As I was catching up on my business periodical reading over the long, lazy holiday weekend, I was struck by the number of bland, look-alike print advertisements in BusinessWeek, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. As I perused the ads, I happened to glance at the tagline signatures below each marketer’s logo. They were so banal, so generic. It struck me that the taglines were not only pedestrian, they were also interchangeable. You could easily rip off one ad tagline, place it on another ad entirely and no one would be the wiser. To put this theory to the test, I’ll list the company and the wrong tagline. The first non-Peppercom person to correctly match the six companies and their taglines gets a handsome Peppercom baseball hat and pen (now, how’s that for value add in the blogosphere?). Here goes:
Toshiba: "A better world is our business"
Samsung: "Get more from life"
Toyota: "It’s about you by design."
Accenture: "Powering the predictable enterprise"
T-Mobile: "High performance. Delivered"
OutlookSoft: "Raising the bar"
Cingular: "Moving forward"
I’m amazed that companies pay ad agencies millions of dollars for this stuff. And, I could cite hundreds of examples of other boring, banal and totally meaningless words and phrases. Taglines are totally useless. In fact, why do they exist at all? Who invented them? As far as I’m concerned, some long-gone ad guy said, "Hey, maybe this could be a whole new, additional revenue stream for us. Let’s paste a tagline onto the creative stuff we show the client tomorrow and bill them extra." In an increasingly cluttered world on information overload, here’s one vote for taglines going the way of the Dodo bird. Who needs them? Oh, and if you have some particularly heinous advertising tagline(s) you’d like to share, please do so.