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What makes a strapline stand the test of time? Times change at a rate of knots, which might make you think that once a brand deems a strapline “done”, it´s time to bury it six feet under. However, are there exceptions to this way of thinking?

Carlsberg certainly hopes so, after it announced it is bringing back its iconic ´If Carlsberg did´ after a four-year absence. The brewer isn´t alone in resurrecting a strapline either, with car rental brand Axis taking the decision to bring back its famous 1960s “We try harder” motto last year.

Detractors of this approach – or competitors – may suggest that said brands are proving themselves to be somewhat bereft of ideas, or struggling to move with the times, but the firms themselves say the move is customer-led.

Allan Solomon, global marketing director for Carlsberg Group, told Marketing Week: “

[The tagline] has never really gone away. If you look at consumer generated stuff on Google or Facebook, ´If Carlsberg did´ has remained a part of consumer language, and we see this as a good opportunity to reintroduce it. It´s always been hugely popular and we´ve had a very positive response to the reintroduction of it.”

Troy Warfield, group commercial director of Avis Budget Group EMEA, gives similar reasons for reviving his brand´s strapline, suggesting the best slogans will always retain pertinence.

“´We try harder´ is built into the DNA of the business and is ever present in every aspect of how our employees think about the customer, which is why it is still so relevant today,” he explained to Marketing Week.

Solomon believes that, with the increasing importance of user-generated content, ´If Carlsberg did´ has the potential to be more powerful than it has ever been – but cautioned that, with several new platforms emerging since 2011, it has to give due thought to which route to go down.

“The whole nature of ´If Carlsberg did´ lends itself to so many media channels, but something that may be relevant for YouTube or Instagram in one market may be different in another,” he added.

The brand is not relying on customers to do all the legwork for it, however, and revealed its new ad which depicts a Carlsberg supermarket, which is “Probably the best supermarket in the world”.

Solomon also explained that the slogan has become synonymous with being the best, and with that the brand feels it has an opportunity to place Carlsberg beer at the forefront of the market in terms of quality.

It´s well on its way to achieving its objectives, too, with the newly-released ad generating over 100,000 views on YouTube in less than 24 hours. Perhaps reviving a strapline isn´t such a bad idea, then. Does nostalgia play a part, though? What qualities make up an enduring strapline?

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