Rude, Profane Tag Lines Are Bad Marketing

I’ve blogged about this before. but I really hate it when people resort to bathroom humor and profanity in order to get a laugh or create attention for themselves. I performed stand-up comedy years ago on open-mike nights, and I got to the point that I hated the craft that I once loved, because I saw too many comedians resort to profanity — instead of creativity. That’s why I like Jerry Seinfled. His humor is clever, true, thought-provoking, and it doesn’t degrade you by listening to it. I also adore a wholesome, wildly entertaining show such as Warren & Annabelle’s magic/comedy nightclub on Maui. Not only do you see an incredible up-close-and-personal magic show, it’s always performed by a clever, creative comedian. Usually it’s owner Warren Gibson, but when he’s out of town, he has other clean comedians stand in for him. It’s always a great night, without a shred of scatalogical humor. I’m all for that. That’s what real entertainment is supposed to be — something that required great thought, precision, and skill. You feel uplifted when you see it, and it’s fun for the entire family.

Which reminds me. There’s a very popular restaurant on Maui that has a signature tag line that is shocking to me. Quite frankly, it is “What The F**?” Can you believe this? Some moron over there in beautiful aloha-land sat down and thought about this, and believed that this catchphrase would be the BEST way to market his restaurant in paradise. These words are proudly displayed with the restaurant name, even on T-shirts and caps. I’m purposely not giving you the name of the restaurant, because I don’t want to advertise them. But this tag line is a disgrace. It basically says, “Hi, I cannot think of anything better in terms of marketing my business, so I’ll just resort to profanity.” I’m not impressed.

Which leads me to the makers of a popular spicy sauce in this country. In newspapers, and on the radio, I hear their tagline, which is, “I put that s**t on everything.” I’m stunned. I’m astonished. As a decent law-abiding person, but moreso, as a marketing author and marketing professional. That is supposed to be clever? That required talent? Give me a break. I wouldn’t eat that stuff with a ten-foot pole. It’s just plain crass.

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