Let’s get emotional

Al Ries had a great article in yesterday’s Advertising Age magazine about emotion and slogans. Pundits have suggested for some time now that brands need to make an emotional connection with the user. Many companies have created a social networking strategy to help build that elusive emotional connection. Fine.

However, in parallel with this attempt to build an emotional connection, brand marketers are working hard with their advertising agencies to create shorter and shorter tag lines, most of which are either pointless or obscure at worst, or lack emotion at best. Al makes great points on this entire subject in his well written article.

I have always been a proponent of short tag lines. In fact, in my first marketing book, It’s Not Rocket Science, I used the rule of thumb I learned from long-time marketer, Ron Denchfield, that tag lines needed to be six words or less. While I have never been hard over about the six words, it was an acceptable goal. (Many of the great tag lines Ries cites are close to that length.) Today it appears marketers are trying for 1-3 words. Hard to make a sensible connection in most cases, much less an  emotional one.

Ries ends his article with this appropriate line: “How long should a slogan be? It should be long enough to reach an emotional connection in the consumer’s mind.”


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