The short answer is a political slogan tends to miss its mark. Surveys have revealed that political slogans are heavily used during the high fever of an election campaign in a democratic country. Voters want to hear promises made by people whom they may be persuaded to vote.

Unfortunately more than half of what were promised during pre-election do not get implemented after election. For many political leaders it is over promise, under deliver.

Public office is full of backstabbing, character assassination, loud rhetoric, false narrative, even fake news, misinformation and scandal mongering.

So when the new Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced ‘Malaysia Madani’ will replace ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ slogan by the last prime minister, many voters and citizens reacted negatively. They are tired of seeing hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money used for personal PR, with huge slogan posters in every government office, billboards, in government events and fairs whenever a new administration create its own brand or slogan.

The biggest joke is Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan. 1Malaysia (also called Satu Malaysia ) is an idea introduced by the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia , Najib Razak on April 2, 2009. 1Malaysia’s slogan in 2009 was “People First, Achievements First”. The essence of this idea is the idea of ​​one nation regardless of ethnic, sub-ethnic and cultural diversity. It was allegedly copied from One Israel by the then Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Suddenly dozens of new initiatives had 1Malaysia in it, 1M slogan appeared in corners, walls, government office entrances. When 1MDB failed, many Malaysians realized they had been duped by the seductive slogan.

The United States Department of Justice made this statement in their website: 1MDB was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment. Its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people. Instead, funds held by 1MDB and proceeds of bonds issued for and on behalf of 1MDB were taken and spent on a wide variety of extravagant items, including luxury homes and properties in Beverly Hills, New York, and London; a 300-foot superyacht; and fine art by Monet and Van Gogh. The funds also were sent into numerous business investments, including a boutique hotel in Beverly Hills, a movie production company that made “The Wolf of Wall Street” while the embezzlement scheme was ongoing, the redevelopment of the Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan, and shares in EMI, the largest private music-rights holder.

But in the private sector, slogans and taglines have been used successfully especially if the brand can deliver the promise made by the slogan. Case in point: the iconic “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” slogan helped FedEx separate itself from its competitors.

There is a big difference between a slogan and a tagline. Slogans impart the company’s mission, while taglines call to mind an image of the brand or the company’s vision. A slogan is more advertising focused, and a tagline is more public relations focused, meaning slogans are used to sell an item and taglines raise awareness about the overall brand. Unlike slogans, taglines don’t tell customers what your company does. For example “Just do it” tagline for Nike does not reveal what Nike does. In summary, slogan is ad, tagline is PR.

Both phrases are quick and easy to read, but slogans are often longer than taglines. Taglines are typically seven words or fewer, while a slogan is nine to ten words. Because slogans include the business’s entire mission, they contain a higher word count. Slogans tend to be used for only one product or campaign and don’t last as long as taglines. Taglines are timeless and rarely change since they represent the overall brand. Companies change their slogans when they want to focus on a new theme or idea.

~ Robren, is the Creative Director of Omada Worldwide, a makeover niche rebranding consultancy.

Published on: 18 January 2023.

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