While I was planning for a keynote I gave this past week, I made a quiz about product brands and catchy phrases. Here are some of them — see if you can name who they stand for:
- Snap! Crackle! Pop!
- We do chicken right
- Quality is Job One
- Don’t leave home without it
- When ____ talks, people listen
- Have it your way
- Like a rock
- Be all that you can be
- We try harder
- ____ spells relief
- Sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don’t
If you get them all correct, you’re dating yourself, because many of these are a couple of decades old! I quit at 68 phrases — I thought that was enough.
The talking point of my keynote was “simpler“. As I looked at the quiz, something jumped off the page at me. In the 68 phrases, only three of them had a single word longer than two syllables! People who market products and need their message to be retained use short words. Short and simple. I think it works for those of us who speak as well.
Keep your message simple. Use short words.
P.S. Answers: Rice Krispies, KFC, Ford, American Express, E.F. Hutton (out of business in 1988!), Burger King, Chevy trucks, Army, Avis, Rolaids, Almond Joy/Mounds
P.S. #2 The only word (not name) in this post that has more than two syllables is the word syllable. I could not find a good word to replace it. It took twice as long to write — I expect it takes half as long to read.