The Hoosier state has a new slogan. Indiana debuted “Honest to Goodness Indiana” this week in Indianapolis. It’s the state’s first new slogan since 2006. Obviously they’re playing off the wholesome, Middle America image they’ve always had versus trying to portray some kind of glitz and excitement that just isn’t there in most tourists’ eyes. So that seems to be a smart move, strategically.
What do you think of this new slogan? It’s certainly not going for sophistication, romance or…well much of anything. But if you’re tired of the debauchery of Las Vegas and want to take a vacation with the whole family, maybe it works? Let’s face it, Indiana isn’t going to be anyone’s first choice for a vacation destination but maybe this slogan will intrigue some to take another look.
Tourism slogans can be especially difficult. Speaking of Las Vegas, obviously, they’ve done it better than almost anyone. “Virginia is for Lovers” has also worked tremendously well as has “I ‘Heart’ New York.” That one is perhaps the slogan that put tourism slogans on the map to begin with.
Of course, the part that really gets us with Indiana’s new slogan is the price tag. It cost about $25,000 per word. Yep, “Honest To Goodness Indiana” cost an honest to goodness fortune. We’re talking $100,000 of tax payer money. As crazy as that sounds, that does seem to be the going rate these days for state tourism slogans. And you didn’t hear this from me but we’ve actually hosted a state slogan contest on Slogan Slingers. The contest was private so I can’t tell you which state held the contest but I can tell you they only paid $500 and left very happy with the results. They came back for a different slogan need the next year.
Indiana will spend about $1 million promoting their new slogan and we wish them well with it. Although it seems to be getting panned locally, we applaud them on realizing that a slogan is critically important in attaining traction for their brand. So if you feel that vacation to Iowa is going to be too wild and crazy, “Honest to Goodness Indiana” might be just what you’re looking for. (Oh, and if you need an attraction or amusement park slogan or anything to do with tourism, start a contest with us.)
Indiana’s New Tourism Slogan
Every once in a while we like to feature a Slogan Slingers writer to give you a taste of some of the brilliant minds we have competing on our site. Here’s Taheera Barney. Please feel free to contact her directly if you have longer format needs. Take it away Taheera…
My name is Taheerah Barney (AKA – sloganengineer). I’ve been freelancing professionally for over 4 years. I’m annoyingly optimistic, a foodie, a lover of words, a marketing and branding geek and am fluent in sarcasm. I’m currently residing in Ewing, NJ.
Taheera Barney - Slogan & tagline writing wizard
I love writing slogans because you have to condense a company’s core message and concept into a tight, memorable phrase. The finished result has to clearly communicate the company’s main objective to the audience. Creating taglines and slogans definitely gives your brain a workout – and I love every second of it.
Hornitos is my favorite slogan right now. “Purer than your intentions.” It’s clever and really fits with their commercials – their brand is really cohesive.
Some specific slogans you can’t stand and why: All slogans that describe a company in three words, separated by a periods. Example: Honesty. Integrity. Service. These taglines are generic and ineffective.
In addition to taglines, I also write product reviews, blog posts, case studies.
One thing that many people don’t know about me is that I am a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. Here is a link my writing portfolio:
The whole point of slogans or taglines as they are often now known as, is to connect with customers old, new and prospective. Some of the best slogans are those which sound believable. Promising the world doesn’t always work and people are naturally doubtful about statements that imply their entire life is going to improve just by making a simple purchase.
If your company slogan is something which customers can believe, they won’t just buy into your tagline but they are much more likely to buy from you period. Depending on your industry, it may be worth deciding upon a slogan that is slightly longer than the one or two words which many tech businesses in particular love so much.
Plausibility is the Key to a Successful Slogan
Having a slightly longer slogan allows people to connect with it on an emotional level. If it sounds plausible then they are likely to believe it.
Most people will have heard the phrase ‘An Apple a day, keeps the doctor away’. This isn’t some old country saying by a wise grandma but instead a slogan devised by an ad agency in 1920’s London.
It didn’t just work because it was catchy but because people could see the connection between eating healthy and staying healthy. Nearly a century later and we are still familiar with the slogan long after we’ve forgotten the name of the fruit company who commissioned it.
Longer Slogans work too
It’s not just businesses who can benefit from a slightly longer slogan. Even President Obama is thought to have largely won his first presidential election by using one.
He didn’t besmirch his opponent or come up with a bland slogan as so often used by politicians of both sides such as ‘Positive Change’ but instead used ‘Change We Can Believe In’. Whatever you think of his politics, the slogan is undeniably a classic one, his slogan didn’t promise the earth but captured enough voters imaginations that relatively small amount he did promise was actually possible.
Many of us are so over-exposed to one or two word straplines from technology giants that we forget the alternatives. Depending on the business sector that you are operating in, it is important to adjust your slogan taking into account of your customer base.
By specifying the type of slogans you like and those of rival organizations you admire in your slogan writing contest. You are much more likely to get a slogan that will help you forge an emotional bond with customers.
Can you believe it that the famous ‘Just Do It’ tagline from Nike has just celebrated its 25th Anniversary. In the fast moving world of corporate branding this is miraculous enough but considering Nike is in both the sports and fashion industries make this achievement even more amazing.
‘Just Do It’ is a great example of a slogan without any hype. It is empowering yet simple and appeals to anyone and everyone who either feels athletic or who believes that by simply purchasing a pair of footwear, they will on some level match up with their sporting heroes.
Simple but Unpopular
Ironically, ‘Just Do It’ was never a popular choice within the Nike offices or with their creative advisers. Perhaps because it originated as the last words of Gary Gilmore who was convicted for multiple murders and who spoke it to his firing squad!
No-nonsense slogans appeal to customers because they tell it like it is. Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia says everything that anyone interested in information needs to know. Their name, that they are an encyclopedia and that it is free, not just that is free but with the ‘the’ it implies they are the definitive free encyclopedia.
No-Nonsense Straplines and Taglines Work
In Great Britain they are the ultimate in no-nonsense straplines. The Ronseal roof, fence and garden furniture paint protects items from damage by rain, snow and ice.
It’s slogan of ‘Does exactly what it says on the tin (British English for can)” is delivered by blunt, plain speaking builder, contractor and home-improvement types. It was always meant to be worked on before it got final improvement but it never happened before an influential company executive gave this work in progress slogan his full support. The product, company and advertisements have been famously running for 20 years and its slogan is now recited by everyone from builders to sports stars and politicians.
Get to the Point
When coming up with a slogan for your business or choosing a winning slogan from a slogan contest, it often is best if you keep things simple. As tempting as it is to go with a strapline that is quirky or clever, the bottom line is that you want your business or product’s tagline to be something that your customers will be interested in and understand.
Consider what your customer base is and ensure your slogan contest guidelines specify what type of slogan you are looking for. Most customers are not in the ad agency industry so they will be bothered by puns and playing with words but instead appreciate straight talk.