Writing Taglines for Promotional Materials

Writing Taglines for Promotional Materials

Writing a tagline for swag like mugs, keychains and pens is a tough task. Managing the project from concept to shipment doesn’t have to be with these tools.

It’s the “hot potato” project of business writing: the tagline. “We need a tagline for our promotional materials. Marketing is doing a big industry convention next month. Come up with something good and order 500 mugs, 5,000 pens and whatever else you think people like.” The marketing department dumps the project on you. How do you find the right slogan, blend it with your logo, then find someone to make a bunch of swag within your budget constraints?

First things first: the tagline.

How to Write a Corporate Tagline for Promotional Materials

Before starting on any project, do your homework. A committee, peer, or former employee may have already tackled the task and created one. Be careful, though; what looks like an earlier tagline may be part of a highly-targeted advertising campaign, and corporate officers higher up may not be pleased if you destroy a carefully-crafted branding project.

If you have one already written, then great! Use it. If not, keep the following questions in mind when writing a tagline:

  • One-time use or ongoing? If the tagline and the swag are for a specific project, then make the writing as narrowly-focused and on topic as possible.
  • Humor or serious? Some campaigns welcome humor. For some, though, the subject is too serious.
  • Will it receive corporate approval? Just because you think it works doesn’t mean your managers will. Always get approval from higher-ups before spending thousands of dollars on a marketing tool that they don’t like.

Which Swag Are You Buying?

From custom coffee mugs to bumper stickers, promotional materials for your corporation or project need to have a tagline that fits. You don’t use branded lighters as swag for an anti-smoking campaign!

On the other hand, you also have a unique opportunity for some positive tie-ins. Working at a convention that involves arthritis patients? Rubber jar openers with a logo and phrase would be a popular, and appreciated, promotional item.

Plan out the items before writing the tagline, if possible. Here’s why.

Writing for Physical Objects

If the tagline doesn’t fit, you can’t just quit. Your 17-word phrase won’t fit on that keychain. A 19-word phrase in two-point font defeats the marketing purpose of a pencil (unless you’re marketing to near-sighted folks). Taglines need to fit physical objects.

Examine the space where the text will go. In some cases, if you have no choice and need to use a variety of objects in different sizes, consider creating a tagline that can be modified for different sizes and lengths.

Some simple guidelines make the process of writing and ordering slogan-based promotional items a fairly straightforward process for business writers. By keeping relevance of the message and physical object tie-in as your primary goals, you can create a tagline that is fresh and helps with corporate or project branding.

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