Why are most slogans and taglines ineffective? Because they're just words and a mind cannot understand words. A mind can only understand sounds.
Why do most Americans remember the battlecry of the French Revolution ("Liberté, égalité, fraternité") when they cannot remember the battlecry of the American Revolution?
Because the sounds of the words "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" rhyme and that's one of the powerful techniques for creating a memorable slogan. In addition to "rhyme", there are four other techniques outlined in my new book, Battlecry.
1. Rhyme: "Roto-Rooter, that's the name. And away go troubles down the drain."
2. Alliteration: "M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hands."
3. Repetition: "The few. The proud. The Marines."
4. Reversals: "Two great tastes that taste great together. Reese's peanut butter cups."
5. Double-entendre: "A diamond is forever."
You might think companies and their ad agencies would be wise to these techniques.
But few slogans actually use any of these memory-building tactics. In a recent survey of 266 advertising slogans, only 19 used any one of them.
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