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Jul 14, 2009



Love the Ablion tag line. I do wish I taken a photo of the scaffolding trucks that I used to see in West London a few years ago. I can't recall the name of the company but the tag line was 'for a better class of errection'. Ooh er.


The best one I've seen was on a builders' van, "You've tried the cowboys, now try the Indians".

graham peake

Good job they are not in sewage disposal.

Jacob Hinson

This one is pretty good, i saw it in town the other week it says prices are sofa king low


Mike Reed

Ben, you make a point and then go on to refute it. Straplines are largely unnecessary: they're usually there because clients think they're something they ought to have. As often as not, and probably more, they're also reduced to bland, ineffectual tub-thumping words by the various committes they've endured. So you end up with 101 variations of "Committed to Delivery" or "Shaping the future" or some such.


Good straplines are really vauable, because they compress an entire brand story into one line, like the perfect movie pitch. This is why they've always been so important in advertising: if all the attention you get is the flicker of an eye, it helps if you can get your whole message across in that flicker.

Sometimes that message is very direct and functional ("You only pay for what you lay"); sometimes it's an emotional rallying cry that distills the spirit of the brand ("Just do it"). Either way, they're written in such a way that they're instantly memorable.

All of which makes them such bastards to write, of course. It's actually very hard to crystallise a brand that neatly and memorably. (Hence the 99% dross level.) If I'm honest, I reckon I've written only a handful of straplines that really work. I mean they all *work*, but half the time they're essentially filling space because the client really wanted one.

One of the ones that sticks in my mind was for an ad campaign for What Car? magazine some years back. My line was "Before you buy a car, buy What Car?" I venture to suggest that it tells you all you need to know, and the simple rhyme/repetition helps fix it quickly in your head.

If only they all turned out like that.


Mike, you are correct.

But I can't take you seriously because you can't spell valuable properly.

Steve Price

I smile everytime I see these trucks: http://www.modernmix.co.uk/


There was a fencing company near Bristol who's strapline was

"You tell us where to go, and we'll take a fence"



Nik, that is fab.

Dave Potter

Best (or worst) one I ever saw was a water sports company in Bristol with the strapline "for all your wet dreams". Certainly memorable but probably not in a good way.

andrea n

Only interesting one around Manchester is HSS Hire: 'A tool for every job'

Nick Asbury

I think most of the ‘proper’ branding and design companies have moved on from logo + strapline thinking, but I love the way the tradition carries on with these local companies – cement manufacturers, hairdressers, haulage companies. It’s like a kind of folk branding that exists beyond all the professional stuff and is better because of it. There’s a dodgy lingerie shop near me called ‘Thong In Cheek’ and a greasy spoon called ‘Posh and Breks’. Everyone in the area has heard of them, because everyone remembers the pun. It’s the original form of viral marketing.

The interesting thing is that if ‘Folk Branding’ was a company, it would be the biggest in the world, way bigger than all your WPPs. There should be a separate category for it in D&AD.

Mike Reed

Bloody designers. So pernickety about spelling.




I saw a great one in Sydney once, it was for a tanning salon:

"Our nearest competition is 193 million miles away"


this one is good:



this is a great scaffolding company in bristol. ride past it every day and chuckle.

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