Marius on Strategy and Communication

What it says on the tin

The Awkwardness of Slogans

I’m a bit ambivalent with regards to the use of slogans. Some are great; they sound cool and capture the essence of the brand.

When being somewhat consistent, however, and continue advocating that brands behave and think like a character, I think a slogan suddenly appears rather ill-placed. People don’t have slogans. They do, however, have a set of beliefs, values and traits which together inform their actions.

This is what I think brands need to focus on too.

Whether you call it a single minded propositionbusiness values or a strap line, their role should be to constitute the foundation upon which all communication is based, and serve as a guideline for what to say and how to say it.

Slogans limits the potential to create an interesting character of the brand. It appears as less complex than it in fact is. It is like an annoying catch-phrase that a sit-com character insists on finishing every sentence with. It becomes a habit and they feel obliged to continue doing it.

Slogans get in the way of interaction with consumers. People associate slogans with corporations, and dropping them in conversation will only serve to reinforce, and remind us of, the vast difference between the personal and corporate spheres. The level playing field suddenly becomes slightly steeper. Slogans are for insecure companies with a need to assert themselves in the marketplace. Yet, many great companies use them.

Here are two examples of ads with great slogans, both of which happen to be by Mother, London

Ps. Some people actually do have slogans. They assume the form of euphemisms such as ‘life-motto’, and will be something like “Seize the day”; often tattooed on an arm, preferably in sign-language. Companies shouldn’t use this as an excuse to use a slogan; it merely goes to suggest how superficial and clichéd slogans can be

PPS. Here are some of the slogans I came up with when I tried my luck as a creative in London.

Specsavers – You’re not as smart as you look

New Scientist – What you don’t know could hurt you

Norwegian Airlines – There’s a whole world out there

Who Magazine – What planet are you from?

Budweiser – Who’s your beerbuddy?

Vitel Water – The day after the night before

Datsun – Feel like one in a million


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This entry was posted on May 24, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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