By Nik Heimach, Digital Communications Management Assistant
The night before I started my very first day at Hirons, my roommate gave me a coffee mug as a good-luck present. As I blithely accepted, I noticed it displayed the Hirons insignia, along with its tagline:
Useful advice for an introvert intern freshly moved to the city.
But I’m in the advertising world now. I couldn’t possibly think of it as “advice.” I had to start thinking in terms of strategic rhetoric, market strategy and audience perception. That’s all a tagline is, right? Nothing more than a calculated foray into my vulnerable subconscious to promote brand loyalty. Sophistry at its finest!
On this side of the coin, a tagline is just the repetitive expression of an idea, simply created to tap into a collective emotion or purpose. Yes We Can! I’m Lovin’ It! Pop Pop, Fizz Fizz, Oh What A — you get it. Be Bold is a great tagline because it positively challenges audiences to live life fuller, to not hesitate in the face of fear, danger or doubt. For a company like Hirons, it translates to creative enthusiasm, enlivened communications and resolute professionalism. Pretty good for a tagline.
But every morning I look at that mug, it starts to seem like something more. Be Bold, it tells me, before heading into a still unfamiliar workplace. Be Bold, on a weekend when I could stay in or go explore my new city and meet new people. Be Bold, as I sit at a coffee shop, laptop open to watch YouTube or maybe write a script.
But wait. When did a tagline become a motto? A maxim? A dictum? A truism? An AXIOM! The more I adopt it, the more I question what I thought I knew about advertising. It’s easy to boil down advertising or public relations to simple keywords for cynical 20-somethings, but what happens when an advertisement becomes something else entirely?
Call it artistic integrity. Call it intelligent branding or strategic implementation. Call it whatever you want. It’s the meaning that matters, and, to me, it means something.
It means I have the opportunity to leap into the fray instead of tiptoe on the sidelines. I get to work for a company that challenges me not to be inhibited by the fear to succeed, the fear to matter.
But what do I know? I’m just a recent college grad, starting my life in a new city, with a new job and a new perspective. And you know what else? I’m Lovin’ It.