If It Isn’t Gortons, Throw It Back…Inexpensive, And Built To Stay That Way…When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There Overnight…Because So Much Is Riding On Your Tires…etc.
A tagline can make a brand, yes, even in 2019. But great taglines — as you know if you’ve ever had to think of one— are not easy to write.
An example you’re probably familiar with: After writing pages of shit taglines, copywriter Dan Wieden happened upon Gary Gilmore’s last words before he was executed by a firing squad: “Let’s do it”. Yes, one of the most life-affirming slogans ever is based on Death; Nike owes its massive success to the spree murders of a gas station attendant and a motel manager.
Contrarily, witless, lifeless taglines are very easy to write. And, apparently, brands now dig being witless and lifeless.
Pepsi’s new tagline, unveiled in January as the linchpin of a new global positioning “focused on passion” (you’re selling sugar water, not ribbed condoms), is a lot less than great.
“It”, according to the Pepsi press release, is “life”…and of course “Pepsi”. Busy graphic design aside, The line doesn’t leave me hankering for a can but it does bring to mind two other taglines: McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” (“It” here also means “life” and the brand) and Diet Coke’s 1980s kicker “Just For The Taste Of It” — a line that actually invited you to try the product (how quaint).
“FOR THE FUCK OF IT” would be a more honest and “passionate” line, Pepsi.
Nissan’s umbrella tagline is “Innovation That Excites” (feel the emotional deadness of that phrase). But they felt they needed a sub-tagline for their 2019 Altima — IMPOSSIBLY SMART. A car. “Impossibly” smart. Really. Altima — how much is 1+1? … (continues idling)
Brands love “impossible” (See Adidas: Impossible Is Nothing, BK’s “Impossible” Whopper). To the above tagline. What the fuck does “impossible” look like? If one looks through the lens of a Canon camera, does one find out? Can you see forever? Other dimensions? What?
Back to the car industry where, today, you’ll find some of the most meaningless ad copy ever written. To the above. Alfa Romeo: The Mechanics Of Emotion. Peugeot: Motion & Emotion. Basically the same stupid thought. Alfa Romeo’s sounds like the title of a Psychology textbook, Peugeot’s like a 70s disco band.
Give WHAT everything? “Life”? The gas pedal? (Kia’s new meaningless umbrella tagline was introduced with a Telluride commercial during this year’s Super Bowl.)
To the Spirits category. (L) What an odd word and what an odder William Wallace chest-thumping battle-cry tagline. And so much pressure! Not just “well”, but fucking VICTORIOUSLY. I guess being able to afford Grey Goose on the regular is a relative victory, but I wouldn’t vanquish my foes over it.
(R) Not to be out hyperbole-ed , Hennessy recently debuted a new tagline as…a prelude to a huge price hike(?). An Odyssey! So that’s…108 dead suitors in every drop. Yuck. (Ridley Scott directed a stupidly bombastic spot to launch this ridiculously hyperbolic tag. No, I’m not linking to it.)
Pants. That are “always on” when you wear them.
How fucking masterfully novel, Dockers.
(Sorry for the made-up end frame, but Northwestern Mutual doesn’t super their logo up with their [registered] tagline.) Thanks mostly to the internet, we consumers now know, truly, how much insurance companies lie and suck. Yet, they continue to advertise like we’re clueless. I guess they think they don’t have a choice.
NWM features their version of the Shawshank Redemption tagline: “Get busy living or get busy dying”. Of course they want you “living” = active = longer life = more premium payments. Disingenuous Fucks.
Let’s end this parade with the most lifeless, pointless, truthless tagline in advertising history. What a claim-less claim. What the fuck does “most refreshing” mean here? Most watered-down? What else could it mean? Maybe their trying to usurp Bud as the legal king of watered-down beers.
Sorry one more. Best Buy should buy this one out.
*h/t Tony Banks for post title.