Just on a personal level, we’re big fans of Taglines. It’s fun to work on them and they’re fun to come up with. We’re big fans of the idea that a couple of words joined together can represent a basic idea that you hopefully want planted in your audiences’ heads. To sell your ‘vision’ to the consumers. Some of them become so popular that they sort of become more iconic than the brand itself. Think about it, how many times have you heard ‘Just do it’ even when nothing around you remotely had anything to do with NIKE?
The fun with taglines is that they affect you in subtler ways than you might think. And whilst creating them, you can get creative and multi-layered as well. Taglines represent the psychology of the brand and are tools that communicate that said psychology into making a connection with an audience. They have to evoke a response within the viewer instantly. And this is the sort of thinking that keeps copywriters across the globe constantly on their toes. A single moment of inspiration can lead to the creation of a memorable tagline that can change things.
“Sometimes. You may strike gold…”
Let’s just take the example of what TESCO does with its’ tagline “Every little bit helps” which the newspaper ‘The Guardian’ called it as ‘perhaps the most ingeniously modest slogan ever written’. It’s wonderful and inclusive and exemplifies TESCO’s intention to be as mass market and inclusive as possible. There’s almost a philanthropic intent to it as well, positioning TESCO as a brand that places emphasis on the well-being of the consumers. In FOUR words, the tagline is able to convey ALL of that and is quite impressive. (Hence the ‘ingenuity’ part)
“Like a multi-purpose vehicle”
It’s fascinating to think about how to map in on consumer psychology but equally as fascinating to think of them from a consumer point of view. What is affecting me? What do I want? How will my needs be fulfilled? It’s quite possible (and often happens) that taglines that writers think are great do not connect with the audiences in the way they intend (Google: John Romero ‘Daikatana’ ad). There can be cognitive dissonance sometimes whilst creating taglines (a lot of times in Risque advertising) so despite the best intentions, you can come up with something that you think is great but actually isn’t. But truth be told, nothing is successful in creative endeavours until there is some sort of response.
“It’s all a leap of faith”
It is a Gamble. Choosing the perfect tagline from a list of available options can be quite nerve wrecking and there is no way to make sure which one will connect in the most significant way. It’s like cracking a safe, you work hard and under pressure but you don’t know what you’ve come up with until you see what’s really inside. Elon Musk says “long term results are what matter” and a lot of that is true with taglines as well. You don’t know what you’ve birthed until it’s fully grown up. The process of creation is not necessarily synchronous with what the results are going to be.
Still, it’s important to think and evaluate the effect that they have on you. If you’re a copywriter, you have to go by your instincts. See what’s working on you and then see how it’s working on other people. Feedback can be complicated and sometimes what you think is great may not line in with what the consumer wants. So it’s often a shot in the dark and a leap of faith. But one that must be taken.
So apply yourself to the best of your ability and take a deep breath. Something great may be around the corner.