June 29, 2006
Slogans: Invest in Rhyme – the Results are Sublime
In our recent blog post, How Important is Memorability and Pronunciation in IPO Naming?, we wrote about the May 2006 Princeton University study, which discussed how a company name can positively or negatively impact the value of its IPO stock. Short and pronounceable names were shown to affect the value of stock performance by as much as 333%.
This same research uncovered some interesting findings about rhyme. According to the authors, people are also more inclined to believe statements that rhyme (e.g., woes unite foes is more believable than woes unite enemies). This has implications for taglines, slogans, product names, and even company names.
Naturally, this is good news for speakers of Romance languages to which rhyme is natural – but Germanic languages like English suffer from a paucity of rhyme words. For example, nothing rhymes with poetry, orange, month, or business - come to think of it, nothing rhymes with nothing.
That doesn’t mean there are no brilliant marketing slogans that rhyme in English – there are. Or rather, there have been – since these perfect rhyme examples are all quite dated:
- "The quicker picker-upper" (Bounty)
- "Fill it to the rim with Brim"
- "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux"
- "Don’t get mad. Get GLAD"
- "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking" (Timex)
In the case of Brim, Glad and Electrolux, the slogans are made even stronger because the brand name is part of the tagline rhyme. Perhaps the longest, but best example of this is the slogan:
- “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.”
Compare the above rhyming slogans to the dominating brand taglines of today. Which do you think are more memorable?
- My Life. My Card. (American Express)
- Safe Happens (VW)
- Imagination at Work (GE)
- I’m lovin’ it (McDonald’s)
- It’s the Cola (Pepsi)
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