5 Types Of Terrible Taglines

Beware of terrible taglines. Taglines are tough. In general, we don’t recommend using them because they put a tremendous amount of pressure on a tiny piece of messaging to communicate EVERYTHING about your brand. That’s damn near impossible to do, so why bother? Even the most well compensated ad execs, with million dollar budgets have come up with some truly terrible taglines.

If you find it necessary to create a tagline, below are 5 tagline traps to avoid. A tagline in one of these categories is bound to do more harm than good.


The Strength To Be There. – AIG

Strength to be where? And do what? How? Why? Be more vague. You can’t.

Ask Why – Enron

Ask Why? Why? Why Should I ask why? Maybe you should have taken your own advice there too Enron… Just saying.


We Want You To Live – Mobil

Umm… Thanks? Why wouldn’t you Mobil? Why do you feel the need to say this? And why do you feel the need to say this so much that you made it your tagline?!

Distilled In Hell – Bacardi Spice

A little aggressive there Bacardi. Settle down.


We Get You There – Delta

I assumed that was the case.

Eat Jimmy Dean – Jimmy Dean

If only advertising was that easy…


A Good Place To Sit And Eat – Denny’s

That’s it? That’s the BEST you can do? Really inspiring stuff.

Drive One – Ford

No Thanks.


We’re Chicken – Tyson

Uhh…like actually? Like is the CEO a chicken? A couple accountants?

Why Fool Around With Anyone Else? – FedEx

Maybe because she was more emotionally available? Maybe she had better legs? Maybe because the other mail carrier is cheaper and more reliable? I wasn’t thinking about your competitors until you reminded me about them.

So what makes for a good tagline?

You need to ask yourself a few questions in order to determine a. if you even need a tagline and b. what type of tagline works best for your business.



First off, do you have a descriptive business name?

If you have a descriptive company name, like BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE. You don’t need a tagline. The company name already says enough. However, if your name is a little more abstract, a descriptive tagline that speaks to what you do, or better yet, the benefit of what you do would work well.

Next question you need to ask is what do you want your tagline to do for you.



Most people try to communicate too much in a tagline, and end up with something convoluted and confusing. You need to be clear about what it is you want your tagline to communicate. If it’s descriptive in nature, be specific. If not, another avenue is to create a tagline that evokes emotion. Think “I’m loving it” by Mcdonalds. What emotion do you want associated with your business?

Lastly, Be succinct!

5 words max. The best taglines are sexier worded versions of your brand idea. They aren’t meant to communicate EVERYTHING you want to say to customers, but instead communicate something specific, such as a benefit you deliver, “Have It Your Way” -Burger King, are inspirational “Just Do It” – Nike, evoke emotion “I Love New York” – NY State Department, speak to the quality of your product “The Ultimate Driving Machine” – BMW, or directly speak to how you are drastically different from competitors “It’s not TV, It’s HBO” – HBO.

Give your tagline the attention and creative thought it deserves, and it could become a staple of your brand. And if you need help, you know where to find us.

Want to learn more about branding?

Check out what Branding for the People can do for your company with our free branding resources, case studies, and our branding courses. Check out what we can do for your company!

Ready To Transform Your Brand?