Tips & Advice - Advertising Slogans & Taglines

The No-No Rules Of Slogan Writing

By September 25, 2012 No Comments

There are some words that a slogan maker should never use because they might drive potential customers away. Learning to avoid these words and keep them out of taglines makes it much easier to use an advertising slogan generator.

Some of the words you should never use in a tagline are obvious. Examples of such words include racial slurs, profanity and sexually explicit words. Unfortunately there are also many other words that can turn off potential customers that are not so obvious. A successful slogan maker needs to understand what these words are. So does a business that uses an advertising slogan generator because such a program might use one. Here are some categories of words that you should never use.

Slang Words

Even though slang can be entertaining it can also be confusing or downright offensive to some people. A catchy slogan must be easy to understand, unfortunately slang is often confusing to those who are unfamiliar with it. To make matters worse, slang often changes, if you watch a movie from the 1940s you’ll probably hear a few words or expressions you don’t understand even though they were commonly used back then.

There are many words that are used in some places but not others. The Brits regularly use words like Wobbly, Dodgy and Gobsmacked which are completely confusing to Americans. Many Americans regularly use slang that is varying from state to state. For example people in Colorado often refer to Colorado Springs as “the Springs” which can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the state.

Slogan makers should try to avoid slang because it can be confusing and perhaps offensive. Never assume that others are familiar with a term because you are.


Jargon is a specialized language that professionals and people in particular institutions and organizations use. The problem is that people outside the profession or business may have little or no knowledge of this jargon. Non-lawyers are often confused by legal terms and many people have a hard time talking to IT professionals because they don’t understand what they are saying.

Try to keep jargon out of taglines because it can be very confusing. A musician might know what hoofers and whoofers are but the average non-musician might not.


Many people tend to forget that not everybody is familiar with what common acronyms mean. Most people know what FBI stands for but they will be confused by ARM (adjustable rate mortgage). The slogan “Lowest ARM rates guaranteed” may confuse persons unfamiliar with the mortgage business.  Many people may not realize that OS stands for operating system.

For people that don’t know what they mean, taglines filled with acronyms can sound very silly. Instead of being clever a slogan maker will make a business look bad by using too acronyms.

A Good Rule of Thumb

A good rule of thumb is to never use any word or phrase in a slogan that could be confusing. To be effective, a tagline has to be easy to understand, putting anything that will confuse the reader makes it ineffective. Keeping taglines simple is the best way to make them easy to read, easy to understand and easy to remember.