Testing a Line for Effectiveness
The line may look good on paper, but there are some tests you can give the words to see if they really work:
Does the line help when you're ordering the product or service?
Some examples that do:
- "I want to have 'the ultimate driving machine'." (BMW)
- "Give me 'taste. Not waist'." (Weight Watchers Meals)
- "'Why fool around with anyone else?'" (FedEx)
Some examples that don't:
- "I want a beer that's 'good, but not that good.'" (Tennents)
- "I want two tickets to Brussels on 'Britain's second-largest international scheduled airline'!" (Air Europe -- now out of business)
Does it prompt a sarcastic or negative response?
Some examples that do:
- Delta Airlines: "We get you there."
- Mobil: "We want you to live."
- FileMaker software: "What's your problem?"
- Eastern Airlines: "We have to earn our wings every day."
Does it sound a bit pompous?
This is where you read the line with the utmost gravity, like an American narrator in a 50's corporate film, giving it the true spin of importance. These fail the test:
- Ariel Ultra: "Digests the fatty food stains ordinary compacts leave behind at 40°."
- Churchill: "Surprisingly passionate about insurance."
- Kyocera: "Doing what others dare not."
- Olivetti: "Our force is your energy."
- The Hair Clinic: "Where excellence is an everyday word."
Does it reek of 'corporate-speak', sounding unreal?
- Most banks: "Where people make the difference."
- Ames Rubber: "Excellence through total quality."
- Neptco: "Committed to innovation, quality and service."
- Powergen: "We do everything in our power to put you first."
- United Research: "Accelerating strategic change."
Does it make you say "Ho hum...", like these?
- Cadillac: "It out-steps its own great traditions!"
- Izod Lacoste: "We are what others pretend to be."
- Staffordshire Building Society: "A real building society -- mutual since 1902."
- Currie Motors: "Nice people to do business with."
- "Visit your Tetrad stockist and discover the Tetrad lifestyle."
Does it make you say "Oh yeah?"
- British Rail. We're getting there.
- British Telecom. It's you we answer to.
- Kmart. Changing for the better.
- Tellabs. Leadership in providing innovative solutions to the telecommunications industry worldwide.
Does it sound a bit mixed up?
- Caltex Oil. At the heart of your engine. And the community.
- XS Health. Medical insurance for you. Because you don't get ill.
- Stillwell Ford. We put people in front of cars.
In any event, here's to more creative, effective slogans. We'll be watching!