Here’s a bird’s-eye view of a taggle (the collective noun for taglines — the collective noun for owls is parliament) of Graphic Language Company taglines: wherein I took War-and-Peace-length client briefs and scorched them into even briefer (*sp) matchbook—cover-length missives.
The title of this page, “Let’s Explore Taglines With Owls” is a play on humorist David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.
Tagline: Your room is waiting.
Client: Canterbury Woodworks
The “Your room is waiting” kitchen photo above was the cover of a Canterbury Woodworks Trade Show brochure. (View the PDF). Inside it is one of my favourite examples of About Page copy, Canterbury’s Two Cups of Tea. We used “Your room is waiting.” in the same way a classy concierge would welcome guests to a posh hotel.
Tagline: Perk up. You’re Bermudaful!
Client: CoffeeWorks Bermuda
What a Bermudaful day! You’re Bermudaful! and I’m full! (the latter alludes to having one too many Gosling’s Black Seal rum and Cokes) are common Bermewjan proclamations on “The Rock.” CoffeeWorks’ introduction of Starbucks in Keurig K-Cup packaging gave me the opportunity to play with Bermuda slang and write HERE as HER and AT as ET — the way born and bred Bermewjans pronounce them.
Tagline: Drink Responsibly.
Client: ClearWater Systems
I didn’t create the slogan, “Drink Responsibly.” however I did repurpose it for ClearWater Systems in Bermuda (and later, its parent company, The Liquid Group) in ad copy and website content that recommended the installation and responsible maintenance of residential and commercial drinking water treatment systems, as well as regularly scheduled tank (cistern) cleaning and maintenance, over the purchase of bottled water. There were no recycling facilities of any kind in Bermuda at the time.
Ad headline: 15% 15-yard line special
Client: Darrell’s Restaurants
Darrell’s restaurant is smack dab in the middle of an East Coast Canadian University Football enclave. The brief was to create a 15% special for Saint Mary’s Huskies football fan cardholders, so that’s what I did, marking the 15-yard line (which made perfect sense to me — the furthest thing from a football-of-any-shape fan). The client hated the idea because there is no 15-yard line in Canadian or American football (which, I argued, was precisely the point) and threatened to revoke my free-peanut-burger privileges (which, my kids argued, we could not have survived without) until I replaced the graphic with the 20-yard line photo you see in the image above. (Groan! Some people’s kids!) You don’t win all of them but you have to keep Making. and Believing.
Tagline: Only $50 a year and we make change
Client: Hubbards & Area Business Association
We wanted to connect the Hubbards & Area Business Association’s small business support role to its legendary reputation for community action, and encourage new membership. We did so with the Graphic Language tag line, “Membership is only $50 a year and we make change.” The Association is the heart of this seaside Nova Scotia community. They still use this tag line to promote membership in this community business association that does so much more for the area than just promote shop local campaigns — from landscaping to fundraising to youth projects.
Tagline: Good work. Good value. I swear.
Client: The Graphic Language Company
I don’t swear nearly as much as I used to — it must be old age, more women or fewer Canadians in this Mediterranean neck of the woods. The good work and the good value haven’t changed one iota though.
Tagline: Get in. Sit down. Dream Big.
Client: Guaranty GMAC Realty
Get in. Sit down. Dream Big. was the Graphic Language tag line that drove this multi-year, scenically-illustrated (by award-winning artist Bonnie Ross), Halifax regional public transit bus wrap along with interior and street-side signage. The campaign won a runner-up award at GMAC’s international awards presentation in Las Vegas.
Tagline: International Trade Roots
Client: Kisserup International Trade Roots Inc.
Kisserup is the name of the tiny Danish village that is the birthplace of the founder of this women-owned, global export trade training and business development company. We used roots instead of routes in the name to reflect the company’s Danish origin and the SME and microbusiness focus of its mission.
Tagline: We’re all a loan.
Pitch for: kiva.org
Kiva is a U.S. Non-Profit that has been crowdfunding loans for entrepreneurs, students and families since 2005. “We’re all a loan.” was my entry in its tagline competition.
Tagline: Walk on Water Service
Client: Liquid Group of Companies
It’s a widely-held notion that Bermuda has the highest number of churches per capita in the world. Whether that’s true or not, Bermudians certainly have a great sense of (often self-deprecating) humour, and (almost) everyone “got” that no disrespect was meant by this company’s way of expressing its mission to deliver unparalleled service.
Tagline: A revolution is brewing.
Client: Paradise Coffee, Grand Cayman
Paradise Coffee introduced the concept of Keurig® single-cup brewing to Grand Cayman. We launched the brand in George Town with this tag line. Dagnabbit if I can find the original graphic but here’s the thirty-second radio spot that went along with it:
SFX: ANGRY CROWD
ANNCR: Every five hundred years or so a revolution comes along that changes everything.
SFX: CAPPUCCINO MACHINE (make sure this SFX isn’t too harsh)
ANNCR: And every 30 seconds or so a revolutionary Paradise Coffee single-cup brewer can make you the perfect cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. It’ll revolutionize the way you think, drink and love your coffee or tea!
MILITARY MUSIC IN
ANNCR: Paradise Coffee is bringing this worldwide revolution to Grand Cayman with their single-cup Keurig brewers – perfect for both home and the office. They’re sleek, efficient and they’ll brew any of more than 100 delicious varieties.
Tag 1: A revolution is brewing online at Paradise Coffee dot k-y. Visit the Paradise Coffee showroom in the D-M-S Centre on Eastern Avenue, across from Uncle Bill’s or call Fritz at 943-33-88.
Tag 2: Join the brewing revolution at Paradise Coffee from October 9th to the 11th in Booth number 14 at the Business & Technology Expo at the Family Life Center or call Fritz anytime at 943-33-88.
Tagline: Get over it.
Client: Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
For better or worse, the town of Bridgewater, “The Main Street of Nova Scotia’s South Shore,” has a long-standing reputation as a sleepy, rural, retirement community. The brief from Smart Bridgewater required creating copy and graphics that would attract new business and younger citizens. We warped the word BRIDGEWATER into a bridge shape and created the tag line, “Get Over It” to invite readers to “get over” their preconceptions of the town.
Tagline 1: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaice Winners
Tagline 2: Smells like fish. Tastes like beer. Sounds like Bluegrass.
Tagline 3: Rowing on the Cove Laughing #ROCL
Client: Canada’s Annual World Tuna Flat Rowing Races
Tuna Flats are indigenous to St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia and are often pictured in the province’s tourism promotions. They are the squat, typically green boats used by fishermen to check their mackerel and tuna pens. The word ‘flat’ comes from the fact that three or four burly men can all stand on one side of these craft and haul a thousand-pound tuna over the side without capsizing the boat.
Due to their low, wide design, they are very cumbersome to row, however that is precisely what happens each July in Hubbards Cove. Teams of four navigate the Tuna Flats over a quarter mile course. It is strictly amateur, fun, silly-costumed and intensely competitive racing event that, surprising as it may sound, has yet to be covered by ESPN.
- Read more about our development of the 2017 Canada-150-themed World Tuna Flat Races artwork.
- Watch the World Tuna Flat Rowing Races promotional video on YouTube
Where you’ll find David Sedaris
My first, crying-with-laughter encounter with author David Sedaris was through his 2008 collection of essays, “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” that I borrowed from one of the Banksia Lake Cottages during a five-day road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide with another, much taller than both Sedaris and I, author, Garry Gilfoy. “Another Hitchhiker’s Guide” is another road-tripping-with-Garry story and what I took from his book, “The BIG Picture.”
Short-eared owl photo courtesy Mathew Schwartz at Unsplash