The Allure of Alliteration in Advertising


Let’s start with a few brand names before we get into the usage of alliteration in advertising and marketing.

Introduction to Alliteration

What do TED Talk, American Airlines, Big Bazaar, Coca Cola, Café Coffee Day, Dunkin Donuts, and Gold’s Gym have in common?

alliteration in brand marketing
alliterations in brand names

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?

The Answer is the use of alliterations.

Here’s what I mean…

What are Alliterations?

Alliteration is the occurrence of the same letter or sounds at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.

The brand names you saw above are perfect examples of alliterations.

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.

Examples of Alliteration in Advertising and Marketing

In the field of Branding, Marketing & Advertising, 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 and Ad Copy (Bed & Breakfast, Anytime Anywhere, etc.) and even Characters (Donald Duck, King Kong, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, etc.!

Alliteration is a powerful tool in the world of advertising and marketing, and many brands have used it to create memorable campaigns. Here are some examples of successful alliteration campaigns:

  • “Finger-lickin’ good” by KFC: This iconic slogan uses alliteration to emphasize the deliciousness of KFC’s chicken. The repetition of the “g” sound in “finger-lickin’ good” creates a sense of satisfaction and indulgence, which is perfect for a fast food chain.
  • “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” by M&Ms: This famous slogan uses alliteration to emphasize the unique quality of M&Ms candy. The repetition of the “m” sound in “melts in your mouth” creates a sense of smoothness and creaminess, which is perfect for a candy brand.
  • “Snap, Crackle, Pop” by Rice Krispies: This classic slogan uses alliteration to emphasize the sound of Rice Krispies cereal when milk is poured on it. The repetition of the “s” and “p” sounds in “snap, crackle, pop” creates a sense of excitement and fun, which is perfect for a breakfast cereal brand.

These campaigns demonstrate the power of alliteration in creating memorable and effective advertising slogans.

Exploration of How Different Industries Use Alliteration in Their Marketing Strategies:

Alliteration can be used in a variety of industries to create engaging and effective marketing campaigns. Here are some examples of how different industries use alliteration in their marketing strategies:

  • Tech companies: Many tech companies use alliteration to create catchy and memorable product names, such as Google, Yahoo, and PayPal. The repetition of the “o” sound in Google and Yahoo creates a sense of familiarity and ease, while the repetition of the “p” sound in PayPal creates a sense of security and reliability.
  • Food and beverage brands: An alliteration is a common tool used by food and beverage brands to emphasize the taste and quality of their products. For example, Coca-Cola uses alliteration in its slogan “The Real Thing,” while Dunkin’ Donuts uses alliteration in its slogan “America Runs on Dunkin’.”
  • Beauty products: Alliteration can also be used in the beauty industry to create memorable and effective product names and slogans. For example, Maybelline’s slogan “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” uses alliteration to create a sense of confidence and beauty.

These examples demonstrate how alliteration can be used in a variety of industries to create effective marketing campaigns that are memorable and engaging for consumers.

It’s About the Psychology

Do Alliterations make any sense at all?
The magic of Alliteration is always in the background. The consumer rarely outrightly observes it, but if alliteration is missing, then it makes the void echo.

Don’t believe me?

Let’s remove the alliterations and see how these names sound without them: (Read the list aloud)

  • Bed & Shower
  • Mickey Rat
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Bugs Rabbit
  • Ted Seminars

You get the idea!

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!

And it’s not just in brand names! Alliterations have been used in common language for a very long time.

Examples of Alliteration in Everyday Language and Literature:

  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • She sells seashells by the seashore.
  • Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said this butter’s bitter.
  • The wild winds of winter.
  • The big bad wolf.

Why Use Alliterations?

Hence, reiterating the point; Alliterations are not a Must-Have for your Brand Communication but they sure do go a long way in making Brand Recall efforts significantly simpler.

Hence, I also recommend using alliterations in your marketing campaigns.

