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The Key To Creating a Tagline That Sticks

When you're bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day, one that makes you stop and think wins a piece of valuable mindshare.

The Key To Creating a Tagline That Sticks

Posted Thursday January 10th, 2019 by in Analysis + Strategy.

This past fall we launched the "You Are What You Heat" campaign for American GreenFuels. As the marketing agency for American GreenFuels, we had a big challenge: Educate the Connecticut public about biodiesel and encourage them to ask for biodiesel blended into their heating oil.

The benefits of biodiesel are manifold: It's good for the environment, certainly, but it's also good for the local economy since American GreenFuels is right here in Connecticut, employing local residents.

However, despite the benefits, we knew we needed a catchy tagline to put an idea into the minds of the consumers: The idea that their choice of heating oil truly matters.

To get an emotionally-resonant tagline, we turned to idiomatic English-language expressions that would feel familiar. “You are what you eat” is a well-known idiom that conjures images of whole foods, good eating habits, and the impact that food can have on your wellness.

Naturally, biodiesel has the same effect, just on the heating system and on the environment: What you put into the system, you get out. Thus, connecting the concepts together, we came up with “You Are What You Heat,” as a clever way to allude to the idiomatic expression while incorporating wordplay with the "heat vs. eat" rhyme scheme.

Such clever taglines don't work for all brands in all situations. But, in a world where you are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages per day, any expression that makes you stop and think, even if only for a moment, wins a piece of valuable mindshare in your customers and is a big win in the long-term game every brand plays to stay relevant, top-of-mind and in a positive mental position.

This time, we're the agency that came up with the "You Are What You Heat" campaign. But the process is one that anyone can follow: Draft the key message you want to communicate, brainstorm a group of idiomatic expressions that might be relevant, and see where you can blend the two.

Of course, this is only one way to create a tagline that sticks, but it's one of the most effective.

Have questions or want help? Give us a call!


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