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.