A sweet-tooth is about as universal of a craving as sex.
So much so, that even under fire with lead blazing trails over their heads, humans still find themselves with a hunkering for something deliciously sweet.
Back in 1941, Forrest Mars began making tiny pellet-sized pieces of chocolate no bigger than a coat button, covered them in a hard sweet candy shell and sold them exclusively to the United States Military.
In hot weather, chocolate wasn’t the easiest of food snuffs to transport and the last thing a soldier needed while trying to operate a gun was to find his fingers covered in a sticky chocolatey mess.
So, the M&M was invented. And, with it, an ingenious tagline…
“Melt’s in your mouth, not in your hands.”
What is a tagline? You might ask.
Well, it’s what you just read up above. It’s an advertising catchline or slogan that cleverly tells the world who you are, what you sell and what you stand for.
Indulge me as I run with a metaphor for a moment…
If a brand name is what you call yourself when you shake someone’s hand, a tagline is the interesting thing you say to the person immediately afterwards.
So, it goes without saying that a tagline is just as important (if not more important) to a brand than its actual name.
Here are 77 tagline examples that’ll make the advertising gods cry tears of gold.
Later in this article, we will dive into some ways you can go about writing a tagline for your brand. But, first, let’s look at a few (well, more than a few) tagline examples we can pull some inspiration from.
- Just Do It. (Nike)
- Real leather crafted the forgotten way. (Hidesign)
- Shave time. Shave money. (Dollar Shave Club)
- Melt’s in your mouth, not in your hands. (M&M)
- It’s more than good, it’s great. (Frosted Flakes)
- A diamond is forever. (De Beers)
- With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good. (Smuckers)
- Cold as the rockies. (Coors)
- Quality never goes out of style. (Levi’s)
- Think big. (Imax)
- It keeps going… and going… and going. (Energizer)
- Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach. (Heineken)
- Can you hear me now? (Verizon)
- Obey your thirst. (Sprite)
- The uncola. (7 Up)
- Eat fresh. (Subway)
- Capitalist tool. (Forbes)
- Say it with flowers. (FTD)
- Trix are for kids. (Trix Cereal)
- Be all you can be. (U.S. Army)
- Love is in the air. (Southwest Airlines)
- A mind is a terrible thing to waste. (UNCF)
- Let your fingers do the walking. (Yellow Pages)
- Tastes so good cats ask for it by name. (Meow Mix)
- When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. (FedEx)
- So easy a caveman can do it. (Geico)
- Got milk? (California Milk Processing Board)
- The breakfast of champions. (Wheaties)
- The Citi never sleeps. (Citibank)
- Where’s the beef? (Wendy’s)
- Designed for driving pleasure. (BMW)
- The quicker picker-upper. (Bounty)
- Make believe. (Sony)
- Redbull gives you wings. (Redbull)
- Betcha can’t eat just one. (Lays)
- Taste the rainbow. (Skittles)
- We deliver. (USPS)
- Think Small. (Volkswagen)
- Have a Coke. (Coke)
- I’m lovin’ it. (McDonalds)
- When you care enough to send the very best. (Hallmark)
- All the news that’s fit to print. (New York Times)
- Nothing runs like a Deere. (John Deere)
- You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world. (1010 Wins)
- Imagination at work. (General Electric)
- Like a good neighbor, state farm is there. (State Farm)
- Maybe she was born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline. (Maybelline)
- Hand-built by robots. (Fiat Strada)
- Good to the last drop. (Maxwell House)
- That was easy. (Staples)
- Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon? (Grey Poupon)
- Snap! Crackle! Pop! (Rice Krispies)
- Leave the driving to us. (Grey Hound)
- I think, therefore IBM. (IBM)
- Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat. (Hertz)
- We try harder. (Avis)
- Finger lickin’ good. (KFC)
- Every kiss begins with Kay. (Kay Jewelers)
- We’ll leave a light on for you. (Motel 6)
- This is your brain on drugs. (Drugs Free America)
- America runs on Dunkin’. (Dunkin’ Donuts)
- Let’s go places. (Toyota)
- The happiest place on Earth. (Disney Land)
- Think outside the bun. (Taco Bell)
- You’re in good hands. (Allstate)
- Ask the man who owns one. (Packard)
- Belong anywhere. (AirBnb)
- Tastes great, less filling. (Miller Lite)
- Impossible is nothing. (Adidas)
- I can’t believe I ate the whole thing. (Alka Seltzer)
- Stronger than dirt. (Ajax)
- The snack that smiles back. (Goldfish)
- Gotta Catch ’em all! (Pokemon)
- Go further. (Ford)
- Eat more Chikin. (Chick-fil-a)
- Democracy dies in darkness. (Washington Post)
- What happens here, stays here. (Las Vegas)
How to write a tagline for your brand that your customers won’t forget.
