Taglines are Semi-Permanent. Slogans are Temporary.

Let’s say you’re thinking about creating a series of ads for private school enrollment season. We’ve all seen the ones based on an image of “three under a tree”: three students, books in hand, under a large tree (preferably a sugar maple in fall for awesome color). Two students are one gender, one is the other, and each represents a different ethnicity. Add some “blah blah” text about small classes, dedicated faculty, educating the whole child, etc. (see our post about this unfortunate way of describing your school), and you’ve got your open house ad. Done.

The Power of a Slogan

What if we pushed you to be more creative, more attention-getting, and more brand-centric? Create a “slogan” for the enrollment year and plaster it on everything you do for admissions. Make it exciting, interesting, and memorable. Have it lead the charge and carry your other brand messages along with it.

Not a Tagline

“But we have a tagline. Isn’t that the same thing?” No.

According to Martin Jelsema, marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies,

The tagline is a crystallization of a brand promise and is a strategic-based element. The slogan is an advertising element just as a headline or illustration.

(As an example, consider Coca Cola’s long and storied history of slogans at the end of this blog.)

Keepin’ It Fresh

Even if your private school does have a tagline that works, perhaps admissions needs something more targeted to a particular need, something fresh and catchy, which can be replaced when the need is met, keeping overuse of the tagline from making it feel too stale too fast.

Slogans Can Be Easier to Agree On

If your private school has a tagline that doesn’t work, or one it’s tired of, or doesn’t have one at all, that shouldn’t hold admissions efforts back. The perfect tagline doesn’t always happen, but marketing must go on. A more temporary admissions slogan does not need to be all things for all constituents the way a tagline does.

A slogan can be less than perfect, not please everyone in the community, and represent only part of what the school is and still be effective. (That said, a slogan shouldn’t be misleading or offensive nor should it malign the competition.) It does need to be brand-centric and to zero in on the aspect or aspects of your private school brand that you want to highlight in a way that grabs prospective families’ attention.

Start brainstorming brand-centric slogans that might garner inquiries, visits, and apps this enrollment season. Who knows? One might work so well, it becomes…a tagline.


Coca Cola Slogans Through the Years

(Edited to 1945 forward)

Source: Wikipedia

  • 1945 - Passport to refreshment.

  • 1947 - Coke knows no season.

  • 1948 - Where there’s Coke there’s hospitality.

  • 1949 - Coca-Cola … along the highway to anywhere.

  • 1952 - What you want is a Coke.

  • 1954 - For people on the go.

  • 1956 - Coca-Cola … makes good things taste better.

  • 1957 - The sign of good taste.

  • 1958 - The Cold, Crisp Taste of Coke

  • 1959 - Be really refreshed.

  • 1963 - Things go better with Coke.

  • 1966 - Coke … after Coke … after Coke.

  • 1969 - It’s the real thing.

  • 1971 - I’d like to buy the world a Coke. (basis for the song I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing)

  • 1974 - Look for the real things.

  • 1976 - Coke adds life.

  • 1979 - Have a Coke and a smile

  • 1982 - Coke is it!

  • 1985 - America’s Real Choice

  • 1986 - Red White & You

  • 1986 - Catch the Wave

  • 1989 - Can’t Beat the Feeling.

  • 1993 - Always Coca-Cola.

  • 2000 - Enjoy.

  • 2001 - Life tastes good.

  • 2003 - Real.

  • 2005 - Make It Real.

  • 2006 - The Coke Side of Life

  • 2007 - Live on the Coke Side of Life

  • 2009 - Open Happiness

  • 2010 - Twist The Cap To Refreshment

  • 2011 - Life Begins Here

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