What is a Tagline?

What is a Tagline?

What is a Tagline? Jonathan Poland

A tagline is a short, catchy phrase that is used to summarize the core message or value proposition of a company, product, or brand. It is often used in marketing and advertising materials, such as commercials, billboards, and social media posts, and is meant to be memorable and distinctive. A good tagline can help to build brand recognition and differentiate a company or product from its competitors. Some well-known examples of taglines include “Just Do It” for Nike, “Think Different” for Apple, “I’m Lovin’ It” for McDonald’s, “The ultimate driving machine” for BMW, and “The King of Beers” for Budweiser.

The following are common ways to create a tagline.

Promises
Making a promise such as “everything you need to know about …”

Benefits
Stating benefits such as “all of your wildest dreams will come true.”

Emotion
Statements that have the power to trigger emotions such as Nike’s well known trademark “Just Do It.”

Call To Action
Directly command a customer to do something such as “call us to …”

Humor
Light humor such as “great trilogies come in threes” from the movie poster for Scary Movie 3 (2003).

Understatement
An understatement that sounds humble, confident or humorous such as “the classic story about a boy and his mother” from the promotions for the film Psycho (1998).

Fact
A plain fact such as “the biggest mattress warehouse in Texas.”

Mystery
A mysterious statement designed to generate curiosity such as “they’re here” from the film promotions for Poltergeist (1982).

Analogy
Analogies such as a metaphor.

Questions
A rhetorical question such as “are zombie’s smarter than we think?”

Metaphysical Conceit
An analogy that is non-obvious or nonsensical.

Non Sequitur
Two sentences that don’t follow each other that create some effect such as humor. For example, the tagline for the film Shaun of the Dead, 2004 is “A romantic comedy. With zombies.”

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