If It’s Yellow… Let It Mellow

“If it’s yellow…let it mellow…if it’s brown, flush it down.”  ~ California state saying in the 1970’s water shortage years.

Rhyming is a particularly effective way to market and get your message across. The California example above is somewhat horrific, but it works. I was watching a Pinkcast recently and Dan Pink reminded me of the power of rhyming your message to help make it stick in the minds of your customers. Rhymes somehow make us believe in them and remember them better than just spouting off some platitude. Compare, “Are you in it to be the best?” with, “Are you in it to win it?” Rhyming, like “butter, just makes things better”.

A good rhyme helps strengthen our memory. It can trigger strong emotions. And, rhymes can be a persuasive tool. They help us process an idea and understand it better. For example: 

I was working as a busboy at an upscale restaurant while going to college and remember telling the beleaguered server in the kitchen who was swamped with orders the “do or die quote”. The manager was also nearby, heard me and told me, “We are paying you to bus tables, not philosophize.” This was just the start of me getting in trouble in the world of work. Be smart when using rhymes at work.

The rhyming example Dan gave was from one of his favorite candies, Haribo.  See below: 

“Kids and grownups love it so – the happy world of Haribo.”

Why is it important to know about the power of rhymes? It’s probably not that important, but it is good to know why you can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday; and yet you can remember what the state of California told you to do 40 years ago to conserve water. What’s a favorite rhyme of yours?