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Let’s Go Bland: Toyota Tagline Review

How many ad agencies does it take to create a tagline? In the case of Toyota’s newly debuted “Let’s Go Places,” the answer appears to be six (Saatchi & Saatchi, Dentsu America, Conill, Burrell, Intertrend and Grieco Research). And perhaps therein lies the problem: one of pleasing too many parties, and devolving to the least-common denominator.

The new tagline, which is already being used in limited tactical and digital advertising, officially replaces the 8-year-old “Moving Forward” in December, with the launch of the redesigned Avalon. Toyota explains that the new tagline “reflects the company’s commitment to more exciting products, and a promise to invite customers to take part in shaping Toyota’s future.” Group VP and GM Bill Fay adds, ”It is energetic, aspirational, inclusive and very versatile. The phrase conveys a dual meaning of physically going places and taking off on an adventure.”

To which I say, hogwash. The subtle evocation of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” notwithstanding, the tagline really just sits there. There’s no raison d’être — it does nothing to carve out a positioning for Toyota, stake a claim on a particular driving segment, convey information, or evoke even the flutter of an emotion. (Interestingly, Avis’ new tagline “It’s your space,” reviewed last week, suffers from the same afflictions.)

The only saving grace for Toyota is that the new tagline replaces the almost equally bland “Moving Forward.” Constrast both with an automotive tagline that makes you understand the product positioning better—like BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine”—or makes you actually feel something—like Chevrolet’s unapologetically American “Chevy Runs Deep.”

Taglines have to add something. If they don’t, save yourself the money and go without.

Overall Grade:  C+

All trademarks & logos are the intellectual property of their respective companies and hereby acknowledged.

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Posted: Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 10:59 am

Maria Cypher

Naming industry innovator and Catchword co-founder

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