Rhyme in advertising, once a well-practiced art form, is now almost defunct. As I wrote in the Visual Thesaurus a few years ago (“Ads That Rhyme: Past Their Prime?”), “By the time Orson Welles intoned ‘We will sell no wine before its time’ — a slant or ‘imperfect’ rhyme — for the Paul Masson brand in the late 1970s, Americans were experiencing verse fatigue. Within a few years, rhyming jingles had all but evaporated.”
Still, I have a soft spot for those rhyming ads of yore, which were often catchy and well crafted. So it was with a hopeful heart that I discovered a full-page, inside-back-cover ad for Geico with a seven-line verse in the March 12 issue of the New Yorker.
Alas, poetic justice was not to be served.