Slogans like "A Diamond Is Forever," "Got Milk," and “Just Do It,” are recognizable nationwide. In fact, they're often better known than the companies that created them.
"Good taglines create a lasting impression,"
says Barbara Apple Sullivan of Sullivan, a brand engagement firm. "A tagline really builds equity in a brand over time, and a good one conveys something unique and meaningful about a company that raises it to a higher mission."
Sullivan joined The Daily Ticker to discuss then best and worst slogans in recent history and to figure out why some worked and others didn't.
1. Uber: “Everybody’s Private Driver”
“It’s for everybody,” says Sullivan. But at the same time “the idea of private is upscale and people know that it’s a driver and not a taxi service. It portrays some authenticity and some exclusiveness.” The best of both worlds.
2. L’Oreal: “Because We’re Worth It”
This tagline evolved with its customers. It began as “because I’m worth it,” then it evolved to “because you’re worth it,” and in 2009 the company implemented the current phrasing, “because we’re worth it.”
“It speaks to women and the idea that we’re all important enough to use these cosmetics and skin care products,” says Sullivan. “I think it evolved from the ‘I am’ because they wanted to talk directly to that woman. That [tagline] is one that has stood the test of time and become so important to woman across the world.”
1 & 2. Accenture: “High Performance. Delivered.” and Deloitte: “High Performance. Amplified.”
“These are not very differentiating,” says Sullivan. “The taglines are very similar and I don’t think the average person could differentiate between the two.” Accenture actually took Deloitte to court over the similarity.
3. Enron: “Ask Why”
Adopted by Enron in the mid-90s, this tagline was supposed to encourage people to question conventional wisdom. Unfortunately, that's what they did and it came back to bite the company.
“This is perhaps the most ironic tagline in history given that a whistleblower at Enron who did ask why led to the demise of the company,” says Sullivan.
Related: Are Super Bowl Ads Worth the Cost?
In general, the slogan may be going away. “The role of taglines isn’t what it used to be,” explains Sullivan. “In this world where brands are being defined by so many different touch points across so many different channels, is a monolithic tagline still as relevant as it once was?”
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