EMPTY WORDS ARE JUST TRASH TALK: TAGLINES

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Most advertisers tend to think that a tagline is a catchy phrase used under a logo. Nothing is more farfetched. When it comes to taglines, remember: do as you say and say as you do. Otherwise don’t waste any valuable ink in a tag line.

Let me explain.

If you say, “You can do it; we can help,” you had better ensure your thousands of clerks are as helpful as can be à la Home Depot. If your claim is being “the ultimate driving machine,” your automobiles had best offer unparalleled handling.

In essence, your tagline is your contract between your brand and those responsible for bringing it to life. Take Domino’s Pizza®. When they promised 20 minutes or your money back, the idea wasn’t to give away pizzas. It was a well baked message sent to their franchisees – live up to that promise or else.

Which brings me to AT&T. Its new tagline is “Rethink Possible.” Hmm…the word is still out on that promise. They better be able to back it up with more than a cool animation. Certainly the average 45-minute wait time at an AT&T outlet has me feeling as if I’m confronting impossibility rather than the possibility of speedy customer service.

Maybe they need to lessons from successful brands. Companies like Apple are so articulate in their messaging they need not even use words any longer. We don’t see the Apple “Think Different,” but it still lives on in its culture.

So the next time you are engaged in crafting a tagline, remember talk may be cheap but taglines are hard to live up to.

Any mumbojumbo tag line you’ve run into lately? Please share.

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April 23rd, 2010 5 Comments Advertising / Branding / Branding Blogging / Branding Education / Branding Marketing / Branding Strategy / Branding Thesis / Logos and Tag Lines

  1. Adriana

    Hi! Great post! I like your vision as to being sincere and honest in everything we do, moreover in advertising that is such an abstract subject. The truth will prevail!

    Thanks for sharing!

    April 27th, 2010 //
  2. ftpmumbojumbo

    Thanks for reading Adriana

    April 27th, 2010 //
  3. Debbie Kieslowki

    I have a great (or horrible?) one,

    Animal Planet “surprisingly human”

    Also, I have a question: why is the “M” in the logo to the side?! (refer to the website http://animal.discovery.com/)

    In any case, I have serious issues with this campaign, both marketing and moral. What do you think?

    May 5th, 2010 //
  4. ftpmumbojumbo

    Mrs. Kieslowski, Thanks for adding value to the discussion by bringing up another example. The “M” in the logo is a visual treatment and I don’t have the rationale behind it to be the judge of it. As for “Surprisingly Human”, I would agree with you that the programing does not reflect the words of the tag line therefore this would be another good example of Empty Words! The content delivered to the audience seems more “adventure like” than the relationship between humans and animals as the phrase expresses. They seem to be trying to jump into the reality show band wagon. But I haven’t researched enough to give you a profound and accurate response. I will if you want me to????

    May 6th, 2010 //
  5. Debbie Kieslowski

    Yes! I think that would be a great topic to expand on.

    May 7th, 2010 //

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