Is there a name for this branding concept?
December 1, 2008 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Is there a name for a tagline or slogan made of several independent words that form a descriptive phrase? And do you have any examples of it in use?

An (admittedly poor) example would be along the lines of:

SomeCompany, Inc.

It describes concisely SomeCompany, Inc. -- "Affordable Widget Creations". But each of the words can stand alone to emphasize a "how" or "what" characteristic of the company: Rather than simply selling, they make (Creations) a specific product (Widgets) at a reasonable price (Affordable).

I know I've seen this used a number of times and I'm trying to come up with concrete examples, but my brain is failing me. I do seem to recall that what originally caught my attention was the emphasis on each word's independence with the use of the period.

Extra discussion point: Is there a downside (trite, generic, dated, etc.) to this kind of branding or marketing?
posted by ElDiabloConQueso to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
wikiquote advertising slogans.
posted by mandal at 12:58 PM on December 1, 2008

I don't know what the name for the concept is, but Nuprin's "Little. Yellow. Different." slogan comes to mind.
posted by xotis at 1:10 PM on December 1, 2008

"Wrangler: Real. Comfortable. Jeans." Thank you, Brett Favre
posted by xbonesgt at 1:56 PM on December 1, 2008

mandal -- Thanks! That's a great resource - I'll see if I can find some examples in there.

xotis -- That's one that I had trouble getting out of my head when I was trying to come up with examples, but it doesn't meet what I'm looking for.

Here's where I make the distinction: The slogan "Little. Yellow. Different. Better." contains four adjectives that describe Nuprin, but they can't be used together to form a phrase that describes the product. That is, if someone asked you about Nuprin, you wouldn't say that it's "little yellow different better" and expect them to have an understanding of it. In the example I posted above, SomeCompany markets themselves or their product as "affordable widget creations" and that phrase provides a picture of the company and what it does.

I hope I've clarified things and not just muddied the waters...
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 2:08 PM on December 1, 2008

You're referring to a common rhetorical device called parataxis, which is the placement of related phrases next to each other without conjunctions.

I don't know if there's an industry term for this kind of slogan, but I expect the trend was started by a person who had a background in public speaking. Perhaps he or she was trying to replicate the rhetorical force of "I came; I saw; I conquered."

See also asyndeton.
posted by hpliferaft at 2:48 PM on December 1, 2008

xbonesgt has a great example. Wrangler's product is:
1) Real
2) Comfortable
3) Jeans

And they are:
4) "Real(ly) Comfortable Jeans".

The key is that from three words you get four descriptors... each of the words by itself, plus a fourth that consists of the three words used as a phrase in which some of the individual words may act as adjectives or adverbs.

Maybe there's no name for what I'm looking for, but at least I can do some digging with a better example. Thanks to all of you!
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 7:37 PM on December 1, 2008

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