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OntoBox Training Presents:

THE OFFICIAL GUIDE


TO US 2016

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TAGLINES


Nonpartisan grades, explanations, and analysis for all 21 taglines,
including candidates who have dropped out!

An OntoBox Training Special Guide

Page 1 of 23

THE OFFICIAL GUIDE


TO US 2016

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TAGLINES


Nonpartisan grades, explanations, and analysis for all 21 taglines,
including candidates who have dropped out!

2016 is an election year, which makes 2015 the bulk of the presidential primary season. Candidates
have been out in full force this year, hogging your TV, taking over the airwaves, and presenting their pitch
to the American voters.

It may not be the traditional way we think about brand marketing, but each of these campaigns relies on
the power of their brand marketing strategies to woo voters and win elections.
Presented here is OntoBox Trainings analysis of all 21 presidential slogans for the 2016 US Presidential
Election, even those who have dropped out of the race. In developing this guide we took great care to
follow several rules:
1) We focused only on taglines, not the entire brand.
As defined in The Brand Map, a brand is a set of signs, aesthetics, and codes that differentiates a
company, product, or service and influences purchasing behavior. In this case, we focused only on the
codes part of that definition by focusing on the key, condensed selling points that make up each
candidates tagline. This isnt the whole brand; a tagline isnt everything, and a campaign can do well with
a bad tagline or perform poorly with a good one. Its just easier to do well when you have a good one.
2) We assessed each tagline in context of the larger political environment.
We looked at plenty of news in developing this, but rather than including an in-depth news analysis,
our goal was to offer you an assessment of each and every candidates tagline from a brand marketing
perspective. This guide is less about the news cycle and more about how the individual taglines will
perform with voters.
3) We didnt take sides.
Were not predicting anything or urging anyone to vote a certain way, nor are we overestimating the
power of a tagline. OntoBox Training doesnt back a presidential candidate; we just critiqued these slogans
to give you our take on who is doing a good job branding their candidate.
Presented here all 21 presidential campaign taglines with analysis,
graded and presented from worst to best.
Enjoy!

Page 2 of 23

RICK

PERRY

A
A RECORD
RECORD OF
OF LEADERSHIP
LEADERSHIP

Credit: Ed Shipul

STYLE:

Its difficult to comment on the style of a slogan that is relatively styleless. Its all subject and

no verb. It tries to own ongoing leadership, something that everyone running for president
has some record of. This slogan is so easy to forget that I have to continually look up at it to
remember what it is that Im criticizing. Nothing is worse than a bland tagline.

Perry relied on a very similar position during his first attempt at taking the White House:

POSITION:
POSITION:

that of a long-time governor of a state with a large budget. His track record failed to get
him elected that time; this time there are even more candidates in the race claiming a long
track record of success. In fact, when the race first began, Scott Walker claimed a very
similar market position to that of Perry, thereby immediately crowding his space on the
presidential stage and hurting both candidates. Since then, both have dropped out.

OVERALL:
OVERALL:

There are multiple reasons Rick Perry is no longer in the presidential race. One of those
reasons was lagging fundraising numbers. An uninspiring message is definitely one reason
those numbers might lag. Perrys brand just hasnt materialized on a national stage.

Page 3 of 23

JIM

WEBB

LEADERSHIP YOU CAN TRUST

Credit: Justin Hoch

STYLE:

D-

By using the pronoun You, Webbs slogan speaks directly to the reader, which establishes
a nice, personal tone. Other than that, Webbs slogan is empty and forgettable. Leadership,
once again, is a concept that every president owns by virtue of being the President of the
United States, so it really doesnt separate Webb from the other candidates. And as far as
declaring that you can trust him, well, what candidate wouldnt say that? This slogan reads
like a tagline for a used car dealership.

POSITION:

Declaring how trustworthy you are is the perfect way to get people not to trust you. Webb
may have been trying to play up his credentials as a policy leader and foreign policy thinker,
or imply something negative about his opponents, but this slogan fails to accomplish either
of those goals.

OVERALL:

Jim Webbs candidacy had several problems. He has dropped out of the Democratic race

and is considering running as an independent. Should he decide to do so, he should consider


a new slogan.

Page 4 of 23

MARTIN

OMALLEY
NEW LEADERSHIP

Credit: Martin OMalley

STYLE:

Hey, by the way, as the new leader of this country,


I will be a new leader of this country.

