We’ve all seen double-meaning taglines before.
They can be clever, funny, and thought-provoking. But more importantly, almost all these catchphrases are extremely memorable to the point of becoming a priceless asset for any brand.
Brands that can pull this one off effectively go to market with an ace up their sleeve.
That ace is a tool to land in the mind of their target audience to enhance brand recall.
In this article, we discover why this type of tagline is so effective and review 30 unique examples to inspire your brand-building development.
Double Meaning Brand Taglines
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Why Double Meaning Brand Taglines Work
I’ve seen plenty of double-entendre tagline examples in my time.
Some made me laugh out loud, others made me think, some were from iconic brands (like KFC’s Finger lickin’ good or Allstate’s You’re in good hands), and others were from small business owners and tradesmen with dirty minds.
But why are double-meaning (or double-entendre) taglines so effective and considered the holy grail of taglines?
The answer to that question lies in the role of the tagline.
The tagline plays a strategic role.
In partnership with the logo, It’s the chief of brand recall.
Many people confuse the tagline with company slogans or even a jingle. But their roles differ: A tagline encompasses the entire brand, like Nike’s Just do it.
On the flip side, a catchy slogan represents a specific marketing campaign, like M&M’s famous Melts in your mouth, not in your hand. Though in some cases, particularly successful advertising slogans become taglines because they’re just so memorable, which is what happened to fast food giant McDonald’s and its iconic I’m lovin’ it.
Another popular example of a slogan becoming a tagline (at least in the mind of consumers) is Mastercard’s There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard.
The brand’s actual tagline is Priceless, but the longer version is significantly more popular.
In contrast, can you think of American Express’s tagline?
At any rate, the job of a tagline is to land and take root in the audience’s mind to enable them to easily “recall” the brand name — either on cue or during the buying decision process.
The more memorable a tagline, the more chance it has of achieving its strategic goal. Sometimes, it takes brands many tries before achieving success — and others, brands change their tagline, but a previous version is more memorable and thus, the new iterations are largely ignored.
Such is the case of State Farm’s Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there, which the brand dropped in 1971 — which has now been replaced by “Here to help life go right.”
A brand tagline with a double meaning makes neural connections in the brain between the dual meanings which influences the way the brain stores it to memory.
And though the explanation is complex, the result is pretty straightforward. You just need to read, got milk? to see what we mean. This 30-year-old campaign by California Milk Processor Board has earned a permanent spot in the minds of consumers across the globe.
In short, you remember catchy taglines like these more easily than others because of how the brain stores them. However, you also need a memorable brand to go with. Let’s play a quick game to illustrate this point:
Whom do you think of when we say, the quicker picker upper? What about betcha can’t eat just one?
If you identified Bounty and Lay’s, we can call both successful.
So, let’s take a look at some epic examples.
Brand Tagline Example #1
Taste The Feeling – Coke
Coca-Cola’s positioning strategy is based on the feeling of happiness. Their ownership of this position is so strong they don’t even need to mention the actual feeling.
Tagline Meaning #1:
Experience the feeling of happiness
Tagline Meaning #2:
The taste of Coke is the taste of happiness.
Coke + Feeling + Taste + Happiness
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Brand Tagline Example #2
Nothing Runs Like A Deere – John Deere
Few brands can say they’ve been around longer than Coke, but John Deere is one of those historical brands (Founded in 1837).
They’ve been a consistent pillar in agriculture for over 180 years and their tagline leans into that reliability.
Tagline Meaning #1:
Nothing compares to the majestic run of a deer
Tagline Meaning #2:
Nothing runs as reliably as a John Deere vehicle
John Deere + Deer + Reliable
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Brand Tagline Example #3
“Connecting People” – Nokia
Two-word taglines are rare. Effective two-word taglines are even more so. Effective two-word taglines with relevant double meanings are like gold dust.
Nokia was the market leader in the mobile phone industry in the mid to late 90s before Apple and Samsung took over.
Their tag highlighted the two things the brand was built on. Connection and People.
We bring people together
We connect people through technology
Nokia + Connections + People
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Brand Tagline Example #4
“Make.Believe” – Sony
Sony’s products are tools of the imagination, from their video game products to their photography products.
Their tagline captures this idea beautifully by splitting a beloved word associated with youthful imagination.
Tagline Meaning #1:
Our products are tools for you to “Make believe”
Tagline Meaning #2:
“Make” what you believe or what you can imagine
Sony + Make Believe + Imagination + Create
Brand Tagline Example #5
“Challenge Everything” – EA
EA is one of the largest video game brands in the world.
Their tagline tugs at the competitive spirit of their customers and associates the brand with quality.
Don’t accept second best (quality)
Compete and be the best
EA + Quality + Competition + Winning
Brand Tagline Example #6
“Think Small” – Volkswagen Beetle
In a time when “Bigger is better” was the mantra across America, Volkswagen Zagged while everyone else Zigged.
The Beetle’s “Think Small” tagline challenged perceptions and associated the brand with smart independence and value.
Think for yourself, not all that’s bigger is better
You don’t have to spend so big
Volkswagen Beetle + Smart + Independence + Value
Brand Tagline Example #7
“What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas”
Las Vegas is a truly unique place like no other in the world.
