Tuesday, June 11, 2024
HomeB2B MarketingOn Writing a Tagline (and Pitching It, Too)

On Writing a Tagline (and Pitching It, Too)

Welcome to Creator Columns, the place we deliver knowledgeable HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that encourage and show you how to develop higher.

Writing a tagline graphic with an image of the writer and icons for copywriting and pitching

Peggy, Lou, and Daybreak are characters on Mad Males, the 60s interval drama about certainly one of Madison Avenue’s most prestigious, albeit fictional, promoting businesses. Peggy is likely one of the agency’s copywriters, chargeable for writing (and pitching) advert copy. Lou is her boss, the inventive director. Daybreak, a secretary, retains everybody organized.

Download Now: 3-Step Pitching Structure [Free eBook]

The trio are assembly a few new account, a watch firm referred to as Accutron.

“Oh,” says Peggy. She’s taking a look at Lou. “You didn’t choose a tagline.”

“Certain, I did.” Lou appears at his secretary. “Daybreak, what did I say?”

Daybreak flips by way of her notes. “You mentioned, ‘Simply In Time To Be On Time.'”

“That wasn’t one of many decisions—” Peggy interjects. “I feel that was a digression.”

“How about ‘Accutron Is Correct,’” Lou says. “That was one of many decisions, I’m constructive.”

Peggy lowers her chin. “I like ‘It’s Time For A Dialog,'” she says. She’s smiling, making eye contact. She’s promoting now. “I feel that one’s extra completed.”

The director appears again at her. He’s peering over his glasses now. “And I feel you’re placing me within the place of claiming, I don’t care what you suppose.”

While you end writing a tagline, it’s not accomplished.

It’s not accomplished till another person reads it, nods, and says, “That’s the one.”

Certainly, each inventive individual is a salesman, too. In copywriting — or any promoting self-discipline, for that matter — the powers that be should purchase into your work, your concept or idea or flip of phrase.

“To promote work I might be happy with,” mentioned artwork director George Lois, “I’ve needed to rant, rave, threaten, shove, push, cajole, persuade, wheedle, exaggerate, flatter, manipulate, be obnoxious, be loud, sometimes lie, and at all times promote, passionately!”

That’s one strategy, I suppose. However what when you’re not ready to “threaten” or “shove” or “push” your boss? Or, what if performing this manner — aggressive and domineering — feels unnatural to you? Or uncomfortable? Or, erm … unlawful? Then maintain studying as a result of this Mad Males scene supplies some different recommendation, some timeless knowledge I, as a copywriter, want I’d recognized sooner:

Chicago, 2014.

I really feel nervous. I shake out my arms, take a breath, and knock on the door.

I hear my CEO’s muffled voice. “Are available.”

I crack the door and peek by way of the opening. “Hey, Rick,” I say. “I’m a bit early—”

Rick is taking a look at his monitor, typing. “No drawback.” He appears up and smiles. “Early is nice.” He slurps some espresso. “Come on in.” He places the mug down with a thud. “Shut the door.”

I purse my lips, nod, and step into his workplace, closing the door behind me. Rick gestures at one of many chairs in entrance of his desk. “Have a seat,” he says. I sit down. “How’s your first week going?”

I’m a copywriter, 4 days into my first position at Rick’s advertising company. It’s a small, busy store, specializing in lead-gen web sites. I used to be employed on the again of my direct advertising expertise and informed I’d be specializing in writing conversion belongings — touchdown pages, e mail campaigns, banner adverts — however I might be tapped for different tasks, too.

“Oh,” I say, “I adore it right here. All people’s been so welcoming.”

“Nice to listen to.” Rick crosses his arms and leans again. “I’ve obtained a challenge for you.”


“I would like you to jot down us a brand new tagline.”

He has some extra espresso. “Or wouldn’t it be a slogan?” He put the mug down. “I dunno.”

The distinction is nuanced however taglines and slogans aren’t interchangeable. Mainly, a tagline helps the targets of a enterprise whereas a slogan helps the targets of a particular marketing campaign. A tagline is a branding software. A slogan is a advertising software. A tagline ought to differentiate the model — and it’s there for the lengthy haul: might be years, and even a long time. A slogan ought to categorical the marketing campaign’s particular concept or message — and it has a shorter shelf life. A tagline is kind of perennial. A slogan will change with each marketing campaign.

