Saturday, December 13, 2008

Doesn't anybody care about taglines anymore?

So, I've been thinking.  Better said, reminiscing.  About the days in advertising when taglines really meant something and became the "springboard" (had to use that word) for execution.  In fact, the tagline was the connection between the strategy--->BIG IDEA---->Tagline--->Execution.  This formula - if there can be such a thing in this business - at least insured the advertiser that whatever was being said about the company it was at least strategically based.

Think of your favorite tag - who else can put their name on it?  When it's done right, no other brand!  In fact, they really are BRAND lines, not taglines.

In hospitals, there are seven deadly words to include in your tag line - not quite like George Carlin's (RIP) list, but important nonetheless:  Care, There, Close, Amazing, Us, Comfort, Rank, and Hospital.  Look for the article on this in HealthLeaders Marketing Advisor.

What I don't understand is how many marketers - and their agencies - don't spend time on the brand line and come up with something so similar to something else it makes your teeth hurt.  Just like the guys down the street - or a multi-national company in a different category.

Sure, trademark law suggests that you can only copyright something in one category, but I'm just waiting for the next hospital to use "We Just Do It." as their line.  

Challenge yourselves, challenge your agencies to come up with something unique, memorable, and strategic -it's not an afterthought.  It's the thought that leads to the other executions.  More on this later - just had to get this out of my system.

Brand on,
Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy, Ltd.
15 N. Arlington Heights Road
Arlington Heights, IL  60004

1 comment:

Mosquitoman said...

Sure, people care about taglines. But only if they liked (and want to remember and refer to) the execution. I'd argue the process is not STRATEGY > BIG IDEA > TAGLINE > EXECUTION but rather STRATEGY > BIG IDEA > EXECUTION > TAGLINE. The tagline is the "punctuation mark" for the execution and not the starting point. If you've got the right execution then the tagline will flow out of it naturally and easily. The problem comes when trying to execute to a tagline. It's too restrictive and often frustrating. Forget the tagline until you come up with a strategically sound, Big Idea-based series of executions that deliver the message in a head-turning, "haven't-seen-that-before" way. Then use the tagline as a final summation that uniquely and succinctly expresses your point and your personality. Taglines work!!! But only if everything that precedes it does, too.