Here are the definitions for each of these words from Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:
Tagline: A reiterated phrase identified with an individual, group, or product
Slogan: A brief attention-getting phrase used in advertising or promotion
Motto: A short expression of a guiding principle
A tagline is a phrase connected to either a company’s or a product’s brand. “We Try Harder” is the tagline for Avis and “Mmm, Mmm, Good” represents Campbell’s Soup. Each of these phrases tells you something about the company without speaking directly about their products or services.
A slogan is tied to a campaign. One of the latest campaign slogans is “Change We Need” used for Barack Obama’s presidential bid. Another older and successful slogan is “He likes it! Hey Mikey!” used in the ad campaign for Life cereal.
Mottos express how a company describes itself. Macy’s department store motto is “Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer”. It’s a description of how they feel they should do business.
Shrug these off as useless marketing nonsense? Well, see if you can you identify these taglines: “I’m Lovin It” and “They’re Grrrreat!”? They provide instant recognition for the company (McDonalds) or product (Frosted Flakes) for which they are associated. They stick in the mind of consumers and have long-lasting value.
Hopefully this post provides some clarity. The impact of taglines, slogans and mottos is Grrrreat! They get a point across and provoke emotion. If you’re already considering writing a tagline, slogan or motto we suggest that you Just Do It!