Cafe Witness

Monday, July 14, 2008

When Good Taglines Go Bad

One of my favorite corporate taglines comes from Rite Aid, whose receipts issue their coda: "With us, it's personal."

I'm sure this is a tagline that the corporate decision-makers looked at and said, "Now *there's* a message that lets the customer know we care about them." And maybe some people actually get that when they see this slogan. But for me, the stark bluntness of that statement comes across as something menacing; a vague threat that lets you know exactly where you stand, should you decide to create problems for them (like asking for a price check on that pack of gum).

With a little digging, I was able to unearth a few of Rite Aid's rejected taglines, including:

* "Rite Aid: We know what you did."

* "Rite Aid: Don't make me come down there."

* "Rite Aid: You think we're kidding?"

* "Rite Aid: We'll come for you in the night."

* "Rite Aid: Lock your doors."

* "Rite Aid: Revenge is a dish best served in aisle five."

* "Rite Aid: We fucked your mom."

The moral? When choosing a tagline for your business / website / screenplay / business card / missed connection on Craigslist, make sure you analyze it from all angles -- not just how you intend for it to be understood, but how others *could* understand it.

Also: don't shoplift at Rite Aid. They know people.

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11 Comments:

  • Say hello to my little brand.

    By Blogger John R. Carman, at 10:37 AM  

  • Ha! Josh and I giggle at this every time we end up there.

    There's a sign posted with logo and tag, and it always feels like we're checking our safety at the door.

    By Blogger righteoustetris, at 10:50 AM  

  • Haha, that was cute.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 6:23 PM  

  • Don't forget my favorite:

    Rite Aid: We Will Eat Your Soul

    By Anonymous KevinKS, at 2:20 PM  

  • How about:

    Rite Aid: You talkin' to me?

    Rite Aid: Don't even think about it.

    Rite Aid: Did your mom pick out that shirt?

    That's fun, I could keep going. My marketing pet peeve is when advertising doesn't actually sell a product: http://larissagaston.typepad.com/blog/2008/07/positive-parrot.html

    (My other pet peeve is that TypePad gave me this horrendous number as my TypeKey instead of letting me choose my own)

    By OpenID 1212523018s4107, at 8:28 PM  

  • I believe the best tag is one that wasn't listed as a tag in the article. Nonetheless.

    Rite Aid: We KNOW People.

    By Blogger Tam, at 12:42 PM  

  • Rite Aid:Feelin' Lucky, Punk?

    By Blogger Justice Lives Not, at 1:07 PM  

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