Comcast gets Neil Patrick Harris monogram wrong

Opening shot, Xfinity ad “Connected.” Note monogram on wood panel

Another screenshot from the same Xfinity ad

By training, I tend to notice and be bothered by small errors that others may overlook. One thing in particular has caught my attention the last few nights.

Neil Patrick Harris is featured in several Xfinity ads from Comcast. In one (“Connected”), he comes down a hallway toward the camera. On a paneled wall behind him is a large 3-letter monogram, the type that has two smaller letters flanking a large one in the middle. I was taught that with such an arrangement, the large center letter is the surname initial. Thus Harris’s monogram should be nHp, with the H notably larger. Yet in the ad it is nPh, with a large P in the middle.

He continues toward the camera, then turns to his right to join his entourage. They’re all dressed in white jackets adorned with the same incorrect monogram.

Weird. It’s a pretty obvious mistake.

Correct

Wrong!

_________

May 7: Saw a new NPH Xfinity ad this evening, and the monogram is still wrong. Harris is sitting in his bed throughout the ad, and the monogram is very prominent on the wall above the bed. Sure wish someone would put one of these ads up on YouTube so I could grab a screenshot (I don’t have a DVR).

_________

July 18: Ugh, saw yet another NPH ad today. This one begins with Harris looking at a newspaper ad with the monogram in it and ends with him standing beside a guy in a suit of armor with the monogram on a sign to the side. I continue to be perplexed by the use of this erroneous monogram. It might make sense if the actor considers Patrick Harris to be a compound or hyphenated name. But as far as I know, Patrick is his middle name and Harris his last, which makes the monogram wrong! 

_________

July 20: Yea! Screenshots at last. View the full video here.



Categories: Media, personalities, Society

Tags: ,

35 replies

  1. I have no idea, but about 50 years ago, someone gave me a monogrammed handkerchief that occupies the same box in which I received it. If it is correct, then so are you. And no, I have no idea why I’ve saved it. Or why I’ve saved the old Post Versalog bamboo slide rule that’s in the same drawer.

  2. You may be right about saving them. I know in today’s dollars that slide rule would be worth a lot more than the month’s worth of grocery sacking that I paid for it. I’ll take your word for it and revise my will. 🙂

  3. Darn good question! That commercial bothers me every time I see it – I assumed that Patrick was his middle name, and Harris his last. I think the monogram is just wrong.

  4. Yes it’s wrong & driving me crazy! My husband claims that I’m just fussy. Fussy and correct. Glad I’m not the only one.

  5. I have been bothered by those ads since the first time I saw them. The monogram is completely wrong. And it’s all over those ads! I guess no one double checked that one.

  6. The monogram is wrong. I would bet that Comcast advertising brain-trusts thought we were too stupid to know the correct from the incorrect.

  7. BRAVO!!! This has been grating on me every time I see it!
    Which brilliant, under-educated, highly overcompensated Ad Agency Account manager is responsible for this one? Do we know?

  8. Thank God for you. I have been angry about this since I first saw the commercial. None of my friends understand. =-D

  9. I noticed this tonight on the newspaper that is in the commercial!!! It is driving me CRAZY!!!! It’s nHp!!!! nHp, I tell you!!!

  10. I just saw this ad for the first time this week. Probably b/c I DVR most shows… Anyway, it makes me crazy and was so pleased to see others agree. I love nothing more than a clean crisp monogram but ONLY when the letters are in the right order. Thanks for this opportunity to vent!

  11. Comnpletely drives me nuts too! And the ads just keep coming with the same mistake. Just saw a new “nPh” ad today. Argh! Make them stop!

  12. This bugs me to no end!!! I only found this blog because I did a google search to see who else it bothered…

  13. “This bugs me to no end!!! I only found this blog because I did a google search to see who else it bothered…”
    &
    “My husband claims that I’m just fussy. Fussy and correct. Glad I’m not the only one.”

    LOL — These two comments are EXACTLY what I was going to say! Can’t believe Comcast continues to repeat this error in new commercials.

  14. I used to work at a place where we did custom engraving, monogramming, etc. I’m really aggravated that Comcast didn’t bother to research etiquette rules for monogramming before showing it incorrectly in their huge ad campaign. It was hard enough to educate people one-on-one when they didn’t know which order certain monograms went in but now Comcast is showing people the incorrect way so of course people will believe that something they’ve seen on t.v. just can’t be wrong.

    For the record:

    If all initials are the same size, they go in this order: ( First name ) ( Middle name ) ( Last name )

    In a monogram with an oversized middle initial, the order is this: ( First name ) ( Last name ) ( Middle name )

    If a single individual would like to use a single initial for a monogram they should use the first letter of their first name.

    A single initial monogram for a married couple is the first initial of the husband’s last name.

    • Thank you for posting the rules, clearly and succinctly. They are exactly the same as when I learned them decades ago. It hadn’t even occurred to me that people would see the commercials, assume the monograms are correct, and emulate them. Which of course they will. Gah!

  15. I kept saying to my husband that the monogram was wrong in that ad. Of course, he said I was wrong, so I googled it and found this blog. Thank goodness SOMEONE still knows proper etiquette. I find this right up there with improper grammar. Comcast should be mortified, but then have you ever had Comcast service?

  16. I’ve already posted above, but after some thinking, I hate to say that I doubt Comcast made the incorrect monogram accidentally. They’ve probably paid a pretty penny to have Neil Patrick Harris endorse their service and want people to know. Marketing execs were probably more worried about the dense TV-watching population who would see nHp and have no idea who the guy was than they were worried about the select intelligent few of us who notice these mistakes.

  17. Drives me nuts. I kept thinking someone at the ad agency would catch the mistake after people started commented… or Comcast would correct it as “details” matter. I, too, found this website just because I was wondering who else was going bonkers when they keep seeing this error repeated.

  18. I think it’s pretty common knowledge that a monogram of this type (w/ centered ‘large font’ initial) indicates the persons last name in large centered print. In the past month I’ve heard no less than five people mention this. I find it interesting that with so much ‘talk’ about this, they are still airing the ads. I realize it’s costly to pull/correct this type of advertisement, but at the very least, even some sort of acknowledgment of it, would lend more credence to the company! And yes, it’s been ‘bugging’ me too……to no end!!!

  19. Comcast couldn’t care less about being wrong. They are too busy sneaking in rate increases and making millions. Also, I think Elizabeth Klein is spot on in her analysis.

    • Yep, if you’ve ever called Comcast to inquire about your bill (or anything else), you learn very quickly that they are never wrong. I have the great misfortune of being one of their customers.

  20. I also noticed this and it bugs me and am happy to find your post!

  21. I think another thing that adds to the problem is that when some people talk about Neil Patrick Harris, they often use “NPH,” whether speaking or typing. The incorrect monogram is still annoying.

  22. Yes, yes, yes–thanks for noticing! This ad sets my teeth on edge every time I see it. (I’m an editor too.)

  23. Absolutely! What has happened to class? How many uneducated people did this glaring error get by? Or perhaps they were pandering to the average doofus.

  24. That mistake makes me crazy. I thought I was the only one who noticed it!

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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