What happened to memorable taglines?


There is no question that marketing and advertising play a big role in our everyday lives—especially big brands that seem to be everywhere. And one key component to a successful brand is a good tagline.

I was recently reminded of this when, halfway through April, Minneapolis got a huge weekend snowstorm. By the second day, as my cabin fever grew, I decided to stop whining about the disappointing spring weather and get outside on my bike anyway. As I was preparing myself mentally, I kept saying to myself “just do it”.

While slowly pedaling my way through the snow, I started thinking about the impact of those three small words on Nike—the company that first used them as a slogan in 1988 for a campaign, and still uses it today as a tagline.

That got me wondering about other brands that have had similar successes with taglines. There are the obvious ones like Capital One (What’s in your wallet?), Budweiser (The King of Beers) and Timex (Takes a licking and keeps on ticking). But those, like many others that came to mind, have been around for many years.

So, what about more recent brands? A quick Google search will give me a few, but none are as memorable. Is it because they haven’t been around long enough? Or because all the good ideas have been taken? Or I’m just not paying attention? Perhaps, but with the onslaught of media we’ve recently have access to, including content subscriptions that block out ads (which I admit, I’m a big fan of), it’s because we are simply oversaturated.

This isn’t a new theory in regards to content. We’ve been saying for a long time that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to consume all of the media out there. Add on top of that all the advertising messages being thrown at us, it’s no wonder there is no modern-day tagline as good as “Just Do It”.

Well, actually, there probably is—we just don’t know about it.

So what’s a modern-day marketer to do? If you’re a national brand, hire yourself a big fancy ad agency to write something clever and spend a ton of money on advertising. It’s what your audience expects. And it’s what you need to do to be successful in today’s noisy market. It might hurt initially, but as a wise copywriter once said, just do it.

Author Danette Knickmeier

Danette is an account executive at d.trio.

More posts by Danette Knickmeier

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