Humor brings people together and connects them in ways that aren’t otherwise possible. A good joke always stands out and sticks in the memory of everyone who hears it. Those with a strong sense of humor are often deemed more trustworthy and more likeable.
In essence a funny one-liner has a lot in common with a business slogan or tagline. Both are short and sweet communications, one between the comedian and his audience and the other between a company and its customer base.
The Main Issue in Humorous Slogans & Taglines in Crowdsourcing
The main issue to bear in mind when using humor in your company’s crowdsourceslogan or tagline competition is that there is a fine line between being funny just to get a laugh and being clever and witty with the goal of inspiring action or building a brand. Many an attempt at humor has made a target audience laugh but not made them think. And it goes without saying that you need to avoid slogans and taglines that cross the line by being inappropriate or alienating. But if you’re successful in this area, few things in marketing can be more powerful than a memorable, humorous slogan.
The real trick in using humor in your business catchphrase is that you want your strapline to be the joke but not you or your business. While not necessarily taglines, Dos Equis commercials featuring the “World’s Most Interesting Man” are jam packed each time with brilliantly humorous lines. For example, “His mom has a tattoo with his name on it.” And they all end with the universally loved slogan, “Stay Thirsty My Friends.” It’s tongue and cheek humor that helped sales rise 17% when the rest of the imported beer category experienced a double digit drop. It’s a good lesson to learn if you’re working on a brewery slogan, pub tagline or heck any business. Old Spice, Halos, even the NFL will use campaigns with humorous taglines and see monstrous results.
Appropriate and Inappropriate Humor
Just because you can be funny doesn’t mean you always should. The NFL, who we just mentioned, uses a humorous slogan in their commercials for fantasy football but keep it serious and reverent in the campaign for breat cancer awareness. So if you need an architecture firm slogan for a brochure that features a pediatric neurology clinic your firm built, you might want to opt for something more serious. If you need an engineering firm taglines, you might want tagline options that connote reliability and strength.
Also keep in mind, for every gut busting company tagline, there are a hundred others that don’t quite work, at least not as their creators intended. If you hold a crowdsource slogan contest and want a humorous slogan, make sure the person selecting the line has a sense of humor or your line could fall flat.
Finally, be sure to really think through what you’re truly saying. A West Coast company teaching martial arts wanted to convey that they taught kids discipline who had behavioral problems. Their catchphrase was ‘Building better kids one punch at a time’. Many parents took it to mean they were literally beating kids who didn’t behave. Not good.
Creating Humorous Slogans that Work
If you think humor can work with your company image then go for it. A great way to discover humorous slogans that work is to hold a slogan contest. If you ask for humor in your contest brief, you’ll get everything from the subtly witty to the outrageous. It will be up to you to determine which tone best fits the brand image you want to convey. So whether you need a restaurant slogan or realtor tagline, open a contest on slogan slingers. If you don’t the joke will be on you.