Just what is it about number three that makes it so important?
The Rule of Three can be found everywhere. Look at the principles of flower arranging and interior design where items arranged in groups of three are more effective than those arranged in even numbered groupings.
Three is thought of as a magic number in many cultures, especially in China where it is considered to be lucky. In several ancient civilisations, three was thought of as a sacred number and the principles of the number were often applied to anything mystical and divine.
In Christianity, the number three is omnipresent. Christ represents one third of the trinity (the father, son and holy ghost), he was visited by three wise men and 33 years later – when Peter disowned him three times – rose on the third day after the crucifixion (he died at 3pm).
References to the third eye can be found in certain Hindu traditions where it is the eye of spiritual wisdom and knowledge. In Buddhism, it refers to the gate that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. The third eye, or “Eye of Wisdom”, or, in Buddhism, the urna, is denoted by a dot, or mark on the forehead, in the deities of Shiva or Buddha.
The number three features in stories and folktales ranging from Goldilocks and the Three Bears to the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice. What about the Three Musketeers and Three Men in a Boat?
Then there are the phrases such as ‘bad luck comes in threes’ and ‘three wishes’. What about the fact that buses always turn up in threes!
There are numerous examples of the rule of three. What’s all this leading up to, you ask? Well, the power of three can be successfully applied to marketing.
The Power of Three in Content Marketing
Think of the numerous phrases and slogans in advertising campaigns that have three words. There is a rhythm to using three words that makes it appealing and which ultimately engenders a powerful impression.
Here are some examples where the rule of three has been successfully used in advertising slogans:
Vorsprung durch technik (progress through technology) – this phrase has been used as a strapline in adverts for Audi cars since the 1980s
Beanz Meanz Heinz – named top advertising slogan of all time by Creative Review magazine
Just Do It – Nike’s motivational slogan associated with health, fitness and sport
Your flexible friend – the Access credit card slogan
I’m lovin’ it – McDonald’s slogan launched in 2003 with Justin Timberlake providing the vocals for the ad
Not forgetting Finger lickin’ good, Snap! Crackle! Pop! and Diamonds are forever.
Whether you are creating content for websites, blogs, social media channels or online advertising, the power of three will have the biggest impact in getting your message across.
Apparently Apple founder Steve Jobs applied the rule of three in nearly every presentation and product launch, as seen at the iPad 2 launch where it was presented as being ‘thinner, lighter, faster’.
Using the power of three can make your content marketing campaigns ‘appealing, effective and concise’!