Is there a specific term for when you combine two unrelated terms in a headline in order to grab attention?
Bolivian Kick Boxer Meets US Marine
Kickboxer Meets a Marine (1)
The high level concept here is pretty simple: two people fight; see who wins.
My question is about when you dig a little deeper. It's pretty obvious that two unrelated terms are being compared in this headline. Kickboxing is a form of martial arts (hybrid of several actually), whereas the Marines is a branch of the United States Armed Forces.
Is there a term for this tactic?
More explanation follows.
Some fans of martial arts love to debate which form would win in a real fight, say Wing Chun versus Jiu-Jitsu for example.
However, the aforementioned headline is not:
- pitting one form of fighting against another (2)
- pitting a member of one branch of the U.S. military against a member of a different branch of the U.S. military
- pitting a member of the U.S. military against a member of the military in a different nation
In other words, it's an apples to oranges comparison.
One person in the fight is a practitioner in a certain form of martial arts, the other person is a soldier in the U.S. Marines (which means that person very tough, but for other reasons).
The goal of any headline author is to grab attention. I believe that the author of this particular headline intended to gain extra attention points by stirring emotion in some readers, particularly readers in the U.S. that would feel a sense of patriotism. Now it's not just about cheering for your favorite martial art form, instead it's about cheering for your country.
I'm trying to figure out what this headline writing tactic is called.
I hope this question wasn't too long winded. There's many other examples of this tactic, but I think this one conveys my point well. Perhaps this is more of a marketing or psychological question, so feel free to let me know if I should ask on another site.
(1) There happens to be a viral video going around with this headline today
(2) I do realize that the "Marine Corps Martial Arts Program" is a form of fighting also, but I'm pretty sure that's not what the author of the headline meant.