An AAF (American Advertising Federation) SmartBrief e-mail reached my inbox today and its subject line made it worthy of a click: "25 greatest ad taglines." After right-arrowing my way through the likes of "Just Do It," (Nike) "Time to Make the Donuts," (Dunkin Donuts) and "Think different" (Apple), I began to think about the concept of personal taglines. And when I say personal, I mean for you. For me.
Maybe you'd argue that taglines aren't meant for people. Maybe it's because people shouldn't be sold. They are. Maybe it's because people are far more complex than a single business. Some aren't. I challenge your defiance.
I've never thought about what my own tagline would be; I've never tried to brand myself -- with words or tattoos. I have, however, entertained the idea of stringing together an autobiography, one composed much like Hemingway's six-word story: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Where did I end up?: After seven-grain bread, still left empty. Yes, that's the story of my life. I'm literally always hungry, but the seven-grain bread is just an analogy. It's the idea that even with all that I've consumed (again, not in the food sense), even with a keen awareness of the most dense aspects of my life, I'm still left wanting more. And the search for something to fill my "appetite" continues on. I don't see this ever changing; therefore, this six-word story fits the bill. But as a tagline? No.
Taglines. They can make or break you. Done right, they can be the cheapest form of advertising, and the best. Think about it. The taglines I mentioned earlier, did you need me to spoon feed which companies they belonged to? Probably not. Taglines can promise (and sell) you something before you know the "how" or "why?" They can offer you the benefits of using a company or product (tip: odd numbers work best, particularly three) -- or grab you by noting the risks if you don't. And some link a product with an abstract need, company address or logo.
Create your tagline. Make it clear. Don't try to get too clever. Reveal your personality, appropriately. Provide the answer to "why?" Sell it (you). Be it.
My personal tagline:
Because words deserve a creative future.
And a motto that came out of this self-inflicted exercise:
Punctuating words in an unpunctuated life.
What about you? Got Tagline?