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  • 06 October 2015

    Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink

    You don’t have to be approaching retirement to recognize the famous line from one of Monty Python’s more risqué sketches about the sex-starved lad-about-town and the suburban commuter. It’s one of those sketches whose strapline has gone down in the annals of comic history.

    When is a strapline not a strapline?

    In the same way, many companies try to develop “straplines” for their company, brand or product to try to distinguish it from their competitors. But let’s start at the beginning:

    A strapline is not a headline. A headline announces information about a product or company at the top of an advertisement or front of a brochure and works in the same way as a newspaper headline, enticing the reader to read more.

    A strapline does what it implies – it lies strapped to the company or brand logo, usually at the bottom of an ad or brochure signoff page.

    So what’s the secret?

    The secret is relevance.

    A great many straplines you see these days are irrelevant, forgettable and – most unforgiveable – boring.

    If you are to develop a strapline for your company, practice, firm, brand or product it must be relevant to the name you are strapping it to. Too many businesses forget this – how many times have you been stuck behind a bus in traffic reading the lower rear poster ad for a double glazing company with the strapline “Simply the Best”? This just about identifies the problem – anyone can say that about their business and it conveys nothing unique about them. The same goes for “Where quality comes first” or “We can help”. None of them have any individual quality that sets them apart. No relevance.

    Where to make a start

    First, if you are talking about your company, what is it you make? who is it for? how is it made? where do you sell it? By writing the answers to these down, you will begin to assemble the essential ingredients for the strapline recipe. Careful mixing can result in something more memorable to your target audience – and it will be relevant, too. Eventually, you should end up with a strapline that embodies the brand values and positioning of your business.

    Some examples to spur you on

    Below are some straplines from clients we have worked for over the years and, beside them, the clients BUT not in the same order; can you match the strapline to the client?

    The science of silence

    Intelligent connections

    The quarter turn game changer

    Champions of safety

    At our best under pressure



    FHS Motor Racing

    BTB Exhausts


    …..and in the words of Monty Python – “say no more!”