Aesop, The Neuromarketer: The Power of the Simple Story

September 1, 2013

by Dan Fredricks

Dan FredricksSour Grapes

A hungry fox tried to reach some clusters of grapes that he saw hanging from a vine trained on a tree, but they were too high. So he went off and comforted himself by saying, “They weren’t ripe anyhow.”

Moral: In the same way some men, when they fail through their own incapacity, blame circumstances.

You probably already knew the story and its moral once you read sour grapes, which is shorthand for the famous fable “The Fox and the Grapes.” Other memorable fables such as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” (Lie and no one will believe you when you tell the truth), “The Milkmaid and Her Pail” (Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched), and “The Goose with the Golden Eggs” (Your greed may cause the end of ongoing fortune) are also attributed to Aesop. And who doesn’t remember who won the race between the tortoise and hare, and why? In most cases, passing decades have not diminished the impact that Aesop’s fables had on us when we were children.

What is it that makes Aesop’s fables so memorable? Why have they passed the test of time since introduced in the sixth century B.C.? And more important, what can we learn from Aesop to help improve our market­ing efforts?

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