Writing Tag Lines with Both Sides of the Brain


So often we label ourselves as predominantly left- or right-brain thinkers and shy away from those situations that are outside of our comfort zone.  That’s the restraint of a label, it keeps us living in that box and functioning as if we were not capable of expanding past its limits.

When I was asked by a client to write query letters to a potential target market I thought, “Sure, I can do that”.  When he also asked me to create a slogan, tag line or advertising concept for his brand, I thought, “Can I do that?”

In previous leadership roles I had often espoused the benefits of committing to stretch goals that exceeded any self-imposed labels.  I believed it, I lived it and once again it was time to test it.

Try these strategies demonstrated in my example to conquer your next challenging creative project.

Client Mission: Introduce Scootarian© as a brand name for motor scooters and apparel to the existing scooter market.

The Creative Process: (a whole-brain approach)

Step 1: Look for Similarities and Inspiration

I researched words that rhymed with Scootarian believing that I would find a common theme in their definitions or perhaps a concept that might spark an idea.  What I found were words such as Humanitarian, Civil Libertarian, Utilitarian, etc.

What I noticed they all had in common were the concepts of being advocates for or promoting a certain belief or lifestyle. Then it came to me, “That’s it, define the brand like the dictionary would, incorporating similar language along with the idea of being environmentally conscious.”

Step 2: Step into that world

It was time to start the free-association process of listing words that were related to motor scooters and the people who loved them.

Step 3:  Mix and Match

With my list in front of me, I played with different words, in different orders to find the right match for my definition.

Step 4:  Create the Flow

I created tag lines that embodied the spirit of the scooter enthusiast as well as the interests of the environmentally conscious consumer.

Scootarian: (scoot•tar•i•an – noun) an advocate for improving the lives of all creatures, two wheels at a time.™

Scootarian: (scoot•tar•i•an – noun)  creatures of mobility changing the planet two wheels at a time.™

Results: The client established the copyright and sole ownership of the tag lines to produce a national brand campaign.

Note to Self: The creative process is different for all of us as it can be intuitive and subjective (Right Brain) and it is also logical and analytical (Left Brain).  Stretch yourself to use it all.  You, and your clients, will be happy with the results.

4 Responses to “Writing Tag Lines with Both Sides of the Brain”

  1. 1 Shirley


    You are certainly using both sides of your brain. I see how you think and wish I had some of your insight. I love your blogs and can’t wait for more.

  2. 2 Teresa

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for sharing these. I usually start with the dictionary and I’m quite the mix and matcher (moreso with clothes); steps 2 and 4 will certainly help me in the future. Always good to be reminded of our need to stretch.

  3. 3 AmyK

    Just Right brain? Just Left brain? Or just a Lame brain?! Christine’s acknowledgement that we are whole brained creatures is spot on for how we think. We need to integrate the creative with the analytical in order to foster and execute the best decisions. Kudos for Christine for implementing a whole brain approach to business, writing and marketing! No doubt your client is thrilled!

  4. 4 Michelle Koert

    This is incredible information Christine. It provides a holistic approach to understanding the alignment between the brain and marketing messages. I recently had a CEO group request advice on tools available to tap deeper into their brain. It is said that we only utilize 2% of our brain. How can we tap into deeper parts of our brain through writing?

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