Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Slogan Slogging for Enhanced Creativity


It's time to share a little secret of mine with all my beloved fans.

This is a little exercise in creativity, a way to train your mind to think outside the brainwashing box.

It's a simple deconstruction technique that has been used, but maybe never defined, by advertisers and salespeople for ages.

Ever heard of "slogan slogging" aka "proverb busting" aka "motto mangling" aka "topsy turveying"?

Of course you haven't. I invented those terms myself and have, to date, never really revealed them to anyone in any serious exposition.

It's fun, safe, and provides hours of diversion for the whole family. All it takes is a little imagination, boredom, and contempt for conformist group think.

Step-by-Step Guide to Slogan Slogging

Here's how it works:

1. Select a commonly accepted, oft repeated phrase that bugs you.

2. Now, start changing words in the phrase. Show no mercy. Warp and distort at will. Try reversing the meaning or expanding the intention. Or re-craft the phrase as a reply to the one who used it. (See Example 5)

3. Next, re-write the phrase retaining all the demolishing and mutations. Voila! you got yourself a slogged slogan. Congratulations!

4. Finally, start using the mangled motto as often as possible, forcing it aggressively into conversations and email messages.

5. Someday, eventually, someone will get tired of your busted proverb and will turn it upside down or inside out, perhaps reverting back to the original statement. This cannot be helped or avoided, since it's beyond your control.

Examples of Slogan Slogging:

In case you didn't quite follow clearly what I described above, let's look at some real world samples of slogans I've slogged.

I'm not trying, in these examples, to create real advertising slogans, but to just show you the process.

This process may come in handy when you're trying to come up with ideas for product names, sales material, marketing strategies, etc.


[Original Slogan]: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."

[Slogged Slogan]: "Yesterday was the last day of the past of your life."

Okay, that was a technique called Topsy Turveying: standing the statement on its head, turning it in the opposite direction.


[Original Slogan]: "Two heads are better than one."

[Slogged Slogan]: "Two hands are better than one thousand."


[Original Slogan]: "If you can't beat em, join em."

[Slogged Slogan]: "If you can't join em, start your own club."


[Original Slogan]: "It's raining."

[Slogged Slogan]: "What's raining?"


[Original Slogan]: "Same difference."

[Slogged Slogan, as distorted feedback]: "But different sameness."


[Original Slogan]: "There must be a reason for it."

[Slogged Slogan]: "There must be an id for reason."


[Original Slogan]: "What's up?"

[Slogged Slogan, as technical answer disguised as inquiry]: "What's the opposite of down?"


[Original Slogan]: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

[Slogged Slogan]: "Change the world, you want to be in the sea."

[Alternate Slogan Slog]: "See the bee you want to change in the world."


[Original Slogan]: "God helps those who help themselves."

(According to a recent survey, this is the favorite Bible verse of Americans, but it's not in the Bible, so I can safely slog it.)

[Slogged Slogan]: "God heals those who hurt themselves."


[Original Slogan]: "I think, therefore I am."

[Slogged Slogan]: "I think I am, therefore I think."


[Original Slogan]: "If the human mind was simple enough to understand, we'd be too simple to understand it."

[Slogged Slogan]: "If the simple understand was human enough to mind, understand: we'd be too human to mind it."


[Original Slogan]: "I have mixed feelings about it."

[Slogged Slogan]: "I have felt mixings about it."


[Original Slogan]: "When it rains, it pours."

[Slogged Slogan]: "When it pains, it's sores."


[Original Slogan]: "What's the sound of one hand clapping?"

(Supposedly anti-logic Zen koan devised to demonstrate how the mental understanding is limited and word play can supposedly stymie the mind. I disagree. I believe the mind is more than words, though I'm using words to convey this.)

[Slogged Slogan]: "What's the point of one hand shaking?"

[Alternate Slogan Slog in the form of a reasoned reply]: "Since one is half of two, the sound of one hand clapping is half the sound of two hands clapping."

[Alternate Slogan Slog in the form of a seasoned supply]: "Whoosh. Whoosh." (sound of one hand slapping the empty air.)


That's enough for now.

You've got the hang of it, right?

Okay, good.

Now it's your turn.

Go ahead.

Slog a slogan.

This is how you can come up with advertising slogans and headlines and product names.

By putting a new twist on an old saying.

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