The reason I’m asking is because of a trend I’ve noticed. A few weeks ago I was reading the Canoe & Kayak Buyer’s Guide 2008 — a great resource! — and one of the ads caught my eye. Warren Light Craft is a maker of very fine composite kayaks, and their advertisement included this catchy slogan: Speed. Stability. Soul.
Then, just a few pages over, I saw an ad for the Nemo, a boat by Kayakpro, and their slogan was this: Swift. Smooth. Sophisticated.
That was amazing. I grabbed some other kayak magazines that were handy and checked to see if those were the only examples, and, incredibly, there was one more. Seaward Kayaks claimed this of their boats: Safe. Strong. Seaworthy.
What’s going on, here? I imagined the advertising personnel of these companies scanning through the magazine and slumping in disgust over the embarassing coincidence. It must have been like that episode of Seinfeld when Kramer and Mickey bought the same shirt, instantly knowing they could never wear them at the same time (“We’d look like IDIOTS!!”). I’m not saying the kayak companies look like idiots, but why all the esses? And why three of them in each case?
Perhaps there’s a subliminal element to it. The number three has a feeling of completeness about it, you probably know. And to use it in this manner implants the notion of conclusion in the mind of the reader/shopper, providing a subconscious message that there is no need to shop further. It’s really quite effective. But also, this: When out on the water, the slick, smooth slice of the paddle blade approximates an ‘s’ sound, and, yes, it is very repetitive — you might even say seductive, succinct, satisfying. So, thus engaging the salivation of paddlers who know the sport, those advertisers knew what they were doing…they just didn’t know what each other was doing, and I think that’s wonderfully funny!
Maybe I should generate a similar sexy slogan for my blog and see if it gets more hits that way.
No. Maybe I shouldn’t.
Addendum: Just before I finished writing my thoughts above, I was flipping through the current issue of a United Methodist magazine called Circuit Rider. There, on page 27, was a full page ad for a three-day conference to be held at Duke University’s Divinity School, and the title at the top of the announcement was Signs, Sighs, & Significance. Wow.
Read this followup article from March 6, 2008.