Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Education and other animals...

Some of you may already know that I used to run a creative design course at Loughborough University. I have always had a keen interest in education and being able to pass on some of my
experience to upcoming designers. It's a really rewarding aspect of my job and can also be inspiring too.

Running the PE business takes up most of my time nowadays so I don't get as much time as I used to for my lecturing interests. However I always spend at least three days per year working in education and its always refreshing to do so. It kind of brings you down to earth when you realise that after 30 years you know quite a bit about your specialist subject!

This week I was back in the classroom with some young design students in Leicester. My task was to give a talk on the design business and to hopefully inspire. In addition I was asked to set an "industrial project" for the second year students to undertake.

Part of the brief I gave them was to "create a strapline" for their campaign. This simple request was met with some quizzical looks and I realised that most of them didn't realise what a strapline actually is. Of course it's easy to think that people understand what we are all talking about and I often use phrases and words that mean a lot to us within our profession but to the uninitiated can seem like total gobbledegook!

So, I had to expand on my description about what a strapline is and by means of demonstration asked them to tell me what product or brand I was referring to but by my only saying the strapline.

Below are the examples I used, why not see how many you can get...?
I'm loving it
Is it
Finger lickin' good
Vorsprung durch tecknik
Just do it
Every little helps
Never knowingly undersold
Does exactly what it says on the tin
Helps you work rest and play
Think different
I think therefore I....
Because you're worth it
Believe in better
Taste the rainbow
The ultimate driving machine

I have no doubt that most of these will be easy to recall and it underlines the importance of having a consistent brand presence. It is true that some strap lines have made it into popular culture going way beyond their original intention. When is happens it can be very powerful but can often remove the brand from phrase.

Go to work on an egg
Beans meanz Heinz
Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet
Tell them Sid sent you
I'm tiger woods
All because the lady loves...
A taste of paradise
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas
Probably the best (anything) in the world
Because she's worth it

This crossover into popular culture has resulted in some becoming a part of our everyday life. A bit like calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover, or a loudspeaker a Tannoy. Same goes for calling any MP3 player an iPod...or if you were around in the 80s, a Walkman!

And don't get me started on cinematic straplines  - there are so many brilliant ones:

In space no one can hear you scream
He's afraid, he's alone, he's three million light years from home
They're here...
Who you gonna call...?
The greatest fairytale never tld

For the record, one of my absolute favourite straplines was used to change the perception of a seemingly mundane product into a premium brand:

"Reassuringly expensive"

Only two words, just TWO words, think about that....that turned Stella Artois from its Belgian cheap booze pedigree into one of the UKs premier seemingly higher value alcohol brands. Brilliant. Simple.

Such is the power of the strapline. Get it right and it can be a powerful ally in your marketing armoury. If you are really lucky it could cross over into popular culture, if not that at the very least recognised by your peers.

And on to my least liked - and this is such an over used strapline it almost looses its credibility the second I read it. Ironically it can be applied to how most organisations believe their product or service is. It the inimitable and ubiquitous "Simply the best"......Arghhhh! All I can think of is Tina Turner dressed as an 80's style Amazonian warrior in Mad Max - Return to Thunderdome.

I am hoping 'my students' will come back in a couple of weeks with some brand new inspiring straplines (hopefully not 'simply the best') If they do I will let you know...but no matter,  I am excited to be back helping them and am looking forward to the results. 

Why not let us know what your favourite strapline is and if you don't have one, why not get us to help you develop one?

Call us now on 01332 291141 and we can discuss the possibilities...

No comments:

Post a Comment