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A Six-Year-Old’s Perspective on Marketing

October 6, 2010
Walmart Supercenter sign

Image by Ron Dauphin

The other morning on the way to before-school care, my six-year-old asked me what a tagline was. I’m not exactly sure what prompted the question, but I’ve always been amazed at his propensity to retain the taglines of various brands via commercials even at a young age.

I replied, “You know that saying you always repeat when the Walmart commercial comes on? They say, ‘Walmart,’ and you say–”

“–Save money. Live better!” he practically shouts, interrupting me, of course.

“Right. That’s a tagline. It’s something a company or store uses to help customers understand what they’re about or what they sell and why it matters to the customer. They used to have a different tagline: Walmart. Always low prices,” I muse, somewhat thinking outloud. It was only 6:15 a.m., mind you.

“Ooooh. I like that one much better,” he says from the backseat.

“You do? Why?” So do I, but I was curious as to what his little mind was conjuring up.

“Because, mom (Insert *duh* here; can’t you hear it?), that means the toys don’t cost as much, and I could buy more of them,” he explains…as if to a six-year-old. ;-)

Huh. That’s exactly right. And that’s why that tagline is better. It clearly explains the benefit to the consumer in straightforward terms…even a six-year-old can  understand.

Maybe they should have had him on their tagline focus group panel. What do you think? Which tagline is better and why? Are there other brands you can think of that changed theirs for the worse and/or could stand to have a tagline makeover?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a comment below.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael permalink
    October 6, 2010 9:19 am

    Personally, I’m fascinated with McDonald’s marketing. Not only do they have one of the world’s most recognized brands, but they’ve had some rather ingenious marketing throughout the decades with such tag lines as:

    We love to see you smile.
    I’m lovin’ it.
    Did somebody say McDonald’s?
    You deserve a break today.

    Now, on the other hand, I think Burger King got it right with “Have it your way.” In my opinion, it better defines what they’re about. Besides, I’m not always “lovin’ it” when I’m in a hurry and stuck in the drive-thru just to get a smoothie!

    And then there’s my all-time favorite: Just do it.

  2. October 6, 2010 10:01 am

    Thanks for the comment, Mike! I agree with all of those you mentioned above. I much prefer the “You deserve a break today.” than the new “I’m lovin’ it.” And, you’re absolutely right regarding Burger King: a much better job of communicating what they provide to you, the consumer. By the way, were you hungry when you wrote this comment? ;-)

  3. January 29, 2011 5:00 pm

    And that’s why that tagline is better. It clearly explains the benefit to the consumer in straightforward terms…even a six-year-old can understand..That’s exactly right?

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