Should your tagline refer to your product or domain?

November 17, 2008 •

This is a question a client asked me a couple of days ago. And the answer is most definitely, no!

Your tagline is the written spearhead of your brand. You want your customers to remember it, and to always associate it with your company, your products and services. But it doesn’t need to explicitly refer to those things. (It CAN, but it doesn’t have to.)

It’s important to remember that your tagline is a branding vehicle. Like a brand, it needs to engage your audience. And one of the most effective ways to do that is through emotions.

Naomi Klein says it best in No Logo:

“… the product always takes a back seat to the real product, the brand, and the selling of the brand acquired an extra component that can only be described as spiritual. Advertising is about hawking product. Branding, in its truest and most advanced incarnations, is about corporate transcendence.”

Take Nike’s tagline, for instance: ‘Just do it.’ No mention of sporting wear. No mention of sport. Instead, Nike associates itself with athleticism and perseverance. It’s leveraging emotion and aspiration, not the features of its products.

Some other examples of famous taglines:

  • Because you’re worth it (L’oreal)
  • like.no.other (Sony)
  • Choose Freedom (Toshiba)
  • Come Together (Nortel)
  • Hello boys (Wonderbra)
  • Impossible is nothing (Adidas)
  • I am what I am (Reebok)

That’s all for now. Gotta get some work done!

Happy copywriting!

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