A tagline works because of how it sounds, how it looks, how memorable it is and how easily it conveys a brand promise. Creating taglines is some of the most difficult writing, because so much is demanded from so few words.
We can all name taglines that worked, like:
Just do it (Nike)
Got milk? (California Milk Processor Board)
Where's the beef? (Wendy's)
Think different. (Apple Computer)
Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (M&Ms)
It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. (Timex)
But here are some that we're not so sure of:
We're Exxon. (Exxon)
We're chicken. (Tyson)
Is that Playtex under there? (Playtex)
Here are pitfalls a good tagline should avoid—from the Tagline Guru (a site worth visiting, by the way):
Being bland or boring.
Attempting to imitate another good tagline.
Not being true to your brand.
Using complex, long words.
Read more about these tagline mistakes at taglineguru.comy