Taglines from Hell

Because I am a masochist at heart, I sometimes spend my lunch break eating at my desk and reading discussion threads on Linked In. In a recent thread, some poor sap was asking for help coming up with a promotional tagline that connected the idea of volunteering with the concept of “winners” or “winning.”

Having been charged with creating taglines in a previous job, I have a special appreciation for the challenges involved. It’s way harder to come up with a good one than you might think, and one of the biggest hurdles is deflecting the tin-eared suggestions that come from your co-workers and colleagues. It’s an especially big hurdle if the sour notes come from your boss (or client, if you’re a freelancer).

I knew what to expect when I saw that person asking for help in a Linked In discussion. I knew it would be bad, but the part of me that loves a good train wreck had to click through and read the suggestions.

Below are a few of them, verbatim. Imagine any of these painted on a tall banner at a flashy trade show, presented as the cornerstone to a volunteer recruitment campaign:

  • You can’t win, if you don’t volunteer to do so!
  • Winners say no to drags
  • Winners join us because here is where cream always rises to the top!
  • There aren’t any winners without losers. Choose your side. (Ed. note: the guy who came up with that one is a CEO.)
  • Winners have volunteers on their team
  • Premiere as a Volunteer – Begin and Win
  • Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Winner, that is what I’d truly like to volunteer!
  • Let the other person win, volunteer.
  • Winners…..get up one more time than they fall down!

And the Pièce de résistance:

  • Winners do not compromise the position, Leaders fo not compromise the goals adn Volunterrs do not compromise the causes. (sic)

7 thoughts on “Taglines from Hell

  1. Linked In but not clued in. Truly painful to read. The masochist in you must be satisfied for the moment?

  2. Absolutely breathtaking. The fog clears and the gormless wonder is laid bare.

    Of course, the real problem is trying to link the concepts of winning and volunteerism in the first place. People don’t volunteer to win. GIGO.

  3. Linked-in? It’s a bit of a user-unfriendly joke that hopes to get bought by FaceBook or a potential competitor. Look at eng-tips first if you want to invest in a pre-existing community that has traffic and knowledgeable, committed, contributing members.

  4. Just so you know, went back a ways and found your Paella recipe. I like it ’cause it doesn’t call for a whole can of tomatoes, but just a little paste. Stopped during lunch at a specialty store and picked up a tube of tomatoes paste and some proper paella rice.

    ¿Cómo se dice … en español? Ah si. El hambre no encuentra peros al condimento.

  5. Yay! Let me know how it comes out. I assume you’re using this recipe: http://www.blork.org/blorkblog/2007/02/19/saturday-paella-with-recipe/. (I mention paella many times on this blog, but that’s the one with the most comprehensive recipe.)

    The recipe calls for a tablespoon of tomato paste. In retrospect, you might want to add a bit more (just a bit!) depending on how concentrated your paste is. I like the triple concentrated one I find at Milano on St-Laurent. Most tomato paste in tubes is double concentrate (“doppio”), so you might want to use a bit more.

    Also, there’s a lot of cooking going on before you add the stock, so keep a good eye on it so nothing burns.

    Bon app!

  6. Added mushroom and garlic to the mix while cooking the green pepper. Bought the double concentrate and used a heaping tablespoon; so almost 2. Went with a couple of bone-in chicken breasts hacked up and cooked them a little less than I would have the legs. (Laurie prefers white meat.) Proper rice made a major difference from previous efforts. Laurie kept coming out to see ‘what smells so good this time?” at different segments of the process. Took just about 2 hours from start to finish and was superb. Laurie prefers white to red in wines also and so matched it with a nice California Pinot Grigio. Sat in front of the TV eating, sipping and singling along to a Rankin Family concert! Thanks for the great cheat sheet and Merry Christmas to you & Martine.

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