This is a tagline that defines its brand almost poetically.
Whether you’ve been there or not, this tagline has no doubt landed in your mind to make countless connections that paint the picture of the Las Vegas experience.
The Las Vegas experience is found nowhere else
Your preferred debauchery, its available here (and can stay here)
Las Vegas + Experience + Unique + Debauchery
Brand Tagline Example #8
“The Best Men Can Be” – Gillette
Gillette has been a mainstay for 120 years.
Gillette’s original tagline “The Best A Man Can Get” is over 30 years old. Their recent “toxic masculinity” campaign promoted “#thebestmencanbe” (a new tagline variation), and tested a shift in positioning slightly towards a more responsible purpose-driven stance that challenged men to lead society forward.
Like Apple, McDonald’s and Nike before them, Gillette are staking a claim to own a coveted brand idea in the mind of their audience.
(Though they may have fallen short based on the mixed temperature on their campaign).
Meaning Number #1:
Gillette brings out the best version of the man (Appearance)
Meaning Number #2:
Be the best man you can be (Integrity)
(Intended) Neural Connections:
Gillette + Best + Integrity + Responsible
Brand Tagline Example #9
“Seafood Differently” – Red Lobster
Since 1968 Red Lobster has been “committed to bringing you a seafood experience you won’t find anywhere else.”
Their tagline plays on the visionary aspect of the food experience Rob Lobster offers and the uniqueness of the brand experience.
Our Seafood experience is unique
Envision seafood from a different perspective
Red Lobster + Seafood + Different + Experience
Brand Tagline Example #10
“Where’s The Beef?” – Wendy’s
As big as Wendy’s is, it’s dwarfed by the size of its giant competitors McDonald’s and Burger King.
With their tagline “Where’s the beef?” Wendy’s took an “against position” on their giant competitors and pointed to the quality (or lack of) in their burgers.
This association with the big boys landed Wendy’s in their audience’s mind whenever they considered an alternative.
Our competitors use less beef
The beefiest burgers are here
Wendy’s + Beef + Quality + Better
Brand Tagline Example #11
“Let’s Go Places” – Toyota
One of the biggest vehicle manufacturers in the world, Toyota is known for excellence. This tagline is the perfect mix of aspirational and practical.
Your vehicle is reliable and will take you places
Head out on an adventure
Toyota = reliability + adventure
Brand Tagline Example #12
“Shave Time, Shave Money” – Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club started as a small business trying to take on an industry with established players like Gillet.
They did so by taking the hassle out of shaving, and their messaging reflects this minimalist approach. In just four words, they manage to convey a message that speaks directly to their audience while being incredibly memorable.
Save time and money on a tedious task (shaving)
Know that it’ll always be there thanks to its subscription model
Affordable + practical = Dollar Shave Club
Brand Tagline Example #14
“America Runs On Dunkin” – Dunkin’ Donuts
The coffee and donut giant developed this tagline to represent the Americans’ fast-paced lives — and how coffee is an essential element of sustaining that lifestyle. It’s also a subtle dig at the public’s preference for Dunkin over its competitors.
Coffee is energy
Dunkin is the best coffee
Dunkin = energy & satisfaction
Brand Tagline Example #15
“Because You’re Worth It” –L’Oréal
The cosmetics giant coined one of the most minimalist, memorable taglines in the industry by emphasizing that yes, you deserve to take care of yourself. It’s both a testament to the quality of the products themselves and the fact that it’s ok to invest in that quality because you are worth it.
You deserve to feel good
L’Oréal is an investment in yourself
Quality + self-care + empowerment
Brand Tagline Example #16
“The Happiest Place On Earth” – Disneyland
Disney’s tagline represents both a physical place — Disneyland — and the fictional places we visit when interacting with the brand, whether through sets, attractions, or any other of the brand’s experiences.
This park is the literal happiest place on Earth
You’re safe and free of worry here
Entertainment + Fantasy + Quality
Telling you that a tagline is an important brand element is like telling you the sky is blue… You get it.
But you now get something about taglines that the rest of the world doesn’t.
Your tagline is a short sentence that needs to encompass your entire brand message. Different taglines are stored in different ways and if you can ask the brain to make neural connections, you enhance your chances of it being remembered.
Iconic taglines and brand slogans that end up becoming taglines have the power to transform a generation, just like L’Oréal’s I’m worth it did back in the 20th century. De Beers’s A diamond is forever transformed the jewelry industry and the audience’s perception of diamonds.
Others, like Verizon’s Can you hear me now? eventually fade from collective memory as new technologies emerge. Some brands, like Maybelline New York, rely on double-entendre to sell a product. In this particular case, their tagline, Maybe she’s born with it, is broadly recognized — but it has a subtle dig at natural beauty by implying that maybe, it’s not really natural but enhanced with Maybelline.
Regardless, a tagline can make a consumer think different about your brand, ultimately placing it top of mind.
A double-meaning tagline should never sacrifice clarity and simplicity.
But if added to these two characteristics, it can set root in the exact position you want to own for your brand.
Are you building a brand for yourself or a client?
Have you ever developed a double-meaning brand tagline before?
I’d love to hear your greatest tagline challenges or favourite double-meaning tagline examples from brands like BMW, Avis, or other industry leaders.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments Right Now!
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