OMalleys campaign seems to take a page out of the Obama 2008 playbook. By using Change,

POSITION:

the Obama team managed to create a two-sided slogan that suggested a departure from
Bush policies while implying John McCain would continue those policies. He also managed to
become the inevitable; a changing of the guard. The problem is that the OMalley isnt a huge
departure from the Obama White House in terms of policy, but is a huge departure in terms
of charisma. The slogan may mean to imply that Hillary Clinton offers more of the same, but
voters are unlikely to draw the connection between his slogan and her candidacy. Theres just
not enough punch to stand out, a real shame in a primary with so few Democratic candidates.

OVERALL:

OMalley entered this race in the unenviable position of having to take on a decorated

the credentials to directly oppose her. He needed to do something daring with his brand to

member of one of Americas most powerful political families and an upstart insurgent with
stand a chance. This tagline isnt the answer.

Page 5 of 23

JEB

BUSH
ALL IN FOR JEB

Credit: Gage Skidmore

Jebs slogan is vague in everything except who it is about.This is an indication that the Bush

STYLE:

strategists believe he can rely 100% on his personal brand. All in is also a gambling term;
why would you want to sound like a casino when youre selling yourself to be the leader
of the free world? Poker players will potentially realize the upside of all in, but at best, this
slogan communicates he has a good chance of winning big and doing great things, but you
may also lose everything you own.

The candidate is the slogan; the problem with that is that the Bush family name, like any other

POSITION:

famous name, carries its own history. To win, it would make sense for him to differentiate
himself from the bad things the family has done while embracing the good things. This
slogan bets entirely that the Bush legacy resonates positively enough with voters to carry
him to victory. wThe slogan secondarily seeks to be universal by appealing to everyone,
a completely impossible task. In politics you need 50%+1. The Bush team should have
positioned for that instead of using something so general.

OVERALL:

The style of the slogan is counterproductive, and the strategy behind it takes a big risk on
something that seems pretty unlikely. Most presidents leave office with a negative approval
rating; the Bush Administration was no different. It has been a long time since then, and this
slogan fails to effectively address that.

Page 6 of 23

JOHN

KASICH

BUILDING A BETTER COUNTRY

Credit: Marc Nozell

STYLE:

Kasichs slogan is, for lack of a better word, generic. Almost as generic as the phrase for lack

of a better word. The verb, building, is weak; the adjective, better, sounds empty; and the
word country is vague. Which country does Kasich plan on building better? This slogan is like
the off-brand, not so attractive, easily forgettable cousin to Trumps tagline.

Literally every candidate believes they are building a better country.The question is what that

POSITION:

country looks like. Good presidential slogans are broad enough to encompass large crosssections of the voting population while still offering the voters a somewhat specific vision of
how to improve the country. This merely relies on the voters willingness to trust the Kasich
Campaigns ability to improve things. In branding, its more important to be different than it
is to be better; presidential politics play by the same rules. Does better mean more secure?
More prosperous? Freer? Kasich needs something specific to win, especially in a race where
he is considered moderate rather than a natural fit for the base of his party.

OVERALL:

Kasich needs more than this to win. Better is never a strong position to use. Its too unclear
and nebulous to mesmerize voters into pulling the lever in favor of the candidate.

BOBBY

JINDAL
TANNED, RESTED, READY

Credit: Ed Shipul

Like Carsons slogan, Jindals tagline uses a three step Boom Boom Bam approach, but it reads

STYLE:

more like the title for a mediocre country album. The three words used here share very little
in common and dont build on one another to present a strong message. The first word is a
nod towards his heritage, Rested doesnt make much sense or create any new context (if
anything, it makes it sound like Jindal hasnt done much leading up to his presidential campaign),
and Ready is, once again, a prerequisite for every candidate running for president. It is a fairly
memorable campaign slogan, but for all the wrong reasons.

Its no secret that ethnicity can play a role in presidential politics. Jindals slogan was a direct
counter to those criticizing him for supposedly distancing himself from his heritage. While

POSITION:

D-

there is a level of gutsiness to responding with something so on the nose, this slogan seems
to focus his entire campaign on his skin tone, rest and readiness. As much discussion as
there has been in the past two elections of Barack Obamas race and the role it played in
elections, Obamas camp never used something as directly connected to his background as
Jindal has in this tagline. Additionally, as mentioned in our synopsis of Lindsey Grahams slogan,
being ready is a prerequisite, not an advantage. Rest sits poorly against the hardworking
image portrayed by other campaigns.

