Use the Charm of Contrast For a Great Company Slogan Or Advertising Tag Line
At the bottom of page 1 of my local small-town paper, the following headline for our hometown hospital caught my attention:
Nationally Ranked. Locally Loved.
I read it a few times and smiled. This headline has so much going for it. It's a perfect illustration of how to use contrast effectively in an advertising slogan or tag line.
Notice first the double use of contrast. Anyone who understands English knows at a glance that "nationally" is the opposite of "locally." Using the exact same grammatical form (an adverb ending in "ly") makes the contrast as attention getting as possible. And although "ranked" is not a strict opposite of "loved," it comes across like a second contrast because we see two "-ed" adjectives that have significantly different meanings.
Second, the meter or rhythm of the line is almost flawlessly balanced. If you're a stickler for precise pronunciation, "nationally" has four syllables while "locally" has three, but most people pronounce the former as if it has three syllables. The double periods invite you to read the headline in two distinct chunks, which enhances the balanced rhythm. The capitalization of each word slows down your reading just a bit, so you can savor the contrast even more.
Third, consider the meaning. The ad copy beneath the headline explains the national ranking, but even if we don't read it, we're impressed. It's unquestionably an actual distinction, not just marketing hype. This headline wouldn't pack the same punch someplace like Boston, where they take for granted having world-class hospitals. But 90 miles west, in little Northampton, Massachusetts, being nationally ranked is a big deal.
All in all, a powerful impact.
In the same issue of the paper, I found another line using the technique of contrast just a bit less successfully. It introduces a "green" real estate agent. Let's analyze the line and see why:
Small town charm, big picture thinking…
On the surface, this uses contrast equally well, with "small town" versus "big picture," and "charm" versus "thinking." However, "small town" is not an exact opposite of "big picture." Although "small" is the exact opposite of "big," "town" and "picture" have little or no relationship. This makes for a slightly weakened contrast.
The rhythmic contrast is weaker, also. Whereas "town" has one syllable, "picture" has two. While "charm" has one syllable, "thinking" has two. Using all lower case and a comma and three dots after the segments is weaker than using matching periods, as well.
As for meaning, it comes across in a vague way – not as sharply as in the hospital example. It's clear this contrast is pointing out a positive thing, but we're less likely to understand what it refers to without the explanation that follows.
Overall, the second example shows a good, but not world-class, use of contrast.
When brainstorming for company names, product names, advertising slogans or tag lines, always stay on the lookout for opposing ideas. Then add the enhancements indicated in this article. Although it may be difficult to create a contrast as strong as the first example, even an amateur deployment of contrast adds zing and power.
Marcia Yudkin is Head Stork of Named At Last, a company that brainstorms effective company names, product names and tag lines for clients around the world. For a systematic process of coming up with a catchy new name or tag line, download a free copy of "19 Steps to the Perfect Company Name, Product Name or Tag Line" at
Article Source: Http://ezinearticles.com/expert/Marcia_Y…
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