I wrote a short time ago about the irrelevance of marketing slogans, only I've just found one that I love:
Feel better. Tylenol.
You get it right away, don't you? Two words encapsulate the functional, associative, emotional, and whatever other abstractions of benefits that keep branding experts employed. The mini-phrase sets the context for any number of specific calls-to-action. Actually, it's a call unto itself:
I love it, just like I love lines like Drink Coke, and why I detest the nonsense taglines that seem to work overtime to be abstract or indirect. I'm Lovin' It. Shift. Where Do You Want to Go Today?
Oops. Some terms are cut-lines instead of slogans? Brand promises? Yup, right. "A rose by any other name...," and that line's already taken, however you label it.
So many slogans look inward, presuming to describe an attribute of a brand. As if anybody cared, or even got it. Slogans come from the mistaken belief that consumers are interested in brands. They're not, or at least not any more than, say, two lovers declaring their passion for one another are interested in grammar. Or moviegoers are interested in film stock.
Brands are not some things, but something that gets people to something else. Journeys, not destinations. People engage in a moment of experience, not with snippets of some absolutes of branding.
Most slogans miss this reality entirely, opting for imagined connections to consumers presented in complicated presentation slides, instead of actually talking to human beings and motivating them to do things.
I've often thought that it would be a fun game to try and match corporate names with branding slogans. There'd have to be two levels to the game: first, a simple connect-the-terms challenge and then, second, a competition to define that the slogans meant. I suspect there'd be lots of mistaken match-ups, followed by confused explanations lacking in action verbs.
It might be fun to purposeful mis-match the names and slogans, and see which ones fit with others. Again, my guess would be that a lot of them would work when attached to a lot of the others. So imagine:
Feel better. Budweiser.
Feel better. Geico.
Feel better. Gap Jeans.
Even Tylenol doesn't truly get it with its slogan, as its web site is full of lots of nonsense trying to redefine what Feel better should mean. So while I really like the line for Tylenol, I still struggle, dim bulb-like, with the idea of what the company chooses to do with it...and even wasting ad (and mental) space with a slogan in the first place.
Makes me want to take two Tylenol and...