OVERALL:

D-

Like Rick Perrys campaign, Bobby Jindals had a hard time getting off the ground. His tagline was
good for a little attention and a few chuckles, but in a year when Trump is filling huge stadiums
and saturating the news, this tagline was good for little more than a flash in the pan. Jindals exit
from the race was unsurprising.

Page 8 of 23

LINDSEY

GRAHAM

READY TO BE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
ON DAY ONE

Credit: Gage Skidmore

STYLE:

Not only is this slogan redundant, its confusing, inactive, and empty. First, the prepositions in
and on are too close together. Its the equivalent of saying that something is IN a box ON
the counter, requiring the reader to take an extra step to figure out what the claim is actually
referencing when all its really expressing is that Graham can do the job that is already expected
of a president. The second problem with this slogan is the phrase ready to be, which- in the
context of a presidential slogan- brings nothing new to the table. By running for president, its
already assumed that each candidate feels ready or else they wouldnt be running in the first
place.

POSITION:

D
OVERALL:

D-

Our first reaction to this tagline: Well I hope so! Being ready is just a prerequisite to the
job, and Commander in Chief is pretty much synonymous with President. On the other
hand, Commander and Chief speaks more to the national defense needs of the job without
considering the other aspects of leadership. Grahams campaign seems to be seeking contrast
with the previous president, who many in the GOP believe was not ready for foreign policy and
was too inexperienced to do the job. There are several problems with that though, the most
prominent of which is the fact that Barrack Obama isnt running again. Graham is also in a field
full of candidates who can claim to have made foreign policy decisions, including several senators
and a former Secretary of State. Therefore, the position fails to separate him from the rest of
the candidates in an effective way.

Lindsey Graham is currently far behind in the polls. His tagline is a symptom of why: he is known
within the elite levels of the party as a foreign policy expert, but thats not enough to propel
him forward as a powerful candidate. It could be that there isnt a natural position for him in this
years election, but the poor branding doesnt do him any favors.

Page 9 of 23

CHRIS

CHRISTIE
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS

Credit: Hello World Media

STYLE:

Not only is Christies slogan vague, its unoriginal. Tell it Like it is is an expression that goes

far back. For instance, Aaron Neville had a wildly popular single in 1966 with the same name.
It can be considered a catchy slogan only because of its use in popular culture, but as a
presidential campaign slogan, its a rip-off. Just telling it like it is.

The first and foremost positioning problem with Christies brand is that Trump has completely
taken over the leading brand position as the candidate that is unafraid to say what he wants.

POSITION:

C-

Christie may have once been the candidate most likely to speak his mind, but Trump now
owns that position and has more than enough money to defend it. Christies slogan does an OK
job reminding voters of his no-nonsense attitude commonly associated with New Jersey, but
even that is a double-edged sword, potentially hurting him in other regions of the United States
where politeness is paramount in daily interactions. Toughness in a candidate is positive, but not
if it comes with baggage.

OVERALL:

D-

Christies team needs a nearly perfect campaign to win an election with this many candidates.
This slogan is unoriginal and fails to separate him from the continual frontrunner in the race.
One of the worst slogans of this cycle.

Page 10 of 23

SCOTT

WALKER
REFORM. GROWTH. SAFETY.

Credit: Midwest Communications

STYLE:

D
POSITION:

COVERALL:

Walkers slogan is all brawn and no bite. It tries to own three concepts that most voters
would love to see, but because of how they are structured, one after another, the reader
forgets the first two by the time they get to Safety.The connotations of these three words
are misleading to readers that know nothing about Walkers policies. What does Walker
plan to reform? Is the slogan referring to economic, political, or territorial growth? And the
word Safety just doesnt seem right here. Safety makes readers think of a hard hat and
those goggles and face masks scientists wear when they are dealing with toxic fumes. Maybe
the slogan is referring to security more so than safety? Its hard to tell. There is no rhyme
or rhythm that unites these three words, so from a branding standpoint, it has no hope of
being retained by voters.

