Rule of Three – five final thoughts

Successful businesses use the Rule of Three to help them drive sales or raise awareness 

PREVIOUS posts looked at the Rule of Three, how you can improve your speeches with the Rule of Three, and a few amusing examples of where the Rule of Three has been used in comedy, storytelling, and the movies.

This post provides five final thoughts on the Rule of Three (think of it as three final thoughts, plus a bonus two).

Please find below examples of the Rule of Three used in marketing, politics, religion, science and sports.

1. Marketing

People like to be presented with three choices rather than say, two or five. Successful businesses use this innate human preference to help them drive sales or raise awareness.  Here are three examples:

  1. McDonalds offers three value meals: small, medium or large.
  2. Heinz baked beans uses the slogan: “Beanz Meanz Heinz” (three words).
  3. The Cancer Council of Victoria ran an effective skin cancer prevention campaign: “Slip, Slop, Slap – Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen, Slap on a hat.”

2. Politics

The power embedded in the Rule of Three has been used by governments and rulers since ancient times.  Here are three examples:

  1. Julius Caesar: “Veni, Vidi, Vici” – “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
  2. National motto of France: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.”
  3. Nazi slogan: “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!” – “One People, One Nation, One Leader!”

3. Religion

The major religions understand how to communicate effectively and often use the Rule of Three to great effect.  Here are three examples from the Christian faith:

  1. Birth and death of Jesus: The baby Jesus received three gifts from the wise men: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Jesus rose from dead on the third day.
  2. New Testament, Corinthians 13:13: “Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.”
  3. The nature of God: Christian theology identifies God as the Holy Trinity, one God in three persons – Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.


1. Science

The Rule of Three is also used in science:

  1. Solid, Liquid and Gas.
  2. Electron, Proton and Neutron.
  3. Negative, Positive and Zero.

2. Sports

And even in sports:

  1. Olympic medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.
  2. Olympic motto: “Citius, Altius, Fortius” – “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.
  3. On Your Marks, Get Set, Go.

3. Adieu, adieu

To you and you and you!