Remember the campaign slogan, “A New American Century”?
It was the 2016 of Marco Rubio, who went on to lose the Republican nomination for President.
But you probably remember the slogans, “I like Ike” and “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” despite these being from many, many years ago.
This is because there’s an aristocracy when it comes to campaign slogans. Some are unequivocally better than others, both in effectiveness and lifespan.
But how do you nail down a great campaign slogan? How do you use just a few words to capture the attention of the people on a mass scale? Why do some slogans work and others don’t?
We will address all of these questions and more, so you can craft the best campaign slogan possible.
Why Are Campaign Slogans Important?
If you’ve spent all of your time worrying about policy and preparing for debates, coming up with a slogan can seem somewhat superfluous and a poor use of time.
However, this couldn’t be farther from the
Your campaign slogan is the foot in the door of your constituents’ minds. Before you can talk their ear off about why you’re the best choice for mayor or congressman, you need to entice people with a bite-sized version of your message.
Think of it as a taste test or like reading the first page of a book in the store. It allows someone to get the idea of your message, which will hopefully intrigue them.
This will also be the message featured on all of your promotional material and, in many cases, be your first impression to people who aren’t closely following the race. In the modern era, your slogan will probably be used on social media, as well, which has an even larger audience.
Anything you put out to the public in your name deserves your utmost consideration, even if it’s something as small as a slogan.
If you’re still doubting the importance of campaign slogans, just look at any major company. When people read, “Just Do It,” they think of Nike. When they read, “It’s the Real Thing,” they think of Coke.
As a politician, your message is the product and your slogan is going to help you sell it.
Need To Know About Writing Great Campaign Slogans
Now that you’ve come to appreciate the importance of the campaign slogan, it’s time to create one of your own.
It’s up to you to come up with the final product, as only you know the aim of your campaign, but we can help with some of the basics.
Here’s everything you need to know about coming up with the best possible campaign slogan. Feel free to color however you wish, but these are the lines you need to stay within.
1. Be Original
Even though there’s probably market research that has each word in the dictionary scored based on its popularity, relying solely on data isn’t the way to go. After all, when everyone is relying on the same data, everyone’s slogan ends up looking the same.
As a result, the people’s eyes glaze over and they immediately categorize you as just another politician. If the last presidential election proved anything, it’s that ordinary isn’t in fashion anymore.
Your slogan needs to stand out above the rest. This doesn’t mean it should be something absurd or undignified, but something that will catch the attention of a driver or someone perusing your website.
Don’t be vague and don’t conform. This might be what people expect, but if you’re just like everyone else, why would anyone vote for you?
2. Condense Your Message
In its essence, your campaign slogan should be your overallmessage condensed into as few words as possible. While it might initially seem difficult to funnel all of your nuanced ideas into a tiny message, you’re trying to capture the feeling behind it all, not necessarily the substance.
For instance, if a major aspect of your campaign is to trim the fat off the government and cut away the red tape,extract that concept and turn it into something catchy. You want people repeating this message.
Maybe it could be something like, “Save Money and Shed Government Weight.” It’s simple, gets the point across and is moderately clever, as it harkens to the tagline of weight loss programs.
In the same way that a screenwriter needs to have an elevator pitch ready, in case he or she happens to run into a movie producer, your campaign slogan should be something of an elevator pitch as well.
3. Keep it Accessible
You’ll have plenty of time to appeal directly to your own party. Without sacrificing any of your core principles,your slogan should be something that everyone can get behind.
Some people make a mistake by thinking this means that your slogan should be vague. This is not the case. When appealing to everyone, think of a slogan that nobody could possibly be against, or, at the very least, something that sounds perfectly sensible.
For instance, even though people may disagree with what government programs to cut and which to retain, “Save Money and Shed Government Weight,” on the surface, is undeniably appealing. It’s not until you peel it open and look inside do the disagreements begin.
When finding a slogan that appeals to a wide range of cultures and ideologies, it helps to keep it emotional. We’re all humans and we all experience largely the same emotions, so this is a sure fire way to bring people together.
You’ll often see this tactic used in politics itself. Instead of presenting a raw idea, which might be disagreeable to some and difficult to comprehend to others, politicians will frame their ideas in a human context. Usually, they’ll put a face to it.
To the extent that it’s possible, you should also do this with your campaign slogan.
4. Catchy Goes a Long Way
In the aforementioned slogans, “I like Ike”
and “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,” they both have one thing in common. They rhyme.
This might sound silly, but it’s actually important, as things such as rhymes and wordplay will help people to remember your slogan. And as any politician knows, remaining in the public’s awareness, regardless of whether or not they agree with you, is one of the hardest parts of the job.
You also want something that people will be interested in wearing on a shirt or having on a coffee mug.
In addition to rhymes, alliteration and puns will help you succeed in capturing the public’s attention. You don’t want your slogan to be alliterative just for the heck of it, but it’s a nice additive.
Condensing your message should be your primary goal, and the catchiness of your message should be your secondary consideration, but a consideration, nonetheless.
Campaign Slogans Can Make Or Break Your Run for Office
You might be surprised how the smallest part of your campaign, your slogan, can catch fire more than your actual positions.
In this era of social media, where all writing is done in miniature, people are even more likely to latch on to a slogan, which can be shared online much easier than an essay or speech.
Your slogan is your first impression on many potential voters and, as such, should contain your message in a condensed form.
It’s also important to stand out from the crowd, as there’s nothing people are more apathetic about than just another politician saying the same old things. When someone sees all those signs sticking out of the ground on the corner, you want yours to stand out.
Even though staying true to your message should be your primary concern, you should also try and make it accessible to as large a group of people as possible. This is done by appealing to universal human emotions.
And in the spirit of the greatest slogans of all time, a little rhyming won’t hurt. In fact, it will help, more than you might think.
With all this, it’s hard to discount the power of campaign slogans.