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Do Brands Need Tag Lines? No. You Deserve a Break Today.
By: Brian Keller
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We love a good “slogan/tag line.” They wrap a brand in a few short words. They sell the product, move a service, and become a part of everyday speech that is forever associated with the brand. They are created after research, creative briefs, and sometimes a number of years of testing and angst and…and so on. They cost a fortune to create and they have brought fortune to brands smart enough and lucky enough to have tags that resonate and catch fire. They are irreplaceable nuggets of wisdom brought forth to become immovable brand identifiers. Or not.

Are they still worthwhile? Let’s “go forth” and take a look at this fading phenomenon that probably really stopped working as the dismantling of advertising as we know it began in earnest over a decade ago.
 
First, in researching this article it was found that many of the company websites don’t have their own “tags” on their own websites. On Facebook, sites, and other social media outlets we found the same occurrence. Our informal research into finding contemporary “slogans/tags” revealed many sites dedicated to communications that are 30–70 years old. It seems that brands have become so ubiquitous through so many outlets that the tag is not holding an exalted position in the "brand guide." Does anyone from agency to client to consumer really care about the tag line anymore? Really, really, we think maybe just agencies, kind of, care about this exercise and that’s just a little bit.
 
Finally, now that we are completely overloaded and jaded, does anyone really even believe the corporate tag line? Is it even worth it? So, for fun, let’s see what works.

We’ve taken some recent lines and had some fun.
 
1. Impossible is Nothing General Electric
2. Rethink Possible Adidas
3. Just Do It Home Depot
4. Expect More, Pay Less Safeway
5. Let's Go Places Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
6. The Proven Way Forward Chase Bank
7. We Know Why You Fly Southwest Airlines
8. Das Auto Mercedes-Benz
9. Love. It's what makes a Honda a Honda. Honda
10. When it fits, you feel it. DSW
11. Eat Fresh Whole Foods
12. Life's Better When We're Connected General Electric
13. Thrive Charles Schwab
14. Open Happiness American Library Association
15. I'm Lovin' It California Tourism
16. Ingredients for Life McCormick Spices
17. Go Further NASA
18. Imagination at Work Disney
19. I Will Alcoholics Anonymous
20. At Your Side Big Brothers Big Sisters
21. Where Shopping is History Macy's
22. Together We'll Go Far U. S. Navy
23. Let's Build Something Together Wells Fargo
24. No, we don't run express to Queens Subway
25. Misremembering What I Put Into My Body for Over 20 Years Roger Clemens

Do they work well in the above configurations or with their original brand? Here’s our answer: At this point, sure they do. But who cares?  
 
So, have fun.
 
*****We’re trying to come up with something “original” for BMA. Do they all fit? Your vote is important, so vote early and often.
1. Beyond Madison Avenue – “Together We Can”
2. Beyond Madison Avenue – “Be All You Can Be” 
3. Beyond Madison Avenue – “Between Love and Madness Lies Obsession”
4. Beyond Madison Avenue  - “Have It Your Way”
 
NOTE: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” should be safe from the annihilation of the tag line. It can only be one thing.
 
*****NOTE: Remember, original is kind of an elastic term and the author is trying to sneak this by. Take that, Under Armour vs. Nike.

Key
1. Adidas
2. AT&T
3. Nike
4. Target
5. Toyota
6. Lexus
7. American Airlines
8. VW
9. Subaru
10. JC Penney
11. Subway
12. BOA
13. Kaiser
14. Coke
15. McDonald’s
16. Safeway
17. Ford
18. GE
19. Under Armour
20. Brother
21. Publix
22. Wells Fargo
23. Lowe’s

We didn’t look that hard, but we couldn’t find Chase Bank. Exxon/Mobil could be “We’re Drivers” too. So, that's it from Beyond Madison Avenue, the sweetest place on earth.


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About the Author
Brian is the Creative Director at  teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English),went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends  University of Baltimore School of Law.
 
Brian's been working, primarily, in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.
 
He has built the creative departments at two agencies.
 
He likes skateboarding  with his son. He also  falls off his skateboard and amuses his son.When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.  
 
Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com
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