Sticky that is … in marketing speak. Sticky is a term we use to describe how memorable something is .. like a tag line. Just Do It. That was pretty sticky for the folks at Nike … or Got Milk? for the Dairy Board. On that note, and as a word of free advice … stop reusing the Got … anything, it has now officially become the most plagiarized tagline in advertising history and has begun to have a subliminally negative effect on those silly enough to try to reinvent it for actual marketing value. It’s fine on a funny T-shirt, but I don’t want to see any of you guys asking Got Dent? OK?

Some in the ad world are saying that the tag line is dead … they would be so far from wrong as to bring into question their place in the business .. and I’m talking about some heavyweights here … But just ask consumers today how sticky tag lines have “stuck” in their heads … for years in some cases. Like, “Nobody Doesn’t Like Sara Lee”, Reach Out and Touch Somebody” or “Put a Tiger in Your Tank” … I could go on for hours. The point is that a tagline is the second most important piece of brand identity, behind your logo or company name and should be given an appropriate place in your thought process.

A tagline is a unique cluster of words that conveys a thought about your brand and how people should feel about you and your company. It is essential in the compressed, byte-sized world we live in … you have mere seconds sometimes to sink your message into grey matter. In the words of Master Po as he taught young Caine in Kung Fu … Choose wisely. Choose wisely, or find a good copy writer, because coming up with “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard” is no simple task.

Be wary of punctuation in a tag line … stay away especially from exclamation points and question marks. Use iteration when possible, they help the “sticky” factor … Lulu’s Dim Sum and Then Some, for instance. How about … Big Al’s Collision … “Fender bent, a door with a dent … When we’re done, you won’t know where it went” or Tom’s AutoBody … “We’ll make you forget you ever had an accident”.

Look, the key here is to come up with something that makes somebody feel a certain way about your brand … the way YOU want them to feel about your brand actually. So test it on a few people before you hang it on the wall. Get some feedback and trust what you hear. Don’t get attached to something because you wrote it. There is no room for ego in tag line writing, it must resonate with the recipient, be “sticky” enough for them to remember and convey your brand message effectively … if it doesn’t do all that? … Just Don’t Do It.

Of course, that’s just my opinion … I could be wrong.

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