Tag You’re It
Taglines are like a never changing headline in the sense that they keep the viewer, reader and consumer informed of who the business is behind a product and/or service. One doesn’t need to see the Nike swish, they only have to read “Just Do It” to know that the advertisement whether it be on television or print is for Nike. A well known tagline can often become better known that the company or its products or services. I have heard many taglines lately that I have heard for years but didn’t remember who they were connected to such as “A Mind is A Terrible Thing to Waste” which the the tagline for the United Negro College Fund. Unfortunately that is not the goal when a tagline is created, though that tagline is memorable and in my opinion very thought provoking and emotionally charged. There maybe reasons such as generational, societal or culture that left me not remembering the organization behind that tagline, but that would be an entirely different paper. Taglines are written to connect people to a company intellectually and emotionally for the long haul. So how is this done? What must be considered when coming up with a tagline in order for it to be both of those things and more? Should be tagline be an attention grabber, a play on words or how about a lengthy explanation?
Should a tagline GRAB attention, yes but it doesn’t need to be the first part of an advertisement to grab attention. Often the attention is first grabbed attention is grabbed by a headline or a picture/graphic, the tagline is the attention that is going to follow the campaign and with luck the company for years to come. The tagline needs to be able to stand on its own, well written it will become the line the company is known for! Your tagline will immediately remind people of your companies mission, the promise you are making to the customer and the world about your band as a whole. The tagline “The touch, the feel, the Fabric of Our Lives” by Cotton Inc is a great example if this. This tagline used first used on television advertisements as part of a jingle is now sung in the heads of millions of people when they see it in print or online. In fact many people sing it wrong by adding the word cotton into the tagline. This tagline brings emotions out in people, pride in country, connection with the heart land and remembering the feel of their favorite cotton clothing. It this tagline the main attention grabber for Cotton Inc advertising, no but it is a large part of what connects the people to the brand.
A tagline must be clean and concise so that you do not need a prehead or subhead to explain your tagline, people will not take the time to read all of that and figure out what you’re saying. “…in the effort to be creative some writers forget the rest of the world is not as clever as they are.” In todays fast paced social media world people do not have time, nor will they take the time to decipher what you mean! It is up to you the writer to say all that must be said in a brief but informative in a concise manner. A local catering service, a client of mine has this as there tagline “Serving excellence at every event” this tag line informs people that they serve and serve at events, the service may be the food or how the staff serves the guests, either way they do it with excellence at every event, no explanation needed. This tagline led to my being able to write a very fun little ad for them that garnered a lot of attention. Making the advertisement even funner is the fact that they cater in the area of Dartmouth College which is where Dr Seuss went to college, and the ad is Seuss inspired, think green eggs and ham, also about food.
“We will serve you in the rain, we will serve you on a train, will we serve your group big or small… Coventry Catering will serve with excellence at them all!”
The ad has pictures of Coventry serving in the rain, on a train and to different size groups, the advertisement has also just run as text, no matter how it is run the response it great. By keeping the tagline brief and to the point Coventry doesn’t need to explain what they do and how they do it. This tagline is the feature in the current wedding ad series that is being run on social media (pictures at the end of this paper) and wedding reception bookings are up 50% over pervious years. It this due to the use of social media for the first time? I would like to say sure it is, since they are my social media clients, however I don’t think i can’t take all the credit! They gave me a great tagline to work with.
A tagline needs to work across time and products “A good tagline transcends campaign strategy.” I take you back to Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline, no matter where it is, with swish or without people know that Nike is involved just by reading that tagline. Nike has been able to use the same tagline across product lines and over many years. The Coventry Catering tagline is also able to do this, whether advertising for wedding receptions, corporate functions or in home events Coventry’s tagline carries across all services. The work has begun to have people connect that tagline to them, so that know matter where they see it, whether the Coventry Catering name is above, below or no where to be seen they will think Coventry Catering.
Know matter the company or organization a tagline needs to be memorable, attention holding, able to stand on its own all while being brief, clear and to the point. No easy task is this tagline writing! In the end however we can safely say that done well a tagline is worth a million words.