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What Is a Catch Line?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
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A catch line is a brief sentence or slogan used to describe a business. Employees or managers of the company develop this catch line, which can then be used for advertising and branding purposes. Businesses use this line, in conjunction with the company logo or other identifying information, to create a brand or identify for the company. An effective catch line captures the consumer's attention, gives him a feeling or description of the company, and encourages him to buy goods or services from the firm. This type of business slogan may also be known as a tag line or strap line.

While the exact structure and length of a catch line tends to vary by company, most share a number of specific features. The majority are brief, though they may or may not form a complete sentence. These slogans are typically catchy and easy to remember. They sum up the basic essence of the company quite concisely. Firms that are trying to project a certain image can create a catch line that reflects this image, rather than a phrase that describes who the company is or what it does.

To come up with an effective catch line, company representatives may spend a great deal of time brainstorming. They may attempt to capture a specific feature of the company's products or services, or the benefits that the company offers compared to its competitors. Others focus on the firm's goals or mission, rather than any specific products. Companies can also create a catch phrase that simply gives customers a good feeling, which may have little to do with the business or its products.

A solid catch phrase is an important tool for a new business, allowing customers to quickly get an idea of what the firm is all about. It can also help the company rebrand or revamp its image with the public to liven up sales, or overcome a scandal. In addition to their impact on consumers, a catch line can also help remind employees of the image it should be projecting, or the goals of the company. These tag lines appear in commercials, jingles and other forms of advertising. They are also included on materials such as business cards, letterhead, or signs.

To understand how catch lines work, consider some of the more well-known examples. One American car maker uses the tag line "Like a Rock," to capture the durability and reliability of its trucks. Many insurance agencies have also come up with memorable and well-known catch lines. State Farm Insurance includes the line "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There," while Allstate uses the phrase "You're In Good Hands With Allstate" to similar effects. Nationwide insurance promises customers that "Nationwide Is On Your Side," while Geico emphasizes price with its tag line, "15 Minutes Could Save Your 15 percent or More."

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