“I feel a tagline,” I say. “If it’s for the enterprise typically.”

“Sure, a tagline,” Rick says. “Are you able to deliver me a couple of choices by subsequent week?” he asks. “Is that sufficient time?”

Writing a tagline doesn’t must be difficult.

It can be. That’s, you may make it so … however it can be easy.

You’ll be able to’t make it straightforward, sadly. It’s nonetheless inventive work, fraught with choices and self-doubt and, generally, agony. However having a course of — a sequence of clear, dependable steps — could make it easy, much less daunting.

For instance, most taglines are synthesized expressions of both:

So, to jot down a tagline, merely begin by writing out your PS or USP in as many phrases as obligatory. Then, edit for brevity and concision: reduce the phrase depend in half as soon as, twice, 3 times. Doing superb. Maintain going till you’re left with a sentence, one line. Then, put down the ax. It’s time to finesse, to make your tagline engaging to the plenty:

  • Make it clear. No fancy jargon, please. Fancy phrases are often large. And a giant phrase won’t ever impress The Reader as a lot as a giant concept, clearly expressed. Good copy, before everything, is known.
  • Make it useful. Throughout his profession, copywriter John Caples examined hundreds of headlines. “The perfect headlines attraction to folks’s self-interest,” he mentioned. So, act accordingly. Your tagline is the headline for what you are promoting. Inform people what’s in it for them.
  • Make it amusing. Puns, rhymes, wordplay, metaphors. This stuff are enjoyable. Individuals like enjoyable. (We bear in mind it, too.)

Carried out? Implausible! Now, rinse and repeat. Go once more, and once more, and once more. High quality comes from amount as a result of quantity is illuminating: the extra you write, the much less treasured and extra goal you’ll be about every line, which is the purpose.

“The less concepts you might have,” mentioned screenwriter Scott Dikkers, “the extra weight every concept holds in your thoughts.”

Certainly, as a copywriter, fetishizing one “darling” tag is counterproductive. Stifling your ideation prevents you from doing all of your finest work. As an alternative, have many tags, many choices. Don’t begin with solely three or 4 or 5. There’s not sufficient there, not sufficient slack. You’ll be compelled to settle. Higher to begin with 20 or much more — and pare down. The extra you chop, the higher. Ultimately, you’ll begin reducing concepts you truly like. That is the mark of true progress.

“Kill your darlings,” mentioned Stephen King. “Kill your darlings, even when it breaks your selfish little scribbler’s coronary heart.”

Sure, kill your darlings. It’s the one technique to produce your most interesting work, which can be the solely work you need to be placing in entrance of shoppers. When you’re requested to deliver “a couple of choices,” each should be viable.

When you wouldn’t need an concept to get picked, don’t deliver it to the desk. I realized this the exhausting approach:

“Subsequent week is okay,” I inform Rick. “I’ll flip it round.”

Per week later, I’m in his workplace once more. This time, I’ve a handful of tags for him to overview.

“Nice work, Ed—” he says, flipping by way of the deck I created. “What’s your favourite?”

I had one, the clear winner in my view. “This,” I say with out hesitation, pointing on the display screen.

Rick’s face turns bitter. “Eh,” he says, “I desire this one.” He’s pointing someplace else. “Let’s go along with this one.”

I decrease my chin. “I actually like this one,” I say. I’m smiling, making eye contact. I’m promoting now, explaining my choices: the readability of the message, the inclusion of a profit, the creativity of the phrasing. “It’s gotta be this one,” I say, pointing at my choice.

Rick appears again at me. He’s pursing his lips now. “Yeah,” he says, pointing at his choice, “it’s this one for me.”

Murphy’s Regulation tells us, “Something that may go improper, will go improper.”

Copywriter’s Regulation tells us one thing related:

“Any concept that may be picked, will likely be picked.”

“Why would you place one thing in entrance of me that you simply don’t need me to choose?” says Lou.

“Since you informed me to present you two concepts,” says Peggy.

Lou takes a beat. “You apparently solely gave me one.”




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments