Friday, January 13, 2006

Searching for a tagline.

I've always wanted a good tagline. Good ones are truly memorable. Who can forget "Keep your stick on the ice", and "And that's the way it is". Who do you think of when you see "Real men play boardgames" or even "MMM"?

People who come up with good taglines are lucky, and people like me are left saying to ourselves, "I could have thought of that." But what really irks me is that Mary (Sodaklady right here on this very blog) comes up with a classic tagline every week:

Talk nice to your dice
May your men control the Castillo
May all your farmers lie in large fields
I'll be trading my sheep for pesos
Only the mediocre are always at their best
Buy stock in Ziploc
May your camels be swift and plentiful
Until next time, Clubs are trump

These are just a few of the lines she has signed off with each Wednesday, and I can come up with bupkis.

It's killing me. I have thought about it on and off for 3 months, and the best I can do is, "Keep your snowboots handy".

I was waiting in my car the other day and I noticed a sign that had the line "The Champagne of Beers". That got me thinking. "The Champagne of Beers" isn't really a tagline, nor is it particularly good, but it is proof that a tagline doesn't need to be catchy to be identifiable. That lead to new ideas.

Hmmmmmm, "You know you're a gamer if you know more Knizia stats than Favre stats". It has the possibility of being adaptable, for example, "You know you're a gamer if you wait until you check out to decide if you'll buy coffee, tobacco, or sugar." But no, it is too long. Not a bad first try. Something edgy would be good.

"Will trade John Kerry for Francis Tresham". Edgy, yet outdated. It would only be good for a couple months at most. It is also too long and too political. (Note to self: that one might make a good bumper sticker.) Controversial, I need a little controversy to catch eye.

"Charles Darrow is a fag." Not just no, but hell no. It catches the eye. It's edgy. It's controversial. It's insider-ish. It's short. It's better than "Keep your snowboots handy", it's a mile better than "The Champagne of Beers", but I quickly discarded it before I alienate my last two readers. Maybe controversy isn't so good.

"Keep your nose to the grindstone." Ahhhhh no. Now I'm back off track. It's not controversial, but I want to keep my tagline search related to game topics and away from grandma-isms.

"May your opponent's sand timer be a few grains short". Now we're getting somewhere. It's game related and original. It's as good as the already taken, "May all your hits be crits" but it is too "chessy" ("chessy" not "cheesy", although it is a little cheesy).

I could use the phrase I am currently using on my geek badge. It's not political. It is a spoof on politics, though. "Knizia/Moon '08". (Note: After I had Knizia and '08 on the geek badge, I only had enough room left to put Moon or Berg in the second slot.) I put that one on my "possible" list. I then went to my wife to ask for a tagline. I should have known better.

"I'll play it by my rules" was her response. She thought it was hilarious. When she noted my squinty-eyed glare and lack of laughter she got serious and said, "Will game for food"? That was better, I put it on my "possible" list. Two days later she said, "I thought of one."

"One what?"

"A tagline."

"What is it?"

"Will trade John Kerry for Bruno Faidutti."

"That doesn't make any sense."

"Why not? I thought it was funny.

"That's like trading Marx for Lenin, it's way too insider-ish and I already decided not to get political."

"Well maybe I'll use it then."

It was clear that she would be no further help, and I had a back-up idea anyway. The other day I surfed on over to a local gamer website and I noted that many of the posters (video-game players all) signed off with "Currently playing (Insert Latest-Must-Have Video Game)". That might work.

Currently Playing Carcassonne. No. If I'm writing something I'm really not playing Carcassonne. It wouldn't make much sense, and no one would buy it. But I could modify it a little.

"Currently reading the rules to Reef Encounter". Most people would discard that, I on the other hand, am desperate for a tag line. Even though "Currently reading the rules for Reef Encounter" is original, it means nothing to the uninitiated masses and it has an elitist and snobbish ring to it. I don't see a downside.

I am currently reading the rules to Reef Encounter, Revolution: The Dutch Revolt, Railroad Tycoon, and Descent: Journey into Dark. I am always reading the rules to something.

Oh well, I've come to the conclusion that a good tagline is kind of like pornography. I can't define it, but I'll it know it when I see it.

Until next time, Keep your snowboots handy.

Coldfoot (Currently reading the rules to Reef Encounter)


Joe Gola said...

I thought I gave you one a long time ago:

"Gamers do it on the kitchen table!"

It's gold I tell ya.

zorg said...

Nice post. Very Dave Barryish. :)

Coldfoot said...

You can pass on to Mrs. Coldfoot that I personally love "Will game for food".

How about shortening the rules one to "Currently reading rules"? Or "Rules rule"? Maybe something that signifies gaming *and* your geographic area: "Alaskan Meeples keep their snowshoes handy"? :)

I'm glad to hear someone appreciates my weekly taglines. It's hard to find a good one each week so if I ever come up with a GREAT one, I think I'll stick with it. My favorite is still the first one "Keep your dinos out of the water."

Dame Koldfoot said...

That is not really what happened. I gave Koldie my tagline, then reminded him to email John Wilder (Life in Alaska) about playing cards Monday. But if that is who Koldie wants to remember it . . .so be it.

Until I'm Governor next, will game for resources.

Jacob said...

I dunno....I still think my wife's suggestion was catchy -- "Meeples mopple but they don't fall down." -- You can have that one.

I'm still keeping "I don't play around when it comes to games..." That one just calls to me...course, I need to actually remember to put my tagline at the bottom of my posts.

Come to think of it...I need to remember to post!

A Gamer's Eye
"I don't play around when it comes to games..."

Pawnstar said...

This reminds me of my t-shirt idea:

Puerto Rico: Ship Happens!

Well I thought it was good...maybe I'll make it one day.

Then there's Gamers Do It In Turns.

I'll quit while I'm ahead...

huzonfirst said...

Mary, please keep changing your taglines each week, even though it's a pain to keep coming up with them. I always look forward to them and you're very good at creating them. Besides, it will continue to drive Brian crazy!

Jacob said...

Ooh, I got a new one! This one's all mine, though.....

"Beer & pretzels, because beer and cheese-puffs would be too messy"

Anonymous said...

Mine is:
"Keep the dice on the table & the drinks off the board"

How about:
"Life: Good cereal, bad game"
"Proctologist Monopoly: Nobody wins in the end"
"Bad idea: Jabba the Hutt Twister"
"This house protected by the number 7 and Army cards"

Anonymous said...

"Wood for sheep"