Why do people spit?

Yes, I know, because they can. Answers to this important question, and others like it, will never solve the riddle of the Sphinx, but they are great conversation starters. At least in my circle of sophistication. But the best conversation igniter of all, at least in my circle of marketing sophisticates, is none other than, what’s the best tagline ever? Ask this question at your local ad rodeo, or even your local rodeo, and strap yourself in for a wild ride.

I must admit, I’ve stuck to my concealed guns on this one for a long, long time. My favorite has always been the tagline for Raidkills bugs dead. It doesn’t just kill them, it murders them after killing them. Grab a can of Raid and watch the existentialists renounce their vows. It’s a double homicide, with a single victim. The tagline itself is short, and that’s good. It explains what the product does – not essential, but helpful, and it’s effective; excuse me, effectively effective.

I don’t much care for the cute stuff like Nyquil’s: The nighttime sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head fever so you can rest medicine. Where’s the punctuation? Oh yeah, they drank so much of the crap that they forgot it became the daytime, brain-frying, I flopped around in bed like a northern pike on a dock, so you can’t think clearly in the morning medicine. I must admit, I sort of like the straightforward approach to taglines. I have a certain fondness for Remington Products’ tagline by Victor Kiam, I liked it so much I bought the company. Later on, his son purchased Lady Remington and named the new company after his two daughters, Lia and Sophia. Thank god their names weren’t Marie and Antoinette – razors and guillotines are a bad tagline imagery.

Lots of marketing professionals get hung up with people confusing a tagline with a brand. Who cares? These are the same people who believe there’s nothing more important than building a brand. I got news for you, I’ve been building brands for nearly 35 years and nothing’s more important than building business. Period.

Hey, why don’t we do this? As long as we’re trying to start a conversation, shoot me your favorite and least favorite taglines. Just do it. It’s not a job, it’s an adventure. Make the taglines magically delicious, good to the last drop, and finger-lickin’ good! And while you’re at it, this online publication could use a little work, as we say in the plastic surgery business. What do you think of the tagline Greater Madison’s Online Business Resource? It’s a little on the dry side, but does it whet your appetite?

Sign up for the free IB Update – your weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. Click here.