Populism wasnt a bad category for Walker to attempt to own. As governor of a midwestern
swing state, he has room to claim he knows what people want and has the ability to deliver
it. Yet the ideas this slogan focuses on spread his position far too thin. Its hard to be known
as the candidate that can change the country, improve the economy and keep us safe better
than anyone else; why not throw in how handsome the candidate is, too? This goes double
considering the field: Rubio, Trump, Fiorina, Cruz, Kasich, and Huckabee all promise big
changes as a key piece of their campaign; Fiorina and Trump have business credentials and
almost every candidate has spent some time managing the economy; and Lindsey Graham,
Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Hillary Clinton can all point to populist votes and/or decisions
on major foreign policy options. Theres just not enough psychological ground for Walker
to have survived.

Walker was touted as a strong contender prior to the race, a darling of his party and
national icon to voters on his side of the aisle. His campaign seemed to believe he could
be all things to all Republicans as well as those in the middle; instead, he dropped out of
the race.

Page 11 of 23

MARCO

RUBIO

A NEW AMERICAN CENTURY

Credit: Won Rak Park

Its always good to sound new and fresh, but every year is the start of a new century. On
the other hand, its 2016; are we in a parallel universe where 2016 is the start of a 100-

STYLE:

year block? Will America be on a different time system than that of the rest of the world?
Speaking of which, the American element of the slogan seems a bit forced. Essentially,
the internal logic behind the tagline falls flat. America is a good word to use, but its
almost a prerequisite for American presidential candidates. Theres also nothing particularly
structurally interesting about this. It doesnt use powerful compact language, a pleasant
rhythm, or any other common, powerful phrasing effectively.

Rubio wants to position as the youthful candidate in the race while maintaining his

POSITION:

position as a strong, powerful leader. Thats a smart move, considering he is the youngest
looking candidate in the race. On the other hand, his slogan sounds a lot like the former
neoconservative think tank The Project for a New American Century. Trying to sound
new and young usually works better when you dont pick a name that reminds people of
something old. Much of the base may not put those things together, or Rubio may be able
to position himself in a way that that it is not a credible worry. Regardless, its one drawback
to the slogan.

OVERALL:

Rubios tagline reminds you that he is new, but doesnt expand on that or bring new verbiage
to the table. Its not the worst tagline of the bunch. Its just not as strong as it could be.

Page 12 of 23

LINCOLN

CHAFEE

PROSPERITY THROUGH PEACE

Credit: Save The Bay

Through is a confusing preposition because it could mean to move inside of something

STYLE:

to come out of the other end, or it could refer to the continuation of a process towards an
end goal. In Chafees slogan, it obviously means the latter, but it runs the risk of sounding like
Peace is something that he hopes to get through. Using peace as a means of prospering
is a very powerful concept, and the alliterative nature of the slogan makes it stick in the
minds of voters.That is if they take the time to stop and understand what the slogan actually
means.

Lincoln Chafees slogan needed to be something exceptionally strong. By throwing in on

POSITION:

B-

the side of the presumed divide between Peace and Security he made it very clear where
he stands on issues of national policy and separated himself in some respect from the
Democratic frontrunner. His slogan speaks to the need for smart economics, also a plus.The
problem is that Lincoln Chafees greatest strength as a politician is his willingness to do the
right thing, even if it means standing out for doing it. As risky as it may seem to rest on that,
that would have been his best shot this cycle.

OVERALL:

C+

Lincoln Chafee has changed parties over the course of his career, a move that can present
a barrier to entry into the White House by dampening the enthusiasm of the base. He also
entered this cycle with perhaps more need than anyone else to jumpstart his candidacy in
a way that had never been done before. This lacked the dramatic impact needed to make
his candidacy work, and his elimination from the race demonstrated that.

Page 13 of 23

CARLY

FIORINA

NEW POSSIBILITIES. REAL LEADERSHIP.

Credit: Marc Nozell

STYLE:

C
POSITION:

B-

The parallel structure of Fiorinas slogan is nice, but from a branding standpoint, it is better
to own a specific singular idea in the mind of your audience. Here we are presented with
two fairly vague ones. This isnt necessarily a bad thing; it just makes the slogan, and what
it represents, less memorable. Fiorinas slogan also tells rather than shows us what New
Possibilities await or what it means to be a Real leader.

Fiorinas advantage in the race is that she is the only woman running on the GOP side and
she has some of the strongest private sector credentials in the field. The new possibilities
are a slight nod to those strengths, while the note on her leadership calls to mind her
time as CEO of HP. As good a job as the slogan does to put those ideas at the forefront of
the minds of voters, leadership and newness is already oversaturated in campaign slogans.
Furthermore, real leadership is fairly general. Like most real-world challenges, Fiorinas
dilemma is how to draw attention to what makes her different without narrowing her
position to the female candidate (where she has to go head to head with Clinton) or the
business candidate (where she has to take on Trump).

