Do you need a gimmick?

November 9, 2012

I was talking to a friend and we started talking about tag lines. Now if you don’t know what a tag line is, allow me to tell you:

“Coke is it”
“You can’t beat the real thing”
“You’ve got the right one”

The first two are from Coke and were heavily featured slogans in the New Kids on the Block commercials from the early 1990′s. The last one is from Pepsi and was used by “Brother” Ray Charles.

On to our discussion: He was of the opinion that you NEEDED to have a slogan to be remembered. I was and am of the opine that you need to give your clients, if in person or via email a memorable experience and spouting your slogan isn’t the way. In fact, slogans for photography is often corny and a waste of time. He argued that a mutual photographer has a slogan and even says it’s important to have one. The cool thing is opinions differ and what works for one, may not work for another. I proceeded to ask him “What was Ansel Adams slogan? “I shoot big hard things”? or Richard Avedon “I make you look good” I then asked him what is Patrick Demarchelier’s slogan? Of course he doesn’t have any, but his work is iconic and legendary.

Sell yourself, not a slogan. Next thing I know, you’ll be talking about this cool new concept you just discovered and everyone is doing…HDR on portraiture! I “Shutter to think” that I had a slogan back in 2001 when I started general portrait photography.


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