Summary of Powerlines

Words That Sell Brands, Grip Fans, & Sometimes Change History

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Powerlines book summary
If you can’t get that commercial jingle out of your head, you’re the victim of a powerline – the phrase that stays.

Rating

7 Overall

6 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style

Recommendation

“Powerlines” aren’t just thick black wires carrying electrical current. They also lend their name to the jingles, slogans and taglines that have proven powerful enough to make a long-lasting imprint on the collective consciousness. If you’ve ever found yourself humming, “M’m, M’m, Good,” as you open a can of soup, or telling yourself, “Just Do It!” when you go for a run, then you are familiar with this phenomenon. Author Steve Cone ponders why some phrases stick while others live fleetingly and make no impression. He identifies several factors that give powerlines their punch, such as inserting unexpected words, telling a story that resonates with the listener, and using rhythm, cadence and music. Strangely, the book lacks in-depth instruction on how to compose a powerline. Cone prefers to dwell on his favorites, packing the book with quotes and examples, which makes it a fun read for those who want to take a nostalgic stroll down Communication Lane. getAbstract recommends this enjoyable book to media and political buffs, advertising students, marketers and campaign managers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which slogans, taglines and jingles from advertising, politics, movies, radio and television qualify as powerlines
  • What essential elements transform words and phrases into powerlines
  • How to put powerlines to work for you and your organization
 

Summary

“Car 54 Rides On”
Ask any American man of a certain age if he can recite the theme song from the popular early ’60s sitcom, Car 54, Where Are You? and he’ll most likely burst out singing:

“There’s a holdup in the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broken out in fights. There...
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About the Author

Steve Cone has worked in marketing for more than three decades. His first book was Steal These Ideas! He is currently the chief marketing officer for Epsilon. His past clients include Apple, Citigroup, American Express and United Airlines.


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