A person, place, or event that is placed in a time period
in which it does not belong is called an anachronism.
instance, Paul Revere riding a motorcycle or George Washington
sitting in front of a computer would be anachronisms.
You see advertising strategies using anachronisms all the time,
especially around Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays and
Columbus Day.

I saw an ad for fluorescent light bulbs that had Thomas Edison
working on a phonograph. The caption read: “If Thomas Edison
wouldnt have wasted his time on this (incandescent bulb), his
phonograph might have been a CD player.”

The relationship between new and old is always interesting.
Anytime you can highlight that relationship you will evoke mild
humor and create more attention on your product, service, or

Here is a good fill-in-the-blank format. Would (big name from
the past) have________________ if he had ________________? All
you have to do is make a simple relationship and your message
will be funny and memorable. Would George Washington have thrown
his money away in the Potomac if he had ABC investment company
on his side? Once you get the relationship down, you can adjust
the form to suit your presentation. The George Washington/ABC
investment anachronism could turn into a good, usable one-liner.
“George Washington wouldnt have thrown his money in the Potomac
if he had come to us for advice.”
(Source: “Wake em Up Business Presentations” Chapter 13 “34 Ways
to Be Funny WITHOUT Telling Jokes” )

Get More Great Humor Techniques For Public Speaking!

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