The Allure of Alliteration in Advertising

February 16, 2017

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Originally published by our MD, Rishabh Dev, on Digitaldefynd.

What do Ted Talk, American Airlines, Big Bazaar, Coca Cola, Café Coffee Day, Dunkin Donuts and Gold’s Gym have in common? Well, for one; they are all successful, easily recognizable brands across their target domain. What makes them so special, that even without the visual cues and semiotics these brands are easily recognizable with the slightest of sounds?

What are Alliterations?

An alliteration is the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. Even though some consider the literary device of  Alliteration, the least scientific method to be ported to marketing communication and branding, we have seen brilliant and beautiful alliterations by major brands over the years. In the field of Branding, over the years, Alliterations have been used for Brand Names (Krispy Kreme, Circuit City, Range Rover, PayPal. etc.), Sports Teams (LA Lakers, KKR, Delhi Daredevils, Pittsburgh Pirates, etc.), Product Lines (Tic-tac, Grey Goose, etc.), Events and Ideas (Big Billion Day, Big Bash League, etc.), Brand USPs (Bed & Breakfast, Anytime Anywhere, etc.) and even Characters (Donald Duck, King Kong, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, etc.!

Do Alliterations make any sense at all?
The magic of Alliterations is always in the background. The consumer almost never out rightly observes it, but if an alliteration is missing, then it definitely makes the void echo. Don’t believe me?

How do these sound?
– Bed & Shower
– Mickey Rat
– Grand Bazaar
– Bugs Rabbit
– Ted Seminars

Why Use Alliterations?
All of them sound so wrong. Don’t they? And the moment we replace them with Bed, Bath & Beyond, Mickey Mouse, Big Bazaar, Bugs Bunny and Ted Talks sanity ensues again! Hence, reiterating the point; Alliterations are not a Must-Have for your Brand Communication but they sure do go a long way making Brand Recall efforts significantly simpler. Alliteration works in a way, very similar to the Rules of Repetition.  Regular and repeated linguistic cues are one of the best way to create big, predictable results. These small challenges positively stimulates the receiver’s brain in engaging better with your brand in a deeper level. Stating the obvious, your marketing communication must be memorable. To be memorable, the words, phrases, and taglines must be repeated. Even the word used for the basic text of a marketing message – copy – perhaps unintentionally signifies replication and reproduction. To be recalled and repeated, to be passed along to others, to be used and reused, is the ultimate goal of your marketing communication; passing from the agency’s whiteboard to the nirvana of becoming a popular expression.

We have already reasonably established that the product name or brand name stands out and flows with the use of Alliterations. The branded terms are easier to remember and recall. Alliteration provides fluidity, continuity and adds significant impact and emphasis on the collaterals. Of course, we do have to make sure not to go overboard and make a la-Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Pepper tagline. Companies like Miller (Make Miller Mine) and Allied Irish Bank (Britain’s Best Business Bank) have nailed the alliteration game though. Another added advantage of Alliterations in advertising and marketing communications is the ‘head-turning’ ability of this linguistic tool. Alliterative sentences are known to hold attention in the clutter and even command a faster reaction time!

So where do you start?

Have a look at these nifty little tools which might help you on your Brand’s journey.

Domain Search – This is a slammer of a domain search tool is exactly what you need if your need if your brand name is particularly generic and you need to rev it up with some pretty awesome suggested alliterations.

Synonym Finder – This tool can help you find matching synonyms or at least closely matched words for your branded keywords. Pretty helpful for creating content with alliterations and repetitions.

Sentence Generator – Though this one is a little tricky to control and not very accurate, tinkering around this for a few minutes might give you that catchy Blog Title, Email Subject Line or the tagline that you were looking for.

If you have new ideas regarding using alliterations for branding and advertising, do share them with us here .

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