Love it or hate it, you probably drank a Red Bull at some point in your life.
Its secret combination of sugar, synthetic caffeine, taurine, and several other components have been firing consumers up for decades.
In fact... On those crazy clubbing nights when you we were out dancing at 4am and you felt low on energy, what's the secret juice that got you through 2 more hours (and that long taxi drive home)? Red Bull.
That power to energize a tired body is exactly what inspired Dietrich Mateschitz and his creative team in the 80’s to come up with one of the most famous and brilliant taglines: “Red Bull Gives You Wings”.
(Ah copywriting at its best right there.)
...That is until they were sued in the US on the grounds of deceptive advertising practices and had to pay $10 cash or $15 worth of Red Bull goods to anybody that came forward and said they had purchased a can of Red Bull between 2002 and 2014.
Taglines (and slogans) are powerful. And hard to get right in any industry.
But when it comes to the delicate dating industry, where there’s a very fine line between being inappropriate and being too vague, how did today's most popular apps find the right tagline or slogan?
And when they failed, how bad did it get?
But first... what are taglines and how are they different from slogans?
In a nutshell, taglines focus on the essence of a brand. Successful taglines plant an image and a feeling in the minds of customers and become synonymous with the brand.
On the other hand, a slogan is often temporary and particular to a specific ad campaign.
What makes a good slogan?
I’ll keep this short so we can get to the juicy stuff.
A slogan needs to be brief, concise and it should evoke an emotion. More often than not, we buy things when we're in emotional moments: we’re hungry, we’re excited, we need a product, or we just want to buy something that’ll make us feel cool.
It’s only natural that a slogan should connect to an emotion - which will probably get us to whip out that card and buy something.
What about a good tagline?
There are so many ways to go about this. Many say it needs to be memorable, likeable and related to the brand. Others suggest it needs to communicate with clarity, be straightforward and tell a story. As we’ve all seen from past failed taglines, it’s actually hella hard to come up with a good tagline!
A great tagline needs to subtly capture the essence and personality of a brand. And it needs to surprise you.
Taco Bell’s “Think outside the bun” - deliciously funny and witty tagline!
On the other side of the spectrum you’ll find taglines like Campari’s “The First Time is Never the Best” or “Pleasure is the Path to Joy” by Häagen-Dazs which are wrong for so many reasons...
Ok so dating app taglines - good or cringy?
Oh sweet gods of wisdom and wording, what do we have here...
In terms of their marketing efforts, defining a tagline must have been one of the hardest things these companies had to do.
Their advertising / PR / branding / marketing teams had to find the right phrase that will make dating...
sexy but not too forward...
enticing but not pervy...
mysterious but clear...
straightforward but not too direct.
Here are some of their results:
1. Tinder - Swipe Right
Might not be fair to start with Tinder. Although objectively this tagline makes no sense, their “Swipe Right” feature has become synonymous with online dating apps so it's not all bad.
However, leave behind your knowledge of the app for a second though, and what are you left with?
Clearly you’d need to use the app to understand the tagline and I’m not sure it’s inviting enough to make you try it.
It also refers to a repetitive task which implies that they don’t want you to actually find someone, they just want you to get addicted to their app and keep swiping forever.
Really Tinder? Why don’t you want us to find love?
2. Hinge - The dating app designed to be deleted
Now here’s something I can get behind with! As opposed to Tinder, Hinge actually wants us to find love since they’re telling us their app is meant to be deleted at some point.
Their heart was in the right place but I feel they could have found a catchier tagline, that’s more witty and cheeky.
It does stick with you, which I guess is the end goal after all.
3. Bumble - Date, Meet, Network better
Pretty robotic, don’t you think? Where’s the emotion, the excitement, the unknown? It is, however, efficient and to the point. You get the idea of what they do and there’s no doubt about the benefits of their service.
But in the wise words of the Black Eyed Peas - Where is the love?
4. Match - Start Something Real
This one is for all the action-oriented people out there - start something real, people! I have to wonder though: there must be a more emotional way of conveying the message of having real connections, rather than easy flings.
5. Clover - Swipe less, date more
When Clover first launched a few years ago this lovely, action-packed tagline was their pick. And it’s a great one!
Swipe less? As in… actually meet someone and not swipe forever? (which is generally the sole purpose of these apps anyway)
Date more? Well, that is why people use them so… yes, please.
I like it, I have to say. Catchy, direct and with an emotional connection.
But that’s just me… thinking out loud.