The International Writers Magazine: Business
Advertising Slogans & Super Costs
it your way"
or taglines pushing sales are great for getting a customers attention
as they often tangle and hold them hostage for a second or two. Some
taglines catch the users attention, but most are simply confusing,
causing them to escape the trap and run away.
I'm worth it"
The combined yearly
budgets of all the strangely composed slogans promoting various branding
worldwide would easily add up to billions of dollars. Corporations make
extraordinary efforts to capture these few words on a string and liberally
fund the most lavish extravaganzas when it comes to pushing these cutesy
and strange sentences.
Not too long ago, a major credit card company, collected some hundred
plus executives from their national offices around the world to an exercise
organized by a major ad agency with the sole purpose to find a new slogan.
That project was called universal words The first order
of the day was to dress some of the executives in fictitious characters,
like, Superman, Spiderman, or Tarzan, and the others in various imaginary
titles from a CEO to shipper or an engineer to garbage collector, and
so on. Each participant had to make a mock costume from a large tear
sheet from the flip chart. 48 hours of role playing later, they came
up with a distilled series of universally accepted words: life
without the card and really boring,
hence the tagline, life without the card is boring This
million-dollar cost was easily absorbed as a finders fee for these
magical words, and many additional millions were spent to promote the
new tagline for a little while.
Some taglines that are still easy to recall have only worked because
of tens of millions of dollars in yearly expenditures like a tiger
in the tank or his masters voice the real
thing and just do it. There are other stories, and
it seems shorter the better. IBMs Think and now HPs
invent Samsonites worldproof or Relax.
Its FedEx The long ones are, What can Brown do for
you? for UPS or Cannons Know how. Heres
the future, lets go to work.
Here are some more examples. Match the following slogans with their
respective companies. The difficulties of recognizing the companies
1) the life unscripted
2) software that can think
3) whats on your mind?
4) better ideas driven by you
5) think big, move fast
6) what good thinking can do
7) moving ideas
8) TV for the chosen few
1) TLC The Learning Channel
2) CA Computer Associates
8) Bloomberg TV
Two Critical Factors
When Corporate Identity is Weak
When names of corporations are obviously weak, like strange initials
or unclear words, then they are no longer able to convey a clear marketing
message, and a tagline becomes essential to identify the purpose of
the advertising pitch. This short gist is supposed to be a small platform
to park the ideology of the corporation. Sometimes capturing the idea,
as a large paragraph is just too long, equally, a few shorts words are
just too limited to paint the entire story.
For that reason a vast majority of taglines convey very confusing messages.
Upon, a newly invented tagline line, often, the entire corporation amazingly
gets intoxicated with the slogan while repeating and singing every morning
like a mantra as an hypnotic internal branding exercise. While the poor
customer at large has no idea of this deep secret, and what the real
message is in such a riddle. we bring what you desire or
trust life, as it is valuable Really? Furthermore, the consumer
is getting busier and busier by the second, and has no time to memorize
or to be able to recognize a company upon coming across that strange
riddle again. Slogans are like fireworks; they stay lit in the sky for
a second or two and immediately die when the big budgets are cut.
When Ideas Crossover
Very often, same products can serve many different markets than it is
recommended, to present such ideas with supportive explanations for
those specific markets. In that case, a common-sense approach translated
into a plain sentence is better than a twisted creative riddle. A simple
sentence tells the customer a simple marketing message. Branding concepts
and positioning is best achieved by strong and original names and not
by fluid and ever-changing slogans. Colors, stripes, logos and slogans
come and go, they flow with the budgets and the trade winds, but a solid
name identity stays forever. Solid names slowly grow at the grass root
level without major budgets, and eventually become a well-known brand.
This is a simple common sense approach.
Use slogans that are common, everyday sentences. Use them freely for
different products and services, and describe their specific features
and benefits. For example, for a line of alarm clocks; enjoy
seven different ways to set up your wake-up calls rather than
rhythmic vibrations, better sexual fantasies. Slogans are
great when they can be easily developed internally and created like
simple sentences within an organization. Later, they can be dropped
freely without any loss or pain, in contrast to spending extraordinary
monies in creating ridiculously twisted and ever-so-confusing slogans.
Just keep it sweet and simple.
© Naseem Javed, author Naming for Power and also Domain Wars, is
recognized as a world authority on global name identities and domain
issues. Javed founded ABC Namebank, a consultancy he established a quarter
century ago, and conducts executive workshops on image and name identity
issues. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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