That novel idea struck me as I perused the latest propaganda from New Jersey Transit. It was a newsletter heralding a new online destination that allows riders to ascertain exactly how long their delays will be. At the bottom of the NJT missive was the dysfunctional rail line's tagline, 'The way to go.'
I shook my head at the sheer chutzpah of the statement. I know NJT is a public service with no competition whose employees are rewarded not by providing superior service but, rather, by punching a time clock. But, even so, the way to go? If NJT's tagline were an authentic reflection of the rider experience, it would be something like: 'When you have no other choice.'
NJT's laughably misleading tagline got me thinking about other organizations that promise one experience in their tagline, but deliver a very different one in reality. So, drum roll please, a list of the seven deadly sinners of tagline world (in which I first list the current tagline followed by the one the organization should be using):
1.) The Republican Party: Actual tagline: 'We built it.'
Suggested tagline: 'Back to the future.'
2.) The New York Yankees: Actual tagline: 'Heroes remembered. Legends born.'
Suggested tagline: 'The high cost of underachieving.'
3.) Wal-Mart: Actual tagline: 'Save money. Live better.'
Suggested tagline: 'Raping and pillaging the local economy, one town at a time.'
4.) ExxonMobil: Actual tagline: 'Taking on the world's toughest energy challenges.'
Suggested headline: 'Making more money than god himself.'
5.) United Airlines: Actual tagline: 'Let's fly together.'
Suggested headline: 'Actually, let's stay right where we are.'
6.) McDonald's: Actual tagline: 'I'm lovin' it.'
Suggested tagline: 'My HMO is loving’ it.'
7.) Comcast: Actual tagline: 'The future of awesome.'
Suggested tagline: 'The hellishness of today.'
So, how about you dear reader? Any favorite taglines you'd like to see?
Epilogue: When my firm recently re-branded itself and came up with a new tagline, we selected: 'Listen. Engage. Repeat.' I thought 'Not that good' would be more accurate but, as my management team quickly reminded me, that brand promise was limited solely to me.