The Sneaky Power of a Negative Tagline

Nancy Friedman
4 min readMar 17, 2023
“Made to Not Last”: a still from Becca Clason’s stop-motion animation of the See’s Candies tagline.

You’ve seen the rules: A company tagline should be a mini-mission statement. A tagline should convey a benefit. A tagline should never use words like not or, well, never.

Good advice, right? After all, look at Nike’s “Just Do It”: encouraging and uplifting. Or Disney’s “The Happiest Place on Earth”: a fairy tale come true. Or L’Oreal’s “Because You’re Worth It”: an anthem to self-esteem.

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Nancy Friedman

Writer, name developer, brand consultant, idea-ist, ex-journalist. @fritinancy on Mastodon, Instagram, Bluesky, Threads, and elsewhere.