Best and Worst Slogans Ranked for Memorability and Authenticity
Tagline Guru, a verbal branding agency, has released its survey of the best and worst slogans of the 22 announced candidates running for President of the United States.
According to 250 branding, marketing, and advertising professionals, Mike Huckabee’s From Hope to Higher Ground was ranked the highest from the Class of 2016, followed by A Political Revolution is Coming (Bernie Sanders); Telling It Like It Is (Chris Christie); Defeat the Washington Machine. Unleash the American Dream (Rand Paul); People Over Politics (George Pataki); Reigniting the Promise for America (Ted Cruz); and Jeb! (Jeb Bush).
Slogans that received the lowest rankings were We Must Do Right and Risk the Consequences (Rick Perry); Reform. Growth. Safety. (Scott Walker); Kasich for Us (John Kasich); Make America Great Again (Donald Trump); Ready to Be Commander-In-Chief on Day One (Lindsey Graham); Gilmore for America (Jim Gilmore); and Heal. Inspire. Revive. (Dr. Ben Carson).
Slogans from Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Jim Webb were ranked in the middle – neither the best nor the worst.
Rankings were based on whether the slogans were catchy and memorable, told an inviting and persuasive story, and captured the personality of the candidate or spirit of the campaign.
According to Eric Swartz, President of Tagline Guru, “Political slogans still have marquee value on the national stage and can shape our perceptions of the candidates. Even though some slogans have earned a hallowed place in the world of campaign sloganeering, most are regrettable if not completely forgettable. To be memorable, a slogan has to be catchy. To be politically effective, however, it needs to be authentic.”
Since 1828, the five most common keywords found in presidential slogans are America(n), Leader/Leadership, Change, Prosperity, and Experience. It’s not surprising then that in the current crop of slogans, nearly forty percent of the candidates mention America or the American dream. Only two candidates cite their leadership and a handful suggest the concept of change by using words such as new, fresh, reform, and revolution.
“Even though words matter in sloganeering, it’s the message and meaning that count more. Slogans that ranked highly were acknowledged for being clear, positive, believable, and aspirational. On the other hand, slogans that fared poorly were criticized for their lack of originality and genuine feeling, their appeal to fear rather than hope, and their inability to express an exciting idea,” added Swartz.