Taking a Tip from the Texas Anti-Littering Campaign

Mental Floss March April 2016

“Slogans are powerful marketing tools that can motivate customers to support your brand,” says Dustin Betonio of Tripwire Magazine, citing examples of highly successful word combinations:

  • Harley-Davidson – “American by birth. Rebel by choice.
  • Walmart – “Save Money, Live Better”
  • McDonalds – “I’m lovin it.”
  • Hallmark – “When you care enough to send the very best.”
  • Nike – “Just Do It”
  • Kentucky Fried Chickin – “Finger lickin good”

Like slogans, blog titles can serve as powerful marketing tools. In fact, as blog content writers, one big challenge we face is selecting the best title for each of our blog posts. One very good example is the billboard the Texas Department of Transportation used as the centerpiece of their highly successful anti-littering campaign:

Don’t Mess With Texas – Up to $1000 fine for littering!


What are some of the elements in this billboard that blog content writers can use in titles?

Alliteration and assonance
Those are literary devices that help make sentences more memorable because of repeated sounds. “mess” and “Texas” are not a perfect sound match, but the “ess” and “tex” sounds are close enough.

Having the billboard read “Up to one thousand dollar fine” wouldn’t have packed nearly the punch of the $1,000 in digits.

Strong language
Strong phrases (and quite frankly, negative ones) have more of an effect in titles.

In composing business blogs, we need to keep several goals in mind.  We want to write engaging titles,  we want to include keyword phrases to help with search, we want to be short and to the point, and  we want to use power words.  The overriding goal, though, in composing a title has to be making promises  we are going to be able to keep in the body of the blog post itself.

Don’t mess with business blog post titles – make them strong and definitive!






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