Friday, September 14, 2012

Tag. You're not it.

Toyota just went through a long and I'm guessing agonizing process with six of its marketing partners to create a new tagline for the brand.

"Let's go places."

Not bad. I like that it's inspirational, that it's inclusive and that it's built around the core functional reason someone buys a car.

But does it really matter?

Toyota became the #1 selling car maker in the world over the last 15 years while they used the following two taglines: Toyota. Everyday. (1997 – 2001) and Moving Forward (2004 – 2012).

If there's ever a case to be made that taglines are irrelevant, this is it. Neither of those lines are memorable, inspiring, or engaging, yet Toyota kicked GM's butt anyway.

Quick, what's Apple's tagline? What's IBM's? What's Google's? Looking at the list of the 100 most valuable global brands, it's pretty clear that taglines have very little effect on a brand's actual value.

So if you're having trouble coming up with a great tagline for your advertising, don't worry.

It's the company and product behind the tag that matters.


  1. Can't agree more. Tagline comes out of what you do. If it doesn't, then you don't need it. Otherwise it's just a way for agencies (coming from agency dude by the way) to push client into "You have to have a ..." project that has little to no value on its own.

    It's much more important to have a clear statement of who we are and what we stand for for people within a company to use than a forced tagline.

  2. I agree that having a tagline for tagline's sake is an errant path to take. If, however, the planets align and statements such as 'Just Do It',
    "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands', 'A Diamond is Forever', 'Don't Leave Home Without It', 'Got Milk', 'Think Different', and the lengthy 'There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's MasterCard' can take root and expand the power of a promise, then exploring such language is worth the trip.

  3. Thought their tagline was "Moving Forward"?

    1. It was from 2004 until this year. Now it's not.