Corporate Theme Lines Often Don’t Align With Company Culture.


I love being involved with the development of agency corporate theme lines.

When we were pitching a new campaign or a piece of business, out would come one of the presentation boards that was placed on rails in the agency conference room. Then the reveal moment.

One of my favorites was when I worked on a Laxative called Nature’s Remedy. Out came the theme line reveal. When Nature Needs a Nudge. Brilliant, as the British say.

In the New Normal I have seen a lot of theme lines that are just Gold Smoke. Companies just talking to themselves.

You may not have heard of Ocwen. According to Wikipedia, as of 2014 it had rights to service a mortgage portfolio of $500 Billion making it the biggest non-bank servicer of US Mortgages.

I live in Orange County which was once the epicenter of the mortgage industry with large Ditech, New Century and Ameriquest logos on the top of buildings.  Ameriquest sponsored the Rolling Stones and many foreclosures.

Ocwen’s theme line is, “Helping Home Owners is What We Do.” I feel warm and fuzzy already.

Ocwen recently agreed to replace its Chairman and Pay New York State $150 million after the State accused the company of backdating letters to borrowers, possibly leading to improper foreclosures.

The company paid similar fines in CA.

We have all read recently about the five banks that pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay more than $5.5 billion in collective penalties to settle charges that their traders routinely manipulated the world’s foreign-exchange market for their own profits. One of the banks was JPMorgan Chase.

According to BrandChannel Chase has recently launched a Holistic “So You Can” Brand Campaign. According to their new CMO the campaign was a holistic way to show how Chase is delivering for it’s customers. I have a Chase card and use it when I travel out of the country. Did Chase deliver for me when I used it?  What were all those annoying little charges on my credit card bill for currency conversion?  Maybe Chase’s theme line should be, “So We Can.”

I heard a report today on the radio that Teva Pharmaceuticals will pay $1.2 Billion dollars to settle charges that one of its subsidiaries illegally blocked the launch of a low-cost generic version of Provigil.

The Teva website promises Global Leadership Driven by Innovation. And for consumers a unique synergy that results in better healthcare. Is preventing lower cost drugs a unique synergy resulting in better healthcare?

I am sure that most of us have read about FIFA and their bribery scandals about payoffs to members around the world. Their slogan which they claim in a release was more than a tagline is All in One Rhythm. It is trademarked. The release says it represents the underlying mindset and theme running all aspects of our organization.

I think I need a Nature’s Remedy.

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Watch: How to Conduct an Agency Review.

Read: Are Marketers Still Stewarts of the Brand.

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