How to write the perfect tagline

Taglines also have a shorter shelf life than ever, constantly at the mercy of new marketing directors with new marketing directions. So if you’re a copywriter, you’ll probably get a new tagline brief soon. But when you write a tagline, how do you know it’s great?

There’s one simple test that my old buddy, Ken Ratcliffe, and I found to be very reliable: Read your tagline out loud while pretending to be Al Michaels.

Al Michaels, as you know, is the legendary co-host of Sunday Night Football and, for me, the voice of the game. When he’s not commenting on the play-by-play action, Al has to banter, throw to commercial and, most importantly for ad people, read taglines.

Yes, you’ll notice when you watch the Sunday game, Al has to not only acknowledge sponsors by reading their names out loud, but also by reading their taglines. And it’s pretty apparent that when he does this, he really doesn’t enjoy what he’s doing.

Taglines. Companies love them. Some real people notice them occasionally. And others think they’re outdated or stupid. Some brands have ditched them completely. But they aren’t going away any time soon.