OVERALL:

C+

Theres nothing terrible about Fiorinas slogan, but for a candidate with some non-traditional
appeal in an exceptionally crowded race, its not going to help her stand out. Fiorina would
be better served to focus on one singular idea that resonates with a broader audience.
Her management credentials offer her an opportunity to do so, but she has not yet taken
advantage of them.

Page 14 of 23

BEN

CARSON
HEAL, INSPIRE, REVIVE

Credit: Michael Thomas

STYLE:

Carsons slogan uses three, positive, action-oriented verbs. Action-oriented slogans are
good at getting people to act, but they often fail to represent the actual candidate. Its better
to own ideas rather than actions, which is why Obamas slogans, Hope and Change were
so successful. The three-word structure has advantages and drawbacks, especially once you
consider the nature of the words themselves. One-word slogans are powerful because they
own one idea; owning three words in the mind of the market is challenging. The interplay
between the three words is also loose: revive is technically a more intense version of
healing.

POSITION:

B
OVERALL:

B-

Carsons slogan is unique to him and plays to the partys base. The candidate is a well
known neurosurgeon, so heal and revive are words that fit with his most impressive
accomplishments. The words also are a callback to Christian religious reformation; revival
and healing are at the core of religious practice for many evangelical voters. Like Ted Cruzs
slogan, the slogan does imply there is something currently problematic with American
society, that it needs healing.

Carsons campaign has the right idea in that they are weighing heavily on his best distinctions.
He is one of the only medical professionals in the race and is easily the most celebrated.This
marks him squarely as someone outside the establishment and Beltway politics as a whole,
which is his best shot for winning. The problem is his slogan spreadsthe message just a bit
too thin and fails to paint an exact picture of who he is.

Page 15 of 23

BERNIE

SANDERS
A POLITICAL REVOLUTION
IS COMING

Credit: Marc Nozell

STYLE:

C
POSITION:

B
OVERALL:

B-

There is nothing catchy about Sanders slogan, although the promise of an imminent political
revolution is fairly memorable. The anticipation of the final clause, is Coming, shows that
Bernie is both confident and exciting, like an action movie planned to come to a theater
near you. Stylistically, Bernies slogan is far from the worst of the bunch, but it definitely is not
the best. Strong, but not overpowering. Memorable, but not unforgettable.

Sanders messaging as a whole has been somewhat daring. He has declared himself
a socialist, taken hard verbal stances against large institutions, implemented the highly
successful #FeeltheBern hashtag, and used the words revolution and rigged economy
in a high number of his policy statements. Sanders is more than willing to play the role of
insurgent in his party, and all of his messaging speaks to that.

This slogan does a good job representing who the candidate is, but it doesnt make a strong
case for the candidate. Sanders may have earned a fervent base and a strong war chest,
but he needs to persuade the voters that the revolution is something they should back.

Page 16 of 23

RICK

SANTORUM
RESTORE THE AMERICAN DREAM
FOR HARDWORKING AMERICANS

Credit: New Hampshire public radio

STYLE:

B-

Rick Santorums campaign slogan is one of the most specific of the bunch, but its not the
catchiest. Its strong in a branding sense because it speaks directly to Santorums audience
of Hardworking Americans. And the use of epanalepsis (repeating a word from the
beginning of a phrase at the end, which in this case is the word American) strengthens
this slogan rhetorically. But there still seems to be something missing, a rhyme or a rhythm,
that can make this slogan go from alright to unforgettable.

Santorum is known for his socially conservative credentials and populist economic policies.

POSITION:

This slogan speaks more to the second than the first, allowing him to appeal to more
religious and socially conservative voters while differentiating himself as a candidate with the
average needs of middle class voters in mind.The position is still somewhat generic, and may
not have enough strength to overcome other hardships with his candidacy, but its an honest,
credible, candid expression of who the candidate is and what he cares about.

OVERALL:

Rick Santorum has a nice slogan; thats it. Nice is good enough in some markets to pick up
some market share and survive, but it isnt good enough to beat back all comers en route
to arguably the most powerful position in the world. Then again, if a candidate can escape
the primaries, the dynamics of the race change and all bets are off.

