Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking an intriguing question that every slogan maker should ponder. Press reports indicate that Bondi is asking for a memorable tagline for a campaign to keep expectant mothers from abusing prescription drugs.
Bondi’s search for a catchy slogan raises the question: can taglines actually change behavior, perhaps to the extent of helping to solve or ease social problems. It is not a new concept and there is some evidence that a catchy slogan can alter behavior.
Anybody who is over the age of 25 probably remembers the tagline: “Just Say No.” First Lady Nancy Reagan played slogan maker back in the 1980s and used that catchphrase to great effect in the war on the drugs. Even though it sounded simple that tagline actually conveyed an important and powerful message that seemed to get through.
Bondi’s search for a slogan designed to get young mothers not to abuse prescription should remind us of the power that taglines can. If a few simple words can change popular behavior they can certainly help a business sell its products or make the public aware of its services. Therefore an advertising slogan generator really can help your business.
A new catchphrase can change the way customers perceive your business or its service. An advertising slogan generator can be one of the best ways to make the public aware of a new business or a new service offered by existing firm. By changing public perceptions catchphrases can get a business to accept a new product or idea and get customers to alter their behavior.
Just as Nancy Reagan helped change public attitudes about drugs in the 1980s with a simple slogan. An advertising slogan generator can help you change the public attitude about your business and its products.
The attorney general’s efforts should remind us that slogans are far more than just an advertising gimmick. Sloganeering can be a powerful behavior changing tool rather than just a gimmick.
Since slogans can change behavior and attitudes you should put a lot of time and effort into creating one. Your catchy slogan could change how the public perceives your business and its services.
To be successful, a slogan must capture and convey the essence of whatever it represents. Your brand. If the choice of words doesn’t achieve this very basic goal the statement will be a failure. Even a great line that doesn’t match up to the brand will fall flat.
One of the most successful slogans in the history is that of the U.S. Marine Corps: “The Few, the Proud, the Marines.” The catchphrase quickly captures the spirit of the Marines; they are a very proud, very selective, and very elite organization. This tagline was so successful that it was actually chosen for Madison Avenue’s Advertising Walk of Fame in 2007.
The slogan not only sounds great and is memorable, it captures the essence of the Marines. It emphasizes the values and the image that the organization wants to convey to the world. Yet it is also very simple and easy to understand.
Chicago adopted the tagline, “We’re glad you’re here.” How boring. How generic. With such a great city to work with, that was the best they could do. It’s certainly a far cry from “What Happens Here Stays Here” used by Las Vegas or “The Happiest Place on Earth” used by Walt Disney World. These taglines tell potential visitors what they can expect and are lock step with the brand.
Some of the best slogans also have fun with a customer. Maybe even gently zinging them as a friend would. The popular catchphrase for Old Spice antiperspirant is a great example of this: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” uses an over the top perfect man as the spokesperson. It reminds women that while their boyfriends and husbands aren’t perfect like the spokesman, they can at least smell like him. The viewers get the message and they get a chuckle. Guys even liked it to.
If you can solve your branding first and translate that in your contest brief, an amazing slogan is likely to follow. So do your homework and then start a contest. Good luck!
Some of the most successful slogans are the honest ones. A tagline that deceives or misleads can attract customers in the short term, but drive them away in the long term. It can also make life very difficult for the business that employs it.
Not Living Up To Your Slogans can be Deadly
A classic example of a dishonest tagline that came back to haunt the person who used it was President George H.W. Bush. In 1988, while running for President, Bush famously said: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” In 1990, Bush agreed to raise a number of federal taxes as part of a budget agreement with Congress. In 1992, Bush lost his bid for re-election to Bill Clinton.
He was hurt in part by his own slogan being used against him. Even though he technically did not create any new taxes, Bush signed off on a tax increase. The voters viewed Bush’s actions as imposing new taxes. He was hurt by a phrase that he could not live up to.
Some catchphrases don’t need the passage of time to be ineffective. A great example of this would be Charlie Sheen’s slogan “Winning.” What made that phrase so famous was how off-base it seemed. The entire nation knew that Sheen was strung out, losing in his career and unable to manage a single positive relationship with ex-wives and multiple girlfriends.
