Creative Corner: The Power of Taglines
It strikes me that a tagline is good for direct marketers to use for at least four reasons:
—In the mail, on an ad and somewhere on a Web site, the right tagline is as good as a headline, even if the prospect has never seen it before.
—If people have seen your tagline before, it can be a strong reminder of what you can do for them.
—A tagline can hold together a multimedia campaign, particularly if consumers are apt to view your message at different times through different media. The repetition helps build awareness for the overall campaign.
—It’s a brilliant and attractive summary.
Three Guidelines to Getting Your Tagline Right
At their best, taglines are short, pointed statements of who you are, and what you can do for your customers and prospects. Another crucial element of a great tagline is its stark simplicity. Nothing could be simpler than “Just do it,” “The Real Thing,” “Life Takes Visa” or “The King of Beers.”
Taglines should be simple and evocative, and present both a benefit and a personality. “The bagel people” doesn’t cut it. “Tastes great, Less filling” and “Where’s the Beef?” do. How do you get there? Here are a few things we’re considering for Mason & Geller; you might like to try the same approach.
1. Be true to what you are. Have you seen the TV commercial for a product called HeadOn? A woman applies what looks like roll-on deodorant to her forehead. The voice-over says, “HeadOn: Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn: Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn: Apply directly to the forehead.” Three times in row! Then the voice says, “HeadOn is available without prescription at retailers nationwide.”
At first I thought it was a joke. There’s no explanation of what the stuff is. Maybe a wrinkle cream? Turns out it’s a homeopathic headache remedy. A few days later, I read something that amazed me. HeadOn sales are up 50 percent since April 2006. The product is something you apply to your forehead, and apparently that’s all it takes.