Page 17 of 23

TED

CRUZ

REIGNITING THE PROMISE OF AMERICA

Credit: Ted Cruz

STYLE:

Strong building block concepts, good offer, easy to say, good cadence, ends on America.
The structure starts with a strong verb that affects a really strong noun: the Promise
of America. Reigniting evokes the traditional liberty torch imagery classic in American
symbolism. The slogan also seems to imply that the flame of promise is dwindling.

POSITION:

This message speaks to the base of the party by reminding them that the last two terms of

B+

leadership were not what they wanted. The slogan is a bit more general, but still matches

OVERALL:

Its a solid slogan, but theres nothing exceptional about the way the words are arranged or

the ideas those words express. Cruz has enough assets that this slogan should work well

Cruzs wish for more traditional policies. It also speaks to the bootstraps concept of
America, the Land of Opportunity.

enough for his campaign.

Page 18 of 23

HILLARY

CLINTON
ITS YOUR TIME

Credit: Minnesota Independent

STYLE:

This tagline works because its simple, short, and about the reader. It declares that Hillary

will be led by her constituents desires, which, as a voter in a democratic nation, is a huge
appeal. The conjugation of It is makes Clintons tagline sound young and hip, but it could
have exuded more strength if it read, It IS Your Time.

Clintons slogan is somewhat intriguing. It ties Clinton to the fate of America, and suggests

POSITION:

she personifies their wishes and success. It also speaks directly to the voters, positioning
her as personable and helping to inoculate her against some of the most common attacks
lodged against her in previous political battles. There is a drawback in that Clinton has been
a candidate in the past but came up short meaning it was not the voters time, it
seems. Yet many of her current supporters probably voted against her in the 2008 primary.
The slogan is akin to most of the Clinton camps branding efforts: interesting and marked
with professional-level creative concepts, but not quite perfect in its execution.

OVERALL:

Clintons tagline works. Its not the most powerful in the entire race, but its the most
powerful on her side of the aisle and probably good enough to supplement her high name
recognition and powerful warchest.

Page 19 of 23

MIKE

HUCKABEE
FROM HOPE TO HIGHER GROUND

Credit: American Solutions

STYLE:

A well-branded slogan typically plays off of whats been done before, and that is exactly what

Huckabees campaign slogan does. It builds on the optimism of Obamas Hope campaign
and promises to take it to new heights. Better yet, Huckabees message centers around an
alliteration (Hope to Higher) making it catchy and easy for voters to remember.

Huckabee is an optimistic, faith-focused candidate. His political positions and wishes for
America seek to take the small-town perspective to the national stage, an approach that

POSITION:

could be very effective for many important national constituencies in the South, Midwest,
and rural areas all over the country. It sneakily positions President Obamas Hope as the
equivalent of lower ground without sounding too negative. Unlike Cruzs or Trumps slogan,
it makes the claim of a better America without making it sound like the state of American
politics was or is in a decline. Huckabees political description matches his platform. The
only question is whether or not the evangelical wing of the GOP is too crowded for
another candidate given the presence of Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and other
candidates who have expressed their credentials with that audience. .

OVERALL:

Huckabee combines populism and moral principles to comprise the overall image of his

B+

campaign. His position is something that should sell well in his party and has sold well in the
country at-large, but still may not be enough to vault him to victory.

Page 20 of 23

GEORGE

PATAKI
PEOPLE OVER POLITICS

Credit: The New England Council

Patakis slogan is punchy, clear, and memorable. It owns the idea of prioritizing social needs

STYLE:

and issues over political power and gain, which makes Patakis brand strong and focused.The
construction of Patakis slogan literally pops off the lips and in the mind of those that read it
with its alliterative P sounds separated by a preposition. Its also one of the shortest, three
word slogans of the bunch, and it actually means something.

Pataki entered the race as an underdog: a northeastern Republican with less funding than

POSITION:

B+

many of his competitors. This slogan adds an interesting dynamic to his brand that fits well
with his general populist position: standing up for the citizens against the political nature of
policy. The slogan makes him both bipartisan and juxtaposed to the growing influence of
Washington, DC. Its not necessarily the reddest meat that the base of the party can be fed,
but it suggests the right thing and does just enough to offer him some space on the stage.

