Tips & Advice - Advertising Slogans & Taglines

Successful Brands And Their Vague Slogans

By November 21, 2017 No Comments


Here’s a guest post by Abby Paganucci – Account Executive at an advertising agency.

I recently read an article in Forbes called “Do You Really Need a Tagline?” There are a few terms that carry the same meaning as “tagline.” Slogan [of course], catchphrase, even catchword. But what this Forbes author used may be the best one yet. He calls it a “brandline,” and defines it as “an underlying concept that differentiates the brand and helps define its value.” So, does a business really need a brandline in order to flourish? To sum it up, the answer is usually yes. But there’s a catch. “If your tagline doesn’t communicate your brand differentiators in a meaningful way to a diverse audience, it isn’t worth having one and may even be harmful to your brand.” That got me thinking. Put a timer on for a minute, and I could name at least 30 taglines that have been hammered into my brain through commercials and print ads over the last several years. But, were any of these taglines something that one should consider harmful to the brand associated with them? It’s easy for me to think that as long as the tagline goes hand in hand with the company’s unique selling proposition, it couldn’t do too much damage. Surely, anyone would want to indulge in an ice cold bottle of Coca Cola with a brandline like “Open Happiness.” There’s nothing more I could want from drinking a beverage than the feeling of joy and content. So they seem to be doing it right. But they’re also an 80-billion-dollar industry with one of the most recognized logos in the world. I should hope they know what they’re doing. I will have to say, though, it is quite vague. You could pair their slogan with any other beverage brand, but they beat everyone to it. Happiness is a value engrained in their brand identity. It seems ironic, though. I’ve begun to realize just how many successful brands carry such vague yet revolutionary slogans. Nike’s “Just do it.” Disney’s “The happiest place on earth.” McDonalds’s “I’m lovin’ it.” Subway’s “Eat fresh.” Milk’s “Got milk?” (if that even counts.) None of these seem differentiating to me. They almost seem quite lousy, but there must be a reason they work so well. That, to me, is a mystery within itself. And even though I don’t see how several of these slogans communicate brand differentiators in a meaningful way, they’re far from harmful to the brand. If you want to hear the rest of what Forbes Writer Howard Breindel has to say, check out the article here.