That word.


What a great word!

So great in fact.

That I am writing a little story about it.


Here’s a definition:

A system.

Such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations.

Which assists in remembering something.

And, ironically, this itself is worth remembering.

Especially if you are a business launching something with a new name.

And it is important that the target consumer remembers what the thing you are launching is called.

And let’s face it.

It is important.

Dave Trott.

The neatest story I know about the use of mnemonics is from brilliant advertising chap, Dave Trott.

And you know what?

If you are (say) 40 year or over.

You’ll know the story too.

Or at least part of it.

Thus proving the power of the mnemonic, I suppose.


Dave led a team whose job it was to develop advertising for a new, German umbrella brand.

For the British market in the very early eighties.

That brand was Knirps.

A particularly tough umbrella.

And a particularly tough name to pronounce.

Especially for the British.

(Do we pronounce the ‘K’?

Or do we not?)

Dave came up with this:

You Can Break a Brolly.

But You Can’t Knacker a Knirps.


Memorable Mnenomics.

This is particularly memorable.

First, because it’s a bit sweary.

Second, because it actually changes the way we pronounce a word we already know.

Advertising copywriting at its best.


Here is one of the adverts.

From 1981.

And it paved the way for this kind of messaging.

35 years later.

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