What Great Literature Can Teach Us About Great Marketing

The American Scholar published a list of the Ten Best Sentences in literature. Their list is made up of a variety of authors all across the past couple of centuries. These ten different authors have an incredible grasp on the English language. As a result they created some of the best works of literature that we will ever know. Many of their understandings can be applied to modern day marketing. Let’s take a look at a few examples from the list:

“In many ways he was like America itself, big and strong, full of good intentions, a roll of fat jiggling at his belly, slow of foot but always plodding along. always there when you needed him, a believer of simplicity and directness and hard labor.” -Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

  • In this example, we have a perfect example of an extended metaphor, in which a character is compared to America. Notice how there are no empty words being used (adjectives like “beautiful” or “excellent” that don’t add anything to a sentence). O’Brien paints a perfect image in your head with his colorful language. Based off his descriptions, the reader gets great insight into the character’s disposition.

“Anger was washed away in the river along with any obligation.” -Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

  • The brief simplicity of this sentence makes it so powerful. In this one simple sentence, you experience a drastic emotional transition interacting with the imagery of the river. This Hemingway example is perfect to show you that writing doesn’t have to be longwinded to be good!

Strong, evocative, writing can do wonders for your marketing campaign. Well written advertisements can inspire an audience in ways you never thought possible! You diction can emotionally charge an audience, provoke a reaction, even inspire action! The best part is, you don’t have to write best-selling literature to write a powerful copy!

If you’re stuck trying to find the best way to advertise your product, take a look at the rest of the list from The American Scholar here!


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