While reading Frank Lane’s, “Killer Brands” the other day I learned that slogan originally meant a Scottish battle cry. So I am now imagining Pi Design’s new marketing campaign…a panty-less Mel Gibson rallying the design troops to meet the impossible deadlines whilst screaming something about FREEDOM OF DESIGN. Everyone waves their X-Acto knives and T-squares in the air furiously as they prepare for the battle against time.
Just to be clear, there is a distinct difference between “Tag lines” and “slogans.” Tag lines are often just added on after or underneath a logo. Sometimes they are just a statement of the company’s services. On the other hand, a slogan ties the product or service to the core brand expectation. A GREAT slogan is memorable.
Lane suggests, “You should find your brand a real slogan or a visual mnemonic device.” He gives the example of the Rock of Gibraltar along with the line, “Own a Piece of the Rock.” It is memorable for Prudential because its brand expectation is stability. Remember Mr. Whipple in the “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” commercials? He was the man consumed with keeping bubbly housewives from fondling toilet paper. The punch line of most spots was that Whipple himself was a closet Charmin-squeezer. He made the brand expectation of irresistible softness very memorable.
For visual mnemonic devices, Lane cites the advertising for Absolut Vodka and how they create a visual linkage to their distinctively shaped bottle in every ad. And the Engergizer Bunny, he keeps going and going and…you know the rest. But in your head when you buy Energizer batteries you expect them to last a long time simply because of the advertising.
If a slogan is indeed your company’s battle cry then it should be worth fighting for. Make it authentic and believable. It must stick in YOUR head in order to stick in your customer’s head so they will remember you when they need your product or service later.
Just for fun, here are a few of our office favs that really work:
Magically delicious. Lucky Charms (you almost have to say it with an Irish accent, don’t you?)
Just do it. Nike (I actually visualize the sweat dripping whenever I hear this)
The happiest place on earth. Disneyland (‘nuf said)
Eat me. Slim Jims (again….’nuf said)
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. FedEx (there is no doubt what they do and how they do it)
You quiero Taco Bell. Taco Bell (again there’s a visual mnemonic. I can’t read that without picturing the chihuahua and hearing his annoying voice)
Fahrvergnugen Volkswagen (everyone said,”Huh?” but no one forgot it. And it’s just fun to say)
Think different. Apple (We’re MACfolks. We can’t help it. It’s like a cult)