Slogans: Too artificial for the real world
Want to know another reason so much advertising, marketing, and fundraising is bad? Dan Heath and Chip Heath (authors of Made to Stick -- reviewed here) have a theory in Fast Company: Made to Stick: The Anti-Slogan Argument.
They've noticed that attempts to motivate people devolve into sloganeering -- catchy little phrases that no mentally healthy human would use in conversation. You know: taglines. They're meant to capture the essence of whatever you're talking about in a clever, memorable way.
Trouble is, it just doesn't sound real. As the Heaths say:
People don't speak slogan-language today unless they're trying to put one over on you. So when you hear one, you immediately become cynical. (Just imagine your prickly reaction if your kids started minting slogans: "If you love somebody, get them Wii.")
The solution: Just start telling stories. The way you do with your friends.
Slogans, taglines, advertising, brand guidelines -- that stuff is over. If you want to motivate people, act like a person.
Thanks to Brains on Fire for the tip.