A tagline defines a branded product by summing up its personality. Anyone can generate a tagline, but creating a memorable line that distinctively and succinctly communicates the product or service is another matter. There are highly paid professionals who stumble when creating great taglines. There is no magic formula. Over time, people associate a successful tagline with a product as its brand name.
Taglines need to be memorable to be effective. A play on words, a catchy phrase, even an announcer's voice, can be the stuff of a great tagline. Some writers look for ways to enhance memory by using mnemonics. These memory-makers use sound to aid tagline memorization if the brand name is difficult to spell or pronounce. Aamco Car Repair, for example, spells its name and uses a honking car horn to aid memory in its broadcast advertising. Aflac Insurance uses the annoying sound of a quacking duck to make its brand a household word.
Define Brand Personality
Taglines for most products fall into the category of product-focused lines. Most writers start out writing product-focused tags and then move to other types of personal tags as the brand matures or the market changes. The primary goal for most starter tags is to define the product along attributes, real or imagined. These types of lines carve product niches. Wonder Bread's "Builds Strong Bodies 12 Ways," or McDonald's Big Mac sandwich's "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle, onion on a sesame seed bun", defined the products and its benefit. Both tags proved successful and enduring for those brands.
Companies use competitive taglines to differentiate themselves in a category. By claiming, through a tagline, who they are, they indirectly say what other products in the category are not. Competitive taglines are effective when there are few true differences among products, or when a product has a very distinct difference. Communicating an advantage over the competition can make an effective tagline. Write a tagline that puts the brand in a class by itself. Bounty Paper Towel's tagline "The Quicker Picker Upper," has worked to keep the company No. 1 for more than 30 years. Consider positioning your brand if your product possesses a singular attribute. Use words like "only," "exclusively," "best" to denote an advantage.
Sign of the Times
Some taglines capture the magic of something bigger and beyond the product itself. These tags seize on a cultural or social phenomena and align themselves with it. Such tags work as long as the trend remains vital. Nike's famous "Just Do It," tag echoes the sport and fitness craze. These types of taglines are difficult to craft. The basis on which the tag depends must be one widely held and achievable, especially once people purchase the product tagging itself to the phenomena.
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