Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 11 years and is a freelancing copywriter with 25-plus years of experience. His hockey wrist shot is better than yours.

The Great American Tagline is dead — has been for years. The few remaining good American taglines are being hunted down and killed by digital agencies and marketers daily. Even the American Tagline That At Least Makes A Modicum Of Sense is dying.

Do you know what is still selling more shoes for Nike, right now, today, day-in and day-out, than ALL of its current ad and promo campaigns combined? “Just Do It.” Same thing with “Don’t Leave Home Without It” and American Express. That’s the power of a great tagline. Here are five of the worst:

Stella Artois: Be Legacy
Copywriters have long twisted, choked, and murdered the most basic grammar rules in attempts to make a brand edgier and stand out from competitors. But why is Stella demanding you, you slob, to “Be Legacy”? That’s a tall order for anybody, beer drinker or not.

stella
Actors representing Sebastien and Isabella Artois, the “founders” of Stella. Sebastien is dressed incorrectly for 1366.

Why not just: “Be Remembered” or “Be Better” or “Be Drunk”? “Be Drunk” is a damn good beer tag. Earlier this year, Twitter folks had a few other suggestions: “Be Legless,” “Be er” (heh), and “Be at wife” (backstory here on that last one).

Cîroc: LET’S GET IT

ciroc
Nice font, P. Doodle. Very forward moving.

Get WHAT? Some Cîroc? Some tail? The commercial does not help with the comprehension. Let’s Get Shitfaced? Let’s Get The Puke Stains Cleaned Off My Rental Tux? How about: Let’s Get Diddy in a roundtable discussion about his tagline.

Cadillac: DARE GREATLY

cadtag
More like SPEND GREATLY

A Cadillac is a car, correct? Yes? An American fighting with Kurds against ISIS? He’s daring greatly. Trying to stop 100 mph vulcanized rubber projectiles while wearing the skimpiest of face masks? Hockey goalies dare greatly.

Buying a Ford Pinto in the 1970s? OK, fine, that was daring. But being able to afford and then actually buying a $100,000 car in 2016? That’s not just ZERO daring, it’s negative daring.

Coors Light: The World’s Most Refreshing Beer

coorslight
The World’s Most Meaningless Tagline

How did they get this bullshit wiggle language approved by the FDA? Are they the “tastiest” beer in the world? No. Are they the … most “thirst quenching” beer in the world? No. What does refreshing mean here? That it has the most water of any beer in the world? I bet that’s how they got it approved.

WELLS FARGO: Together We’ll Go Far
This is a late-breaking entry:

 

wellsfargo

Yeah, to jail! Giddy up!

 

 

 

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