Dr. Seuss was onto something when he wrote Cat in the Hat.
It turns out, he was a brilliant marketer.
My recent fascination with rhyming as a marketing tool started when a family member was in the hospital. In his room, there was a sign that said, “Don’t Fall! Just Call!” Great. It was catchy, simple and easy to remember.
Shortly after, I was driving by a flood-prone area and noticed a sign that said, “Don’t drown. Turn around.”
Were these accidents or is there some underlying logic involved in rhyming?
The Science of Rhyming for Marketing
Yes. There is a science to rhyming. Matthew S. McGlone and Jessica Tofighbakhsh of Lafayette College conducted a research study published in the Journal of Psychological Science in 2000. The purpose of their research was to determine what impact a rhyming phrase had on a person’s perception of accuracy versus a non-rhyming phrase that communicated the same message.
Here are some examples of the phrases they tested.
- “What sobriety conceals, alcohol unmasks.” vs “What sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals.”
- “Life is mostly struggle.” vs “Life is strife.”
- “Caution and measure will win you riches.” vs “Caution and measure will win you treasure.”
Even though these sentences communicated the same message, the researchers sought to determine if their test subjects would ascribe more accuracy to one versus the other. Their conclusion? Absolutely! In fact, they concluded that…
Rhyming phrases were consistently deemed more accurate than non-rhyming phrases.
This led them to question why people assign more accuracy to rhyming phrases than non-rhyming phrases. The researches propose it is because rhyming phrases are more easily remembered and therefore more often repeated.
In other words, the more often something is repeated, the more it becomes factual to us.
Read that again.
How Rhyming Leads to Sales Enablement
Easier to Repeat (Brand Recall) ->
Repeatable = Factual ->
Factual = Credibility ->
Credible = Marketing Efficacy ->
Marketing Efficacy = More Sales
3 Quick Steps to Create Rhyming Marketing Messages
Step 1 – Choose one or two core messages you want your Ideal Client Avatars/Target Market to remember about your product or service and plug the words into my favorite resource RhymeZone.
Step 2 – Turn your messages into rhyming phrases.
Step 3 – Test them in your marketing copy, 30-second intros, public speaking etc.
Examples of Rhyming Phrases in Marketing
We now have proof of what Dr. Seuss intuitively knew when he wrote Cat in The Hat. Children retain information that rhymes and… so do adults. And that recall is a powerful marketing and sales ally.
Here are some rhyming phrases to get you started.
- Bookkeeping Firm: We take your books from grief to relief!
- Veterinary Clinic: Prevent a litter, fix your critter!
- Folgers Coffee: The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.
- Dietician: Eat wise and drop a size.
- Bakery: Every batch made from scratch.
- Addiction Recovery Center: If you mess up, ‘fess up.
- Kia Automotive: We wanna see ya, in a Kia
- Ron Popeil’s Rotisserie & BBQ Oven: Set it and forget it!
- Car Wash: Splish splash, we will give your car a bath.
- Pizza Restaurant: All the cheese that you please.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.