Business & Finance Advertising & sales & Marketing

Fun With Slogans

On Friday, I was prepping  one of the murder mystery parties we had scheduled for the weekend in Los Angeles.  This one required a crime scene set up as part of the interactive event.  This particular client wanted the crime scene to look especially gruesome and frightening.  Normally we emphasize the mystery and not the horror but our customer is always the number one person at our business so of course we complied.  As I packed the phony but very real looking  severed hand into the prop case, it occurred to me that someone must wake up every morning and say to themselves, "Its time to get down to the severed hand factory and crank out some more product!"   I wondered what the slogan must be for the makers of these fine products. I thought a great line might be,  "Each severed hand is hand crafted and made in the USA!"  

I had to suppress a giggle as I continued to pack the stage blood, stretcher, body bag, Crime Scene Display, Crime Scene Tape, Evidence Markers, bullet casings and assorted red herrings. What a crazy business I am in.  I thought back on all of our slogans that we have used in ads, and on hats and bumper stickers, coffee mugs and other promotional items over the many years we have been producing murder mystery and magic shows for private parties and events.  

I decided that our best marketing efforts including such gems as "Solving Fake Murders Since 1989!",  "Life is fun. Life is murder.  We offer both."  I think we rivaled multi million dollar Madison Avenue ad campaigns when we came up with: "CSI means Call Sharpo In". "Frame someone you love...for Murder!"

Slogans and slug lines are very important in defining the public's perception of a company.  In the age of twitter it is important to get your message out with as few words as possible.  I also believe very strongly that one should be very careful  to steer clear of any dubious claims or advertising puffery.  It seems that every murder mystery company claims to have invented the genre, or that they are the most popular mystery dinner theater, or the best dinner theater show.  These claims are hard to quantify and therefore meaningless.  We didn't invent murder mystery.   We are certainly innovators though; producing a unique interactive experience and quite possibly the first to integrate social media into the experience itself, using video clues on Youtube and tweeted clues before and during the murder mystery.

It takes lots of careful planning and it always takes more time to write a shorter message.  Shakespeare wrote that "Brevity is the soul of wit..."  Our purpose with our slogans are to impress upon our prospects the message that our mysteries are fun, unique, exciting and interactive. Also, by omitting puffery, we allow the brand to speak for itself.  We don't say we are number one but we have often suggested that we might very well be the very best at what we do.  

Our audiences range from novices and neophytes who have never experienced anything like what we do, to devotees who are insatiable who-dunnit fans who  regularly attend mystery events and murder mystery dinner theaters.  We want everyone to have a good time and the party starts when they first see our name and hear our slogans and slug lines.  So always have a good motto handy.  That's what I say. So take time and craft a message that has impact.  If you need help, just Call Sharpo In and we'll take it from there.

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