Sunday, February 3, 2013

What Time is the Game On? VI?

Roman numerals, the numeric system in ancient Rome, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as follows: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X.
The Roman numeral system is a cousin of Etruscan numerals. Use of Roman numerals continued after the decline of the Roman Empire. From the 14th century on, Roman numerals began to be replaced in most contexts by more convenient Arabic numerals; however this process was gradual, and the use of Roman numerals in some minor applications continues to this day.
Numbers are formed by combining symbols together and adding the values. For example, MMVI is 1000 + 1000 + 5 + 1 = 2006. Generally, symbols are placed in order of value, starting with the largest values. When smaller values precede larger values, the smaller values are subtracted from the larger values and the result is added to the total. 

For example MCMXLIV = 1000 + (1000 − 100) + (50 − 10) + (5 − 1) = 1944.
But why? Why do we still see Roman numerals with things like the Super Bowl? Why do we see Roman numerals on clocks, after names (John Jeffrey Jones III) and certain things, but not other things?

What time is the big game?  You know, the XLVII Super Bowl? Are you having a Super Bowl Party? How many people are coming over? X? L??? Wow, C?!!!

There is a marketing lesson here buried in letters and numbers. 

There is a reason why our brains accept Roman numerals for certain things, and yet we completely reject Roman numerals for others. It was explained to me by my friend Seth Godin. This "brain trick" goes to the core of the advertising world including social media and mass media. 

Want a hint why the use of Roman numerals makes perfect sense on some things and not others? Think Twitter, Tweets and TXT MSGS. RU LOL? WTH?  

See my blog next week for the answer....... TTYL!

Quick: What Number Super Bowl is this?

No comments:

Post a Comment