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30 Foolproof Tagline Formulas for Copywriters Who Need to Phone It In

30 Foolproof Tagline Formulas for Copywriters Who Need to Phone It In

We’ve all been there. You’re out of the office when the client calls and demands a tagline (or three) by next morning or the end of the weekend or whatever other inopportune time frame you can imagine.

Maybe you’re about to start the only public screening of the Helvetica documentary. Maybe your favorite sportsball team is fighting for a playoff spot. Maybe time is running out on an out-of-state booty call. Maybe your vintage typeset collection won’t sort itself.

Point is that you’re off the clock and not buying into the idea that your client’s lack of planning is your emergency.

But if you don’t want to come back to work to find your Kidrobot collection boxed up with a pink slip when you return, you know you’re going to have to deliver…something. That’s when it pays to have a plug-and-play formula so you can fill in the blanks like it’s a copywriting mad lib and get back to your life.

So, in the name of work-life balance, I’ve reached out to copywriters from across the web to compile a list of foolproof formulas that can pass muster with all but the toughest of clients. Consider it your “break glass in case of emergency” resource to keep the party going without shedding clients like agency staffers shed dignity at the holiday party.

Since there are quite a few of these, they’re broken down into categories, and I’ve tried to whip up an example execution for each formula so you get a good idea of how each one works. Enjoy them. Bookmark them for easy reference. And then get back to living.

 

DEFINING & REDEFINING A CATEGORY

 
 

It’s not (category), it’s (brand name)

Example

Brand: Bob’s Watches

Tagline: It’s not a watch. It’s a Bob.
 
 

(Category) defined

via copywriter Lynnie Henderson

Example

Brand: Bob’s Hip Hop Grills

Tagline: Luxury defined
 
 

(Category) redefined

via media relations director Doug Hecox

Example

Brand: Bob’s Campers

Tagline: Travel redefined
 
 

There’s (noun), and there’s (brand) (noun).

via founder of RedShift Writers, Daniel J. Cohen

Example

Brand: Bob’s Barbeque

Tagline: There’s barbeque, then there’s Bob’s Barbeque.
 
 

There’s (adjective), and there’s (brand) (adjective).

via founder of RedShift Writers, Daniel J. Cohen

Example

Brand: Bob’s Bulk Buying Warehouse

Tagline: There’s smart, then there’s Bob’s smart.
 
 

There’s (brand), and there’s everything else.

Example

Brand: Bob’s

Tagline: There’s Bob’s, and there’s everything else.
 
 

The un-(category)

Example

Brand: Bob’s Savings & Loan

Tagline: The unbank.
 
 

A different kind of (category)

Example

Brand: Bobthorn Suites

Tagline: A different kind of hotel.
 
 

That’s the (brand name) difference

via copywriter Alan Spackman

Example

Brand: Bob’s Hardware

Tagline: That’s the Bob’s Hardware difference
 
 

(Category), (improved in some way)

via copywriter and creative director Dylan Powell

Example

Brand: Bob’s Ledgers

Tagline: Accounting, streamlined
 
 

(Product). It’s what we do.

via senior copywriter Joel Weaver

Example

Brand: Bob’s Paint.

Tagline: Paint. It’s what we do.
 
 

IDENTIFYING WITH THE AUDIENCE

 
 

Smart (audience) choose (brand).

Example

Brand: Bob’s Kibble.

Tagline: Smart pet parents choose Bob’s.
 
 

The one (audience) wants.

Example

Brand: Bob’s Leggings

Tagline: The one women want.
 
 

FOCUS ON THE BRAND

 
 

(Brand). Ask for it by name.

Example

Brand: Bob’s Whiskey

Tagline: Bob’s Whiskey. Ask for it by name.
 
 

It’s (brand) time

Example

Brand: Bobigio’s Pizza

Tagline: It’s Bobigio time.
 
 

Don’t touch my (brand)

Example

Brand: Bob’s Potato Chips

Tagline: Don’t touch my Bob’s
 
 

I don’t go anywhere without my (brand)

Example

Brand: Bob’s Pheromone Spray

Tagline: I don’t got anywhere without my Bob’s
 
 

It’s (brand) or nothing

Example

Brand: Bob’s

Tagline: It’s Bob’s or nothing
 
 

FOCUS ON QUALITIES OF THE BRAND

 
 

(Adjective) by design

via copywriter Craig Walker

Example

Brand: Bob’s Organic Meals

Tagline: Delicious by design
 
 

When you have to (requirement), it’s time for (brand)

Example

Brand: Bobberford Suits

Tagline: When you have to look good, it’s time for Bobberford.
 
 

(Feature or Benefit). (Feature or Benefit). (Brand name).

via founder of RedShift Writers, Daniel J. Cohen

Example

Brand: Bob’s Legal

Tagline: Dependable. Available. Bob’s Legal.
 
 

(Verb)(noun)(adjective)

via copywriter Aimee Rhodd

Example

Brand: Bob’s Sandals

Tagline: Making feet happy
 
 

TIME & TENURE

 
 

Making (noun) (adjective) since (year).

via copywriter Aimee Rhodd

Example

Brand: Bob’s Cameras

Tagline: Making surveillance fun since 1984
 
 

(Verb) (noun) since (year)

via copywriter Aimee Rhodd

Example

Brand: Bob’s Sealant

Tagline: Preventing leaks since 1952
 
 

FOR EVERYONE / EVERYTHING ELSE

 
 

Some (noun) (ideal situation). For everything else, there’s (brand).

Example

Brand: Bob’s Computer Repair

Tagline: Some computers work without fail. For everything else, there’s Bob’s Computer Repair.
 
 

Some (noun) (verb) (adjective). For everyone else, there’s (brand)

Example

Brand: Bob’s Volcano Sauce

Tagline: Some people live mild. For everyone else, there’s Bob’s Volcano Sauce.
 
 

For some, (quality) comes naturally. For everyone else, there’s (brand).

Example

Brand: Bob’s Face Cream

Tagline: For some, beauty comes naturally. For everyone else, there’s Bob’s.
 
 

Some things in life are (inherent requirement). (Brand) take(s) care of the rest.

via founder of RedShift Writers, Daniel J. Cohen

Example

Brand: Bob’s Investment Advisors

Tagline: Some things in life are easy to predict. Bob’s Investment Advisors take care of the rest.
 
 

FLEXIBLE FORMULAS

Consummate copywriter and creative director Shane Strudwick shares delivers his formula more like a cocktail recipe. As a provider of ideas with flavor, I approve:

“Take empowering words like rethink, imagine and better. Add product or company. A good verb, or two. Put in shaker with 2oz of bourbon, some vermouth and bitters. Shake. Strain. Pour over ice. And garnish with an adjective.”

So let’s see if I can put this into a formula or two like the other entries here.
 
 

(empowering verb) (category) (adjective/adverb)

Via creative director and copywriter Shane Strudwick

Example

Brand: Bob’s Hardbody Gym

Tagline: Imagine fitness elevated
 
 

Rethink (category)

Via creative director and copywriter Shane Strudwick

Example

Brand: Bob’s Electric Bikes

Tagline: Rethink your commute

 

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Hal Werner
Hal Werner
Hal Werner is a content strategist, digital marketer and idea man based in the Dallas, Texas area.

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