I’ve found them really effective especially for retargeting ad campaigns, social media campaigns, email subject lines, landing page copy, and of course a lot in ad copy!

The use of alliteration creates a sense of rhythm and repetition that can be pleasing to the ear and easy to remember.

Types of Alliteration

Explanation of Different Types of Alliteration:

  • Consonance: This type of alliteration involves the repetition of consonant sounds in words that are close together. For example, “Sally sells seashells by the seashore.” The “s” sound is repeated in several words in close proximity.
  • Assonance: This type of alliteration involves the repetition of vowel sounds in words that are close together. For example, “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.” The “ai” sound is repeated in several words in close proximity.
  • Repetition: This type of alliteration involves the repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of several sentences or lines. For example, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Alliteration can also be used in combination with other literary devices, such as rhyme and meter, to create a more powerful effect. The use of alliteration in literature can create a sense of rhythm, emphasize certain words or phrases, and create a memorable and impactful reading experience.

In advertising and marketing, alliteration can also be used in combination with other persuasive techniques, such as humor, emotion, and storytelling, to create a more engaging and effective campaign.

The Rules of Repetition for Using Alliteration

Repetition makes your brand sink into the audience’s mind and also makes your ad or marketing offer work, as is shown by successful retargeting campaigns!

Alliteration works in a way, very similar to the Rules of Repetition. Regular and repeated linguistic cues are one of the best ways to create big, predictable results.

These small challenges positively stimulate the receiver’s brain in engaging better with your brand on 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.

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, and continuity, and adds significant impact and emphasis on the collaterals.

Of course, we do have to make sure not to go overboard.

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!

Tools to Get Started

Have a look at these nifty little tools which might help you on your new copywriting hack using Alliteration!

Domain Search – This is a slammer of a domain search tool that is exactly what you 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 tagline that you were looking for.

ChatGPT – ChatGPT can be a helpful tool for generating alliterations, whether you’re a writer looking for inspiration or a marketer trying to come up with a catchy slogan. Simply provide ChatGPT with a starting word or phrase and ask it to generate a list of alliterative options. You can also use ChatGPT to explore different types of alliteration, such as consonance and assonance, by asking it to generate examples or explain the difference between the two.

Tips for Using Alliteration in Your Advertising and Marketing

While alliteration can be a powerful tool in advertising and marketing, it’s important to use it effectively in order to create memorable and effective campaigns. Here are some tips for using alliteration in your marketing strategies:

  1. Keep it short and simple: Alliteration works best when it’s easy to remember and repeat. Stick to short phrases and simple sounds that are easy for consumers to recall and associate with your brand.
  2. Tie it into your brand’s message and values: Alliteration should always serve a purpose in your marketing campaigns. Make sure your alliterative phrases tie into your brand’s message and values, and communicate something meaningful to your audience.
  3. Use it sparingly: Alliteration can be a powerful tool, but it can also become tiresome if overused. Use alliteration sparingly in your marketing campaigns, and only when it serves a clear purpose and adds value to your message.
  4. Get feedback from others: Alliteration can be a tricky tool to use effectively. Get feedback from others, such as colleagues or focus groups, to make sure your alliterative phrases are clear, memorable, and effective.

While alliteration can be a great tool for creating memorable and effective marketing campaigns, there are also some common pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Don’t sacrifice clarity for the sake of alliteration: While alliteration can be catchy and memorable, it should never sacrifice clarity or understanding. Make sure your alliterative phrases are clear and easy to understand, even if they’re catchy.
  2. Don’t overdo it: As mentioned earlier, alliteration can become tiresome if overused. Use alliteration sparingly and only when it adds value to your message.
  3. Don’t force it: Alliteration should always serve a purpose in your marketing campaigns. Don’t force alliteration where it doesn’t belong, or use it simply for the sake of being catchy.

By following these tips and avoiding common pitfalls, you can use alliteration effectively in your advertising and marketing campaigns to create memorable and effective messages that resonate with your audience.