Are you still using taglines, or a more targeted approach?
We, as human beings, consume visually first, judge and then finally get around to reading the information right in front of us. This is why kids can identify brands before they read and tell the box of Wheat Thins you put in the shopping cart weren’t the Cheez It brand you said they were. Reading is a learned behavior that works within the construct of languages we’ve invented as human beings. It’s a rational exercise that supports the emotional signals a brand sends via music, taste, touch, motion, sound and other mediums.
Reading helps us rationalize our decisions and bond us with brands through their competence, personality and rationality.
There was a time when taglines were a central theme in ad agencies and creative shops. It was such an essential part of a brand, some might have said a brand didn’t exist if it didn’t have a tagline. These small bits of copy were used to form meaning around a brand name, add personality or finish an ad with something memorable.
These small bits were rarely used by consumers, only ad executives, paid personalities and those trying to copy the leading brand. When was the last time you used a brand’s tagline and it wasn’t a joke, “Can you hear me now?” With the exception of “Just Do It”, “A Diamond is Forever” and “Got Milk?” -- most taglines have remained sequestered in a room for insincere language used to sell us something.
If you’re looking around and asking, what then do you recommend if not taglines?
Headlines are the answer. These are still bits of language, but now in the form of targeted multiples instead of a single tagline designed to do everything across all mediums and in all contexts. Moving from taglines is like firing the hero Achilles (he has some trouble standing on his own anyways) and hiring a hundred archers. Yes, we love to see the hero do all the heavy lifting, but there’s more to the story if we see the larger character set (pun intended).
Capsule has spent 22 years advising brand leaders, conducting various forms of research and recrafting good brands in the direction of greatness. In this time we have noted this movement away from taglines running parallel to the desire by consumers to brands with greater depth, contextual awareness and focus on consistency in story lines.
There are three reasons you’ll seek headlines vs taglines, we will provide examples that will articulate this over the next series on; Contextual Awareness, Depth of Personality, and Remembering the Stories.
It is happening all around you at all times, but actually seeing it is important to the health of your brand. If you’d like to get a better view, go here for a conversation.