A minor controversy involving the slogan for President Obama’s reelection has raised the interesting question should a slogan maker consider grammar when creating a tagline? The Obama campaign has been using the old battle cry “Forward.” with a period after it as its rallying cry.
Grammar geeks are upset about this because it is poor grammar but does grammar matter when taglines are involved. After all some very famous and catchy slogans have been involved very poor English. Remember “Got Milk” the long-running campaign for the US dairy industry? That is certainly poor English but it’s also very effective advertising because it is highly memorable.
That means it might be a good idea for a slogan maker to take grammar into consideration in certain contexts. It might be alright for a soft drink like Mountain Dew to use a grammatically incorrect slogan such as “Do the Dew” but somebody running for a dignified office such as the Presidency might be well advised to reconsider such a tagline.
Poor grammar may reflect badly on those who use it. Even if it gets laughs or attracts attention. If you are creating slogans for a business or organization that emphasizes accuracy or professionalism taking standards such as grammar into consideration might be a good idea. A professional that is supposed to be well-spoken or well-read such as a lawyer or a politician should avoid deliberate uses of poor English or bad grammar.
A slogan maker trying to create a catchphrase for a law office or a company that offers secretarial services should consider grammar. On the other hand somebody creating a slogan for a night club might be able to get away with playing fast and loose with the rules.
At the end of the day you should remember that your slogan is a reflection of your organization. Anything you put into your tagline could reflect badly on your organization so be careful whenever you flout the rules.
We were very excited that Entrepreneur Magazine is featuring Slogan Slingers this month! Although it’s just a tiny mention…it’s a mention! Yes, we put a lot of time into the site to make worthy of receiving such great publicity but really the credit goes to the awesome freelance writers who have registered on our site. Having a unique website gets customers in the door but it’s the amazing creativity of our writers that generates the great word of mouth. Thanks to everyone for your continued support!
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Every slogan maker and every business that uses an advertising slogan generator should carefully research each tagline before you they use it. You should research prospective taglines because there could be negative connotations to them.
The famed British newspaper The Daily Mail found this out the hard way when it ran a blog post that contained the slogan “work makes you free.” This might sound harmless and perhaps even uplifting but it has some very ugly historical connotations.
The tagline “work makes you free” was infamously posted at the entrances to several Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz during World War II. Daily Mail journalist Dominique Jackson used this slogan when giving advice to college graduates. Ms. Jackson was obviously making a good point working for a living on your own can be liberating. Yet nobody paid attention to her point because of the phrase’s horrendous history.
This controversy shows why slogan maker should research every catchphrase that they intend to use. There is no telling where or how the slogan was used in the past or by whom. Instead of a catchy slogan that will attract customers you could inadvertently create something that will offend customers and perhaps even drive them away.
How to Research a Slogan
Fortunately researching a slogan is easier than ever before. All you need to do is type the words into a search engine such as Bing or Google. If the words have an infamous connotation the search engine should pull it up. You should run every phrase you get from an advertising slogan generator through such a search engine before you use it.
Anybody writing slogans for a contest should do the same thing before they send the slogan to the contest or the customer. That way they won’t end up harming somebody’s business with a slogan that is associated with something bad or offensive.
There are many possible negative connotations that even a seemingly harmless or inoffensive slogan could have. You should obviously be aware of them before you spend money on an advertising slogan generator.
You can avoid such negativity by employing a professional slogan maker or a slogan contest, such as sloganslingers.com. Such a contest can get a catchy slogan written by a professional writer for a fairly low price. It can also save you a world of trouble and help your organization avoid the negative publicity that a tagline with a nasty history or ugly connotations could create.
All truly effective catchy slogans have a few things in common. If a slogan maker can identify these elements he or she will know what makes an effective tagline. A business owner that can identify these elements will be able to use an advertising slogan generator to create an effective and memorable catchphrase for her enterprise.
So what are the elements of an effective tagline? Here is what is popular but catchy slogans all have in common:
- Simplicity: all effective slogans are very simple take eBay’s “Buy it. Sell it. Love it.” It is short and to the point so it will be easy to understand and more importantly easy to remember.
- Different: a tagline must show customers and potential customers how your business stands apart from its competition. Jaguar’s “grace, space, pace,” shows customers how a Jag is different from other cars. It is also simple and memorable.
- Memorable: an effective slogan must stick in the minds of people who see it. Not only must a slogan be different it must also be memorable. A great way to get people to remember a phrase is to make it funny while another is to make it bold or outrageous. Examples of this include Adidas’s “Impossible is nothing” and Diesel clothing’s “Be stupid.” You will remember these catchy slogans whether you believe them or not.
- Convey a benefit: an effective catchphrase must tell a potential customer how a product will benefit him. A perfect example of this is the one for Blogger: “Push button publishing.” The slogan tells the customer that he or she can publish something quickly at the push of a button. Another is FedEx’s “When there is no tomorrow.” It tells customers that FedEx can get their shipment to its destination as quickly as possible.
- Identity: the slogan must establish your business’s identity and tell the customer what sets it apart from the competition. A tremendous example of this is Porsche’s “There is no substitute.” It establishes Porsche as a one of a kind product which nobody else can match. Fortune magazine’s “For the men in charge of change” is another. It tells the reader that Fortune is for leaders.
You should always keep these basics in mind whenever you use an advertising slogan generator. Taglines that do not match these criteria will be ineffective and can actually make your business look bad or at least silly.
A great way to see which taglines are effective is to take a look at this list of excellent slogans compiled by the HongKiat advertising agency. This list can show you what to look for and make sure you don’t waste your time and money when you use an advertising slogan generator.
Unusual slogans can sometimes be the best way to convey a message or promote a product. A company called Virtuous Clothing which sells Christian themed t-shirts and other items of apparel is having success attracting attention with some unusual taglines. These odd but catchy slogans include the tagline “virtuously fly.”
Unfortunately such taglines don’t always work. They can sometimes confuse the intended audience rather than attract attention. It is also very easy to offend your intended audience when using an unusual tagline.
So when should you employ a weird catchphrase for your business or product? The answer is when you want to attract attention or set your organization apart from the crowd. Virtuous Clothing wants to set itself apart from traditional apparel companies and standard notions of a Christian business, so an unusual tagline is appropriate.
There are other occasions where such a catchphrase could hurt a business or drive business away. An example of that would be a phrase that brings up a controversial or offensive subject. That would include anything that might have a sexual connotation, wording that brings up a political issue or historical allusions.
Therefore every slogan maker should do some research before employing an unorthodox slogan. There could be other meanings for a phrase that you are unaware of. The word fly has several different slang meanings including some which many people will find offensive.
Some words can be viewed as an insult by some groups or in some areas of the country. The word “neat” can be used a metaphor for cool but some people think of it as an insult. The term special can mean a distinguished or extraordinary person or it can be a derogatory term for persons with mental handicaps.
A slogan generator should always keep the context that the words are going to be used in mind when devising a catchphrase. “Tastes great less filling” works well for light beer but it wouldn’t sell many hamburgers.
In some cases a serious or dignified slogan is necessary. A humorous phrase would not be an appropriate way to promote a funeral home. In others a serious catchphrase could be equally offensive. Using a serious phrase to promote a fast food franchise or an amusement arcade makes no sense.
Weird phrasing is a great way for a slogan maker to convey a sense of fun about a place or business. The “coolest pizza in town” would be a great way to set a pizza parlor apart.
Unusual slogans can be catchy and effective if they are used correctly. Yet you have to be careful with such wording because it can easily backfire and drive customers away.