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Taglines & Slogans

Just Do It. Good to the Last Drop. A Diamond is Forever. These are iconic taglines. You’ve heard and read them for years and they undoubtedly make you think of Nike, Maxwell House, and DeBeers. That’s the power of advertising. How are these short descriptors made and why are they so successful?

Tagline vs. Slogan

First things first. Is “tagline” just another word for “slogan”? Some people use these words interchangeably and consider them synonyms. Others are adamant that there is a clear distinction. I’m going to side with the latter group for the reasons below.

Taglines & Slogans
When you see this, you think JUST DO IT

It should represent your business, while a slogan represents a single product or is part of an advertising campaign. So a tagline for a one-hour dry cleaner could be Clean Clothes, No Waiting. A slogan for the same dry cleaner that’s running a winter special could be Half-price Starch in March. A tagline is something that’s tied to the core vision and values of a company and tends to remain constant unless there’s a change in branding. A slogan may change frequently. Did you know that the word “slogan” is a Scottish derivative meaning “battle cry”?

So, a Tagline

While logos are visual representations of a brand, taglines are audible representations of a brand. You’ll often see a logo paired with its tagline, the two are so closely tied. A good tagline is short, simple, evergreen and easy to understand. The best taglines let a customer know a company’s value proposition.

The Long and Short of It

Whether we’re talking tagline or slogan, some companies have fully embraced the adage If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Maxwell House has been Good to the Last Drop for 97 years. DeBeers has used A Diamond is Forever for 67 years.

Taglines & Slogans
One of the earliest Coke slogans from 1910

Other companies like to change things up on a regular basis. Coca-Cola has altered its slogan more than forty times. Fast food outlets seem to change slogans more than other businesses. Maybe that’s because food trends change so often? There’s also a lot of competition when so many outlets offer essentially the same food. There’s always pressure to come up with a new spin on an old item, or a new item altogether.

Taglines & Slogans
This iconic image was first used in 1977

Tourism has inspired some memorable taglines. How do you summarize an entire county or state in a few words? How about no words at all?  I❤️NY says it all, no words necessary! What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas has been embraced as more than just a tagline for Sin City, it’s also used as an excuse and explanation for bad behaviour. Don’t Mess with Texas and Say Yes to Michigan are two other unforgettable campaigns.

Does Everyone Need a Tagline?

Nope. One argument holds that only major corporations with national ad campaigns need taglines. After all, the taglines that stick do so because of repetition. We’re bombarded with tv, radio and print ads of phrases such as I’m Lovin’ It. If that’s not your arena, spend your money informing customers about your business with good content provided by an experienced copywriter.

Even some really big companies have eschewed taglines. Maybe because their names are so recognizable and their businesses are so well known, a tagline would only be redundant? I’m talking about Uber, Google, Amazon and the like. A tagline only has value if it explains what a company does, communicates a company’s value or differentiates the business. Sometimes taglines are just unnecessary.

Video for All

Tagline or not, every company needs representation. The goal is to let the customer know what you’re all about and how your business can help them. Video is a great way to communicate with your audience. Call Key West Video today for a free quote.

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