Many studies have been completed about the emotional connection of a purchase, the fact that people buy from people and the reality that relationship building benefits business growth.

Applying a style to your writing that gives your audience pleasure, whilst being informative and memorable, is a craft. Copywriters incorporate many principles to keep the customer’s attention for longer and, despite the changes in technology, we can benefit from learning from the past.

Shakespeare was a master at retaining interest and used a method known as iambic pentameter, whereby he applied a rhythmic beat to his works consisting of one soft beat and one strong beat, repeated five times.

“A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”
Richard III
Act 5, Scene 4

By applying this method, which represented a heartbeat, he was able to really connect with the audience on an emotional level, whilst controlling the pace at which the story was delivered.

Brands have adopted the concept of connecting emotionally using rhythm beyond writing, with large brands reporting success when carefully selecting accompanying soundtracks based on beats per minute to incite emotion. The films Jaws and Rocky do this particularly well to differing effects.

Likewise, Shakespeare practiced the rule of three with Mark Antony gaining his audience’s attention by his famous speech opening.

“Friends, Romans, countrymen…”
Julius Caesar
Act 3, Scene 2

The rule of three is a principle built around the idea that we process information more frequently when it forms a pattern. The concept of rhythm in writing isn’t unique to Shakespeare with some of the most memorable quotes from history and modern day incorporating this method to embed a message.

The road safety campaign ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ gained particular success when using the pattern, and more recently the government slogan ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ adopted this theory.

Consumers have access to more material today than they did 400 years ago but we can still learn from the concepts adopted by Shakespeare to engage an audience to deliver a message.

Producing engaging, informative and on message marketing will help your brand retain audience attention, build relationships and be memorable.

These are just some of our thoughts, but we would love to hear about what has worked for you and your organisation, or to chat about Shakespeare; get in touch to share your successes.

Sharon Starkey

Author Sharon Starkey

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