I take the Metro to work each day in Washington, D.C., and as I ascend toward ground level at the Verizon Center, I’ve been passing an advertisement for United Concordia about the savings you can get from its dental plans. Presumably, it’s also open-enrollment season. Thus, you’d think, there could be a way to use “open season” in a clever way to promote the savings potential of this company.
United Concordia instead went with this:
Apparently, dental savings are to be hunted down like geese, or bear, or deer. The problematic use struck me immediately, and I’ve never shot a gun, much less been an avid hunter. On a more technical side, I checked with Webster’s, which offers this:
Definition of OPEN SEASON1 : a period when it is legal to kill or catch game or fish protected at other times by law2 : a time during which someone or something is the object of sustained attack or criticism
Now, can people sort of derive the true meaning? Sure, and the explanatory “Choose United Concordia and save” sentence is helpful. But this ad would be much less silly and confusing if it simply dropped the “open season” mistake and just said, “Choose United Concordia and save.”
On the bright side, at least “it’s” is used correctly.