Patakis team did a very good job with his slogan.There are still lots of barriers between him

OVERALL:

A-

and the Oval Office: hes not polling high enough to be included in party debates, Santorum
and Bernie Sanders are both playing to the power of people over larger forces, John Kasich
is playing up his own moderate credentials, Trump and Carson are filling up the news, and
his general position may be more moderate than the GOP prefers. Yet if Pataki fails, his
communications team can rest assured they did their best to avoid that fate.

Page 21 of 23

DONALD

TRUMP

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Credit: bradsteinmetz

STYLE:

This slogan is short, to the point, and very memorable. It includes both assonant (the

echoing A vowel sounds in the words Make and Great) and alliterative (American and
Again both begin with the letter A) techniques that give this slogan a balance that makes
it perfect for a hat, a shirt, or even a hashtag.

Donald Trump has flirted with presidential runs in the past but has never before officially
thrown his hat into the ring. Its safe to say that the position he has taken is a strong one,

POSITION:

and that he knows how to brand. While Trumps overall efforts have been mostly focused
on leveraging the power of his own personal brand by using back-and-forth exchanges
with candidates, politicians, and commentators, his tagline speaks to a larger national fervor.
That fervor has earned him a solid block of GOP support that doesnt easily erode, and
positioned him to pick up a few more points here and there along the way. Whether or not
Trump wins the election or wasever in position to do so, his branding has been spot on.
Therefore, while his slogan does imply that the US is not currently great (somewhat echoing
the slogans of Cruz, Huckabee, and John Kasich), it also speaks heavily to his specific position
as an un-candidate.

OVERALL:

Trump easily has the best credentials in the field of branding out of any of the 2016
presidential contenders; his name is on everything from steaks to broadcasting to goldplated buildings. His tagline is a symptom of his successful overall effort.

Page 22 of 23

RAND

PAUL

DEFEAT THE WASHINGTON MACHINE.


UNLEASH THE AMERICAN DREAM.

Credit: bobvyn

Rand Pauls campaign slogan presents two very strong promises written in a parallel

STYLE:

structure that rhymes. From a branding standpoint, this makes the slogan catchy while

remaining ultra-specific. The word choice is also extremely effective and passion driven
with its verbiage of Defeating and Unleashing two concepts that resonate well in the
psyche of American voters: Washington as a Machine and America as a land of dreams and
opportunities.

Rand is the libertarian candidate in the race. There is something people can appreciate

POSITION:

about contrarian messaging in politics; a politician who is against politics is just what the
doctor (Not Ben Carson) ordered for many Americans who believe more of the same
will fall short of solving Americas problems. Calling Washington a Machine is popular
within the Republican Party, as is The American Dream. The American Dream is also a
popular idea in the independent libertarian worldview, a perspective that stresses personal
responsibility.

OVERALL:

Pauls uniqueness in this race is his ideology. One way or another, that is something he has
to own and make into a strength if he wants to win the nomination and the election. This
tagline fearlessly declares its willingness to stand on the principles the candidate holds dear
while separating him from his competitors.

Page 23 of 23

THE OFFICIAL GUIDE


TO US 2016

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TAGLINES


Nonpartisan grades, explanations, and analysis for all 21 taglines,
including candidates who have dropped out!

Disagree with us? Want more insight into slogans and brand marketing strategy?
Join our mailing list or contact us at Learn@OntoBoxTraining.com.

About the Author


Daniel J. Cohen is A Co-Founder and Course Engineer of OntoBox Training. In the past, he has served as the lead
communications strategist and the voice of hundreds of brands in various industries. Cohen received a Masters
Degree in Communication with a focus in public relations and a bachelor of arts in political science from American
University in Washington, DC.
To contact him, email Learn@OntoBoxTraining.com.
You can also follow him on Twitter @mrdancohen.

About the Editor


Alexander E. Oriani is a lead writer and editor at RedShift Writers. His focus is on brand content development,
rhetoric, and style. He also has a background in the performing arts including dance, theatre, and more recently,
improvisational comedy. Oriani received a Bachelors Degree in English Literature and Letters from Texas State
University in San Marcos, Texas.

About OntoBox Training


OntoBox Training combines sound academic principles with pragmatic business knowledge to bring powerful
training to professional people. OntoBox courses train and certify students in sales, marketing, content
development, brand strategy and other core business competencies. OntoBoxs groundbreaking course Brand
Mapping 101 features the first-ever release of the proven proprietary Inc. 500-caliber brand marketing tool:
The Brand Map.

For more information, visit www.OntoBoxTraining.com.