Taglines: The Good, The Meh, The Mishandled

We recently explored the moribund state of the jingle, which leads us today to think about the tagline. In a recent post, a creative director asked if the tagline was dead -- and concluded that it mostly was.

He has a point. Running through the most memorable taglines and slogans, most were invented in the 20th century. Here are a few of the most memorable taglines since 2000:

Capital One: “What’s in your wallet?” This tagline actually launched in 1999, but we’ll include it in this roundup because it’s probably the catchiest tagline in the post-millennial era. Capital One has buttressed the tagline by using actors like Jennifer Garner, Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne to utter the line.

McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It.” McDonald’s unveiled this in 2003. By 2010, it was the chain’s most successful and longest-running slogan.



Dunkin’ Donuts: “America runs on Dunkin.’” Launched in 2006 by Hill, Holiday, it was part of the biggest repositioning in the chain’s history.

Meh taglines:

In 2013, Chevrolet introduced  its “Find new roads” tagline to replace “Chevy runs deep.” Nine years later, it’s not rolling off anyone’s tongue.

General Electric unveiled “Imagination at work” to replace, “We bring good things to life,” which had been around since 1979. But in 2020, GE replaced that with “Building a world that works,” which is not on its corporate website.

Mishandled taglines:

Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” was clear and memorable, but in 2016, it was axed in favor of “Can you see me now?” That tagline is nowhere on Verizon’s website.

In 2015, Mazda scrapped “Zoom zoom” and ran with “Driving matters.” Mazda’s current site doesn’t include “Driving matters.”

So far, the early 21st century doesn’t seem to be a golden era for corporate taglines. But the occasional success of some proves it's still a valuable goal. It’s worth noting that brands like Progressive, Geico, Amazon, Google and Microsoft currently lack memorable taglines -- a fact that doesn’t seem to hurt those brands.

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