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Gone or different?: How taglines have changed over the years

Published September 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

“Got milk?”

“Don’t leave home without it.”

What do these two short, yet easily recognizable phrases have in common? They are each a memorable tagline for two companies: the California Milk Processor Board and American Express, respectively. According to a survey from Tagline Guru, they were also the top two most influential taglines since 1948.

Taglines help customers remember a company’s product or service, and have spawned unique and clever advertising campaigns for years. But, as technology continues to evolve, some have suggested that the time for taglines is over.

With so many customers glued to their mobile devices, ads need to be shorter. Using social media, for example, can be great, but there are often character limits. According to a recent AdWeek article, taglines present a new challenge. But, there could still be a need for them—when companies implement them the right way.

“The way we think about and use taglines needs to change,” the article said. “Carefully consider whether or not one is really needed. If your brand’s differentiation is well-established, perhaps you don’t. Think about the primary media and touch points in which it will be used. Do they lend themselves to the consistent use of a short phrase?”

Web-based marketing is crucial for companies of all sizes, and creating a targeted advertising approach will ensure that the ideal customer base is reached. However, implementing marketing strategies in as many mediums as possible will also create a well-rounded approach.

Whether a company designs direct mail ideas or mobile advertisements, a tagline could help relay the message. But, as long as companies make the effort to “Think different” and opt to “Just do it,” they are sure to reach their target audience and remain profitable.

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