Write a great slogan

Summary

Put it all into a few words.

How this helps

A good slogan can help communicate a large, complex set of ideas in a simple easy to grasp package. Most very clever people think other people are also very clever, like them. So, when they explain something, they don't bother trying to make it simple. So, most people can't understand what these very clever people are talking about.

Explanation

You can use slogans all over the place - as titles for blog articles, for microsites, on t-shirts, and so on.

Making a slogan is a little bit like when you were 11, and you wanted to find exactly the right name for that large kid who went around beating up other kids and stealing their lunch money. While all the other kids just ran in fear, you noticed that he got dropped off every day by his mother, while most kids took the bus or walked. So you called him "mommy's little boy", and although he beat you up for it, the name stuck, and the other kids began to laugh, and pretty soon his reign of terror was over.

OK, enough of the autobiography. A slogan has to be very short. There's no point saying, "Software patents pose a threat because they let specialists who don't really contribute to progress make outrageous yet legal claims that end-up penalising the very people trying to improve the world", when you can say, "Lawyers use software patents to beat up engineers and steal their lunch money", or better still, "Software patents kill innovation", which is an old FFII slogan.

Here are some slogans I liked, at least when I wrote them:

  • We are the digital majority
  • Patents eat innovation like foxes eat rabbits
  • Microsoft is the enemy (this was for the NoOOXML campaign)

The very best slogans are so short they can be used as microsite names:

  • <no>OOXML.org
  • DigitalMajority.org
  • NoSoftwarePatents.com
  • EPOmustGo.org (this actually made it into the EPO's internal newsletter even before it was launched)

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Author

  • Pieter Hintjens <gro.iiff|hreteip#gro.iiff|hreteip>