“Two Roads diverged in a yellow wood …” and when one path is designated poetry and the other marketing content there is a high chance those roads will eventually intersect. This is no surprise when you compare the strategy a poet uses to compose lines of verse with the careful calculation a marketer employs to create brand statements, taglines, and slogans. Both draw from the same toolbox and strive to affect their audience emotionally and ideally move them to act.

In honor of National Poetry Month, we have compiled a short list of brands who have boldly conjured more personal connections to their customers with poetry.


The Mass-Transit Poetry of PolicyGenius

In 1992 the Poetry Society of America bought ad space on subways.  So chances are, in recent years,  if you have commuted via subway in a U.S. city you have seen a poem from the likes of popular poets like Emily Dickinson to lesser-known poetry of Lady Otomo No Sakanoe, in the place of where an advertisement would normally be. Until the company, PolicyGenius decided to parody the “Poetry in Motion” project by posting ads in a similar layout.  At first glance, the rider/reader thinks this is just another one of the real poems they have become accustomed to reading on their travels until they realize it is an ad for an insurance company.

This spoof served as a great success for PolicyGenius winning them the “US Creative Work of the Week,” as voted on by readers of the advertising publication the Drum and growing their customers by over 50 percent during the campaign window.

The National Poetry of Nationwide

Collaborating with talented poets from across the UK,  Nationwide’s Voices campaign amassed some great poems to use in their TV advertisements.  Though some of the poems have gotten more attention than others, Hollie McNish’s poem about parenthood does one of the best jobs connecting the idea of the poem to the advertiser’s values:

Each penny earned, each penny saved, each decision based on you,
Your name is there in flashing lights in everything we do.

Microsoft’s Poetic Possibilities   

Microsoft launched a minute long ad featuring Common delivering an inspirational poem about the power and possibility of artificial intelligence. The verse promotes that it is not just the innovative technology like A.I. and mixed reality at companies like Microsoft, that will continue to bring powerful advances in technology faster than generations that came before us. But it us, the users, who will make the real changes in how we employ it.  Microsoft does a great job leveraging the inspiration of poetry to continue to motivate others to see the possibility within its emerging technologies.

Have you seen any other successful examples of poetry in recent marketing campaigns or used poetry in your content? Send us a message and let us know (all poetic structures accepted).

Leave a comment