01 November 2017
ADVERTISERS know that the best slogans — or memes — need not be grammatically correct, just memorable. Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point recounts that in 1954, when American tobacco company Winston introduced filter-tip cigarettes, it marketed them via the ungrammatical tagline, “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”, rather than “Winston tastes good as a cigarette should”. He notes that within months, “on the strength of that catchy phrase”, Winston outsold its major rivals and ultimately became the top cigarette brand in the country.
Thus, an effective meme must be colloquial and memorable to work — not necessarily grammatical.
In our modern, Internet-saturated world, there is a surfeit of news competing for our attention via multiple channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a myriad other applications.
… Kumar Ramakrishna is head of Policy Studies and coordinator of the National Security Studies Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is the author of ‘Emergency Propaganda: The Winning of Malayan Hearts and Minds’
NSSP / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 22/11/2017