Thirty second = 32nd or :30?

Every morning on my way to work, I listen to the radio. That means I have to listen to poorly executed radio commercials. Over and over again.

Today I was zoning out, when I heard, “Celebrate Shell’s thirty second anniversary.” Immediately I thought to myself what’s a 30 second anniversary?! I was waiting for some sort of marketing schtick about how Shell stations pump gas 30 seconds faster than other gas stations or some other meaningless claim.

As the commercial goes on, they say “it’s been a great 32 years.” OH! When they said thirty second, they meant 32 years, not half a minute!

I just wonder if they could have said the same thing, minus the early morning confusion. Did anyone from the Shell advertising team even think about the fact that the two phrases sound the exact same?

And the worst part about this? I’m probably the only one who noticed.

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2 thoughts on “Thirty second = 32nd or :30?

  1. Yes, it was probably only you that noticed. As an ex-Shell marketer I would be surprised if they hadn’t considered the issue though but what on earth were they celebrating the 32nd anniversary of? As the company is 101 years old I am intrigued.

  2. Good question! I was too busy trying to figure out what a 30 second anniversary was, that I didn’t pay attention to what they were actually celebrating.

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