Rhyme as reason in commercial and social advertising


Petra Filkuková, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, PO Box 1094 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway. Tel: +47 46 34 65 95; e-mail: petra.filkukova@psykologi.uio.no


This study investigated the rhyme-as-reason effect on new artificially created advertising slogans. Rhymes and non-rhymes were in Experiment 1 and 2 compared in a between-subjects design and in Experiment 3 in a within-subjects design. The quality of the form and content of the slogans was always evaluated by separate groups. In Experiment 1, we found a strong preference for rhyming slogans as opposed to their non-rhyming counterparts. Rhymes were rated as more likeable, more original, easier to remember, more suitable for campaigns, more persuasive and more trustworthy. In Experiment 2, social advertising messages were evaluated favorably in both rhyming and non-rhyming versions. However, when participants directly compared rhymes and non-rhymes on the same scale (Experiment 3), the difference between commercial and social advertising disappeared and for all slogans rhymes were clearly preferred to non-rhymes in terms of both form and content. A detailed analysis revealed that the rhymes scoring high on formal aspects were also favored in the questionnaire investigating content aspects.