I’m currently in the process of writing a tagline for a delicious snack company that’s in over 15,000 stores across the United States.
(Which, by the way, if you’re on the hunt for a damn good tagline, hit me up).
Anyway, while I can’t share the name of the company nor what I’ve come up with so far, I can certainly share my process for writing a tagline for both them and the other brands I’ve worked with.
Keep it short.
First and foremost, a tagline must be fairly short.
If you refer back to the above tagline examples I shared, you’ll notice 90% of them fall within the 2–5 word count range.
Ford’s tagline is simply…
Toyota ups the ante by just one word with…
“Let’s go places”.
And BMW (certainly the most luxurious of the bunch) sports the longest tagline of them all…
“Designed for driving pleasure.”
There are nine brands on the above list that have two word taglines, the most iconic of which is…
I like the two word tagline approach. However, you better come up with some serious heat because it’s much harder to get creative with two words versus three, four or five.
Just remember that shorter taglines are generally better. Go ahead, argue with me, I’ll just respond with three words…
Maybe consider poking fun at yourself.
Sometimes, writing a tagline is about telling the world you’re the very best at what you do. Adidas does this with their tagline…
“Impossible is nothing”.
Hidesign certainly does this with…
“Real leather crafted the forgotten way.”
But, there have also been plenty of brands that have written killer taglines by poking fun at themselves or by admitting their second best.
Once upon a time, Avis was losing massive amounts of the rental car market share to Hertz. Everybody and their brother knew that Hertz was #1.
So, Avis did the unthinkable… they admitted they were second best and they used it to their advantage.
Their thinking: if we are second best it means we have to try harder than Hertz.
They created a tagline that in many ways saved the company…
“We try harder.”
While Smuckers, the company that sells nut butters, jams and syrups, hasn’t necessarily admitted their “second best” they’ve found tremendous success making fun of themselves.
“With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good.”
And, yes, you just read a ten word tagline which breaks the rule I just mentioned in the previous section and makes for a great jumping-off point for my next rule (or non-rule rather).
Don’t be afraid to break the rules.
Some brands have written catchy taglines by breaking the rules.
Smuckers’ ridiculously long ten-word tagline is a prime example of this…
“With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good.”
So is Rice Krispies’ tagline which just uses a series of sounds…
“Snap! Crackle! Pop!”
And, we can’t forget about Energizer who litters their tagline with two sets of ellipses…
“It keeps going… and going… and going.”
Ultimately, I think so much of writing a tagline comes down to writing something catchy. And, sometimes, writing something catchy requires throwing out the rule book.
Tell them what you do.
Ajax, the cleaning product, has a phenomenal tagline that doubles as both a tagline and a mini advertisement for what their product does…
“Stronger than dirt”.
Alka Seltzer does something similar with a tagline that offers a solution to a problem all of us have experienced…
“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”.
And, we can’t forget about Grey Hound…
“Leave the driving to us”.
While it’s nice to boast a creative headline, sometimes it’s as easy as telling the customer what your brand does in a concise way.
Or, of course, you can be like Goldfish and have your cake and eat it too with…
“The snack that smiles back.”
Take a stance.
A couple years back, Nike sparked a ton of controversy when they backed Colin Kaepernick in the 30th anniversary of their Just Do it campaign. It was brilliant, bold and wildly controversial, making them both fans and enemies.
Taking a stance has been and will forever be a ballsy but effective marketing strategy (and the rule seems to apply to taglines, too).
Washington Post takes an obvious stance with their tagline…
“Democracy dies in darkness”.
Taco Bell takes a shot at fast-food restaurants everywhere with the tagline…
“Think outside the bun”.
7 Up fires a few shots too with..
U.S. Army takes a stance (and empowers thousands in the process) with…
“Be all you can be”.
And, of course, there is Drugs Free America’s annoying (but extremely effective) tagline…
“This is your brain on drugs.”
Tag, you’re it.
Yank some inspiration from the 77 taglines I’ve shared up above and maybe apply one of the nuggets I highlighted from my own process. And, if you’re still stuck in the writing of your tagline, give me a shout.
By Cole Schafer.
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