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Powerful Retail Taglines Mean Business
By: Briskman Stanfield
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Recently, Adweek announced the top 66 great movie taglines in 30 years. Of that collection, some are memorable (e.g., “They’re Back” from 1986’s “Poltergeist II: The Other Side”). Others, such as “Just Deux It” from 1983’s “Hot Shots Part Deux,” are simply forgettable. 

But good taglines, whether from movies or ad campaigns, have the magic of staying power because it's the last line that hooks you. When it comes to advertising, hopefully the slogan is catchy enough to be memorable since it raises brand awareness, and, ultimately, every ad man’s dream goes mainstream lingo.

Which taglines really have “it”? Possibly the following stores, who recently were noted as top retail gainers as retail stocks increased by at least 1.5 percent, according to WWD.
  • Zale Corp. up 8 percent to $3.92
  • Saks Inc. up 5.6 percent to $11.30
  • Sears Holdings Corp. up 5.3 percent to $77.62
  • Dillard’s Inc. up 3.6 percent to $39.30
  • J.C. Penney Co. Inc. up 3.2 percent to $33.35
And, for these five companies, who are reported in WWD to be “kicking off the new year with a fresh 52-week high,” the real question remains: How much did these particular stores' taglines influence the shoppers who ultimately caused their numbers to soar?

To test your memory and the success of each store’s brand, can you remember the phrases for Zales, Saks, Sears, Dillard’s, or J. C. Penney? Do you connect the following taglines with the top five retail stores’ names?
  1. Zales – “The Diamond Store”
  2. Saks – “Think about...”
  3. Sears – “Life. Well spent.”
  4. Dillard’s – “The Style of Your Life”
  5. J. C. Penney – “New look. New day. Who knew.”
According to data released by Kantar Media, ad spending showed signs of life during the first nine months of 2010. Their report stated that “total expenditures for the period rose 6.4 percent to nearly $94.1 billion, compared to the prior year.”
With that in mind, an ad campaign’s tagline can be one of the most powerful means of affecting consumer spending, resulting in the rise of retail stock. Yet during stressful economic times, cautious budgets can often limit a successful campaign that would have included a promising tagline.

Perhaps once the financial wheels start to roll, however, brand winners such as the ones with the memorable taglines noted above may be called profitably "it."

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About the Author

Briskman Stanfield is a freelance copywriter and all-around, behind-the-scenes team player.

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