By Lisa Shomo
February 25, 2019
Dr. Seuss Day is coming up on March 2. Could you create effective marketing copy by imposing limits on how you write—as Dr. Seuss did? Should you?
For his best-selling children’s book Green Eggs and Ham, Seuss set himself a strict limit of only 50 words. Considering that he successfully got an entire generation of kids learning to read and having fun doing it, his writing techniques are worth examining.
Using literary devices you wouldn’t normally use might hem in your writing ability—or completely unleash it.
Seuss not only used small amounts of simple words, but also explored repetition, alliteration, and rhyme, and he invented new words while crafting his stories. Kids couldn’t get enough.
As we celebrate Dr. Seuss Day, what can we learn from him?
1. Rhyming helps solidify memory
Why is it that you can remember marketing slogans from 5, 15, or even 35 years ago, but you can’t seem to remember anything on the shopping list you left at home? I wager that many, if not nearly all, those memorable slogans rhymed.
Rhyming is the literary device that most people associate with the works of Dr. Seuss. Rhyme turns out to be a powerful element that made his books both treasured and unforgettable.
Children—heck, even adults—are able to rattle off line after line of Seuss’s books. And that was his intention: getting kids to connect the words on the page with sounds they hear in their mind and say out loud. When words in a phrase or series of lines sound alike, it is much easier to connect the words together and to remember them.
By Emily Gaudette
January 16th, 2019
In December, New York Magazine dropped an atom bomb on digital media. And no, I don’t mean this story on Snapchat filters for dogs.
The day after Christmas, tech reporter Max Read analyzed and synthesized reports from the Justice Department, a New York Times report on follower factories, one of many lawsuits against Facebook, a list from MarketingLand, and takedowns of YouTube, Instagram influencers, and deepfakes, all to conclude that digital metrics are fake and overinflated. We’re all just soaked in a seven layer dip of made-up, falsified baloney.
According to the article, roughly half of traffic and engagement is fraudulent. As if that wasn’t damning enough, Reddit’s ex-CEO Ellen Pao shared the article on Twitter, adding, “It’s all true: Everything is fake.” For many of us who make a living analyzing web metrics, it was a confusing time. I stopped checking Twitter for a full week, sitting in my kitchen like Dr. Manhattan on the moon, asking myself why I didn’t just go to law school.
See full story: http://ow.ly/o1Cv30nmV0w
By Ann Handley
December 20, 2018
The beloved American children’s classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was published in 1939 by the Montgomery Ward department store. So it’s tempting to think of it—like Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole—as yet another lasting piece of seasonal content marketing.
Except Rudolph is so much more than that. Journalist Roy Peter Clark looks at what he learned about writing and storytelling from Rudolph. When we look at it through a marketing lens, too, it’s also a handy framework for telling our own brand stories.
(Of course, you can also look it through a woke 2018 lens, because the story of an adolescent deer who was shamed and bullied until he had something everyone wanted is problematic, when you think about it. But that’s a story for another website.)
First, a quick recap of the plot for those who don’t know the story (or those who need a refresh):
- Rudolph is a young buck born in the North Pole with an unusual superpower/value proposition: a glowing red nose. He’s mocked by his peers; his flight coach casts him out of the squad; his parents are ashamed. Only a hot young doe named Clarice shows him any kindness.
- Then one foggy Christmas Eve, the fog as thick as pea soup threatens to ground Santa. As a cranky Santa delivers his plan to cancel Christmas, he’s annoyed by the glow of Rudolph’s bright nose. At which point he realizes that Rudolph is the perfect lead for his reindeer sleigh team.
- “You in?” Santa asks. “Sure,” Rudolph says. He saves Christmas for Santa and for children worldwide.
- Rudolph becomes the celebrated hero and gets a song, animated TV special, movie, franchise deal, and verified Instagram account. (Just kidding about that last one.)
There are other details, but that’s the gist. So… what’s that have to do with marketing?
Well, let’s break it down.
See full story: http://ow.ly/FlQG30n3SlY