we needed a non-traditional approach. It’s tongue-in-cheek, free and makes people smile. But most importantly, we hope it helps young people engage in grammar and spelling and get support they need.’

The Tutor Crowd, was founded by Patrick Wilson who is dyslexic and struggled at school. Nevertheless he became a teacher and tutor before starting the company. His experiences, both as a pupil and a teacher provided him with a unique insight on how to improve student’s performances which in turn helped him to turn The Tutor Crowd into a very successful outfit.

“Good spelling and grammar is fundamentally important to young people,” said Mr Wilson. “But teaching it doesn’t have to be old fashioned and stuffy. We wanted to engage parents and young people alike, and make them realise that online tuition is an option that’s available to try.”

This unique marketing approach is certainly a departure from more traditional methods of promotion such as handing out business cards or pasting posters on walls. And the spelling campaign really targets all kinds of graffiti – even some of the more profane scribbles that besmirch our capital’s walls. Although this blanket approach is rather risqué, there’s a certain wit and levity to the campaign which should help the Tutor Crowd brand immeasurably.

If you’d like to forgo private tutoring, remember to check the Typosaurus spell check website!

Smarties Silly Spelling Error

Typos and spelling errors occur commonly, especially in newspapers and magazines. Indeed, they’re one of the hazards of the job. Sometimes the pressure to meet a deadline means that spellchecking goes by the wayside. However, it’s not often that one of the biggest confectionary companies on the planet makes a spelling blunder that even a seven-year old child can spot. But that’s just what happened recently when eagle-eyed schoolgirl, Eva Ball noticed a blatant spelling error on a tube of Smarties.

As seven year-old Eva was tucking into her favourite treat, she noticed a typo on the packaging. A question on the tube read as: ‘What T might you look at the stars trough?’ The youngster noticed that an ‘h’ was missing and pointed it out to her mother.

“She came running in saying “I’ve found a spelling mistake,” said her mum, Allison.

“I thought she couldn’t be right but when I looked she was. It should be “through” – they’ve missed the “h” out. Not a good advert for spelling on children’s sweets”

“Eva loves her Smarties and she also loves to read. She is fantastic at it and reads above her age level. She reads all kinds of packaging including things like the tomato sauce bottle. She was overjoyed when she found it. She has still got the tube and won’t eat the Smarties.”

“She will read anything”, enthused Eva’s father, David. “When she was really little she was reading the adverts on the backs of buses in the car. Over Christmas she got a set of animal stories to read and she’d finished them by January. She’s a little bookworm”

Eva also wrote a letter to Nestle, suggesting that they correct the error. She received a quick response which included a £2 voucher, although the letter was written in a corporate style.  They also made another case for using a website spell checker by managing to spell her mother’s name wrong in the letter.

Her mother added: “They sent a very corporate letter back…I thought they might have taken a bit more time and written it more for a seven-year-old.”

A Nestle spokesman conceded that it was “…a good spot from Eva” and that the tube had been corrected late last year, meaning that updated packs should be in most stores now.

He went on to add that “Smarties may have all the answers but not necessarily the right questions.”

According to David, Eva’s talent has already been recognised by her school

“The school have put her on the register for the gifted and talented so it’s been recognised that she’s very talented in that area. She’s very clever.’

There are of course numerous ways to avoid embarrassing mistakes like these. Online spell checker tools such as Typosaurus, as well as other lesser spell checker websites, can prove very useful at avoiding such errors. They may also save marketers millions on product recalls. It’s a shame that Nestle didn’t take advantage of such tools!