A tagline either has to promise nothing or promise something that you can deliver. A classic McDonald’s slogan from 1971-1980 was “You deserve a break today.” This was a very successful slogan because it was offering something that the burger chain could easily deliver. Anybody can stop in McDonald’s for a quick bite to eat and a chance to break away from the hustle and bustle. The catchphrase was so successful, the burger giant revived it as “Have you had your break today?” in 1995.
McDonald’s taglines have been successful because they generally focus on an emotion or what the chain can actually do for its customers. They don’t make promises that the folks behind the counter cannot deliver.
A very negative impact from dishonest, misleading or misguided slogans is word of mouth. Disgruntled customers will be the first to use a slogan to demonstrate how hypocritical a company is. That can quickly undermine all your other marketing efforts.
Make sure that your slogan is honest and actually reflects what your business or product is. More importantly, make sure that it is promising customers something that you can actually deliver. A little honesty in slogan writing can save you a lot of grief and make life easier for everybody.
You ever have one of those great days where the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and life is perfect. Then something, although trivial, spins the day in the other direction? That’s what I felt when I saw this direct mail piece come into our office mail room today. Bad advertising slogans and taglines really get me upset. I know it’s stupid. I know that there a thousands – no, tens of thousands of problems far worse than someone failing to use an effective, catchy slogan by coming up with the line themselves or using an inferior slogan maker or slogan generator. But this is our passion at Slogan Slingers so you’ll have to forgive us.
“Put us to work for you!” – Really? That’s the best you could do?
Some people rely on a solo slogan maker who will give you some hack line that means nothing to anyone. Ick. I know that some people use a slogan generator online that will spit out cliche slogans for free. Double Ick. I feel the same people who go that route also wear sweatpants on a first date. They just don’t care. “I’m wearing pants, aren’t I?” But I believe that if you do anything…you make the effort, you spend the money…you might as well do it right. Why shouldn’t this hold true for catchy slogans and taglines.
“Put us to work for you” is on my Mount Rushmore of horrible advertising slogans. Uh, every single business in the history of business could apply that line. Maybe it wouldn’t work as a tagline for a mortuary but just about everyone else. Give me a reason to choose you. Feature taglines that show me your different. Use a slogan or tagline that demonstrates you care about your own image. What’s especially egregious (thank you thesaurus) in this case is this line was used by a company selling marketing materials. At least took a picture of it before tossing the piece into the recycling bin. That’s way more than 99% of the recipients of this will most likely do.
A slogan really can transform how you’re perceived. Good or bad. So make the most of those few precious words and you’ll thank me later. Catchy slogans work. And if you need a great line and don’t want to use a slogan generator or solo slogan maker, of course you can always “Put Slogan Slingers to work for you.” Triple Ick. (The catchphrase, not our company!)
All effective adverting slogans seem to share a few basic characteristics. If you can identify these characteristics, you should be able to replicate them and create an effective marketing slogan of your own.
The main element that all effective slogans share is that they are simple. They convey a simple message that is easy to remember. One of the best is Target’s “Expect more. Pay Less.” The message is obvious: you can buy a lot of stuff cheap at Target, yet it is easy to remember. A consumer will be able to get the message instantly from that catchphrase.
The next characteristic that all effective taglines display is that they are memorable. A prime example of this is the classic slogan: “It’s the Real Thing.” When most of us think of Coke, we remember the tagline. It’s different and it is memorable, but it conveys a simple message: there is only one Coca-Cola and it is worth paying for.
Coke and Target have had huge success with those phrases because they are simple and memorable. People still reference American Express’, “Don’t Leave Home Without It” and they haven’t used it for over 10 years.
Any catchphrase you develop should compliment and strengthen your brand. State Farm’s tagline never seems to change. It’s, “Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There.” Given that there entire brand revolves around better service, local agents and more comprehensive coverage, that simple line speaks to all three in a memorable way. If they used Geico’s very casual, price-oriented, “A 15 minute call could save you 15% or more on car insurance” it would feel ill-fitting for their brand and their value proposition.
Of course there’s a fourth characteristic that we haven’t yet mentioned that’s actually the most important part of any slogan. It’s that the tagline gets created in the first place. Far too many organizations either fail to take action or can’t come to a consensus and, as a result, their advertising slogan or tagline fails. Don’t let this happen to you. Open your contest with Slogan Slingers now.