Copy Talk

Taglines for Things that Don’t Need Taglines

I’ve always found it strange that milk has an ad campaign. Not a specific brand of milk. Just all milk in general, advertising its existence.

Got milk? has been running for more than 20 years.[1] In fact, I’m only a few years older than the tagline. Quite a feat for two words and a question mark.

If milk was able to make a splash that big[2], imagine what other generic categories could create. Paper clips, what have you been doing all this time?[3]

To help these broad object categories get their branding off the ground, I’ve written taglines for a select few. For maximum effect, please read each line in a suave announcer-y voice.

Socks / Stifle the stench

Erasers / For all your dumb ideas

Apples / One a day or else

Lamps / Lighten up, dude

Oven mitts / We’ll handle things from here

Pens / Ink different

Cheese / There’s no smile without cheeeeese

Brussel sprouts / We’re cool now [4]

Letter openers / Something for the drawer?

Rice / Can’t save your phone. Can save dinner.

Glue / Sticktogetherforeverandever

If you’re reading this as a representative from the sock, eraser, apple, lamp, oven mitt, pen, cheese, brussel sprout, letter opener, rice or glue industry, let’s talk.  I’ve got some big (think super bowl) ideas for you.


[1] I can picture the campaign kick-off: five or six energetic ad people pitching the concept to a giant glass of milk, who is wordlessly nodding along, fingers pressed together.

[2] Why do people feel compelled to declare their intentions, or lack thereof, every time they use a pun? I refuse. It is for the reader to discern.

[3] For many years, paper clips relied on word of mouth to achieve mainstream awareness. However, a steady decline of people putting paper in stacks and then organizing those stacks led them to re-focus their strategic efforts on young and emerging markets. In recent years, paper clips have developed an extremely active Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter presence despite very few human followers.

[4] I still can’t believe this sometimes. Comeback story of the century.


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