Civilians think that 'coming up with slogans' is our whole job.

And in a way, they have a point.

The slogan, that much-derided term, is the complete encapsulation of a campaign or brand idea. Ideally it distills everything important that a company stands for, and acts as a springboard for great communications.

So endlines are important. Which makes the ability to write good ones a valuable skill to have.

Lines win pitches. They build brands. And they create fame for the person who wrote them.

I always thought it would be a bold move for a creative team to have a tiny portfolio with just 8-10 pages in it, and on each page nothing but a campaign endline they'd come up with.

The first thing to do is be absolutely clear about what you are trying to say.

"Australians wouldn't give a XXXX for anything else" says 'Australian'
"Finger lickin' good" says 'delicious'
"The appliance of science" says 'advanced'

Don't even start trying to write an endline until you've got what you want to say down to one word.

From there, it's about applying dem old-fashioned copywritin' skills to express that concept in a new and interesting way.

Here's a few devices you can deploy:

1. Insight. The KFC line is a good example of this. What do you actually do when you find something delicious? You lick your fingers. Think about what people actually do when they use the product.

"Let your fingers do the walking" is another example, coincidentally it's also finger-related. The line says 'convenient'. And it works because of the insight that when you use the Yellow Pages, you go through it with your fingers.

2. Zingy language. Rhyme, alliteration and neology (coining new words) all help. "Beanz Meanz Heinz" is just so much more memorable than "Heinz - the definitive baked beans" isn't it?

3. Words with two meanings. Of the 20 endlines that Adslogans nominated for slogan of the year 2007/8, no fewer than 6 of them employed words with double meanings, including the excellent "Be humankind" for Oxfam, and "Get some nuts" for Snickers. So, think about the words related to your product, and whether any of them have additional meanings that you can use to your advantage.

And if you have a method that you use in writing endlines, do share it in the comments.


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