Taglines, or slogans as you civilians call them, are the bows on our shiny ad packages of bullshit.
Oil heat. It's just better...Fair & balanced...Visa—it's everywhere you want to be...The Axe effect...Always the lowest price. Always...You're not fully clean until you're Zest-fully clean...An Army of one...You've got questions, we've got answers...An American revolution...Beyond petroleum...Kills bugs dead...The war on terror...Lies, lies, lies, yeah...
- A funny tagline faux pas happened back in the 1980s. A competitor took Goodyear to court over its unsubstantiated claim "the best tires in the world have Goodyear written all over them." After losing, Instead of coming up with something else (we invented the fucking tire?), Goodyear added a pathetic "we say" to the front of their old slogan. Bridgestone and Michelin have since passed them in sales.
- Avis's very successful "We're #2, we try harder" is highlighted in many of the self-important "great campaigns through history" ad books. But, when they first starting running that sucker in the 1960s, Avis was only about the 4th or 5th largest car rental company.
- One of the most beloved taglines of all time is Hallmark's "when you care enough to send the very best." What a load of hooey. How 'bout "when you care so little that you sign your name to an impersonal, generic stanza?"
My all-time favorite is Schaefer's "the one beer to have when you're having more that one." One sip of that shit, and you'd want to deaden your tastebuds as quickly as possible.
Happy New Year, everybody—2007's gonna be Heaven!
(Above is the first tagline I ever sold for tiny Kulka wiring devices. We created a character named Sergeant Kulka. While maybe not a lie, it was at least a gross exaggeration.)
94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan "Truth Well Told." That was a Big Fat Lie. Advertising copywriter copyranter brings you instances of Ad Lies and the Lying Liars who sell them.
Earlier: The Balveenie Weenie