Distinguishing Between Headlines and Taglines
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Distinguishing Between Headlines and Taglines

May 09, 2023

Content Marketing

Hey guys! Today’s post is on how to distinguish between headlines and taglines.

In our experience as digital marketers, we’ve had several occasions whereby our clients and designers had mismatched expectations of what the visuals would look like. We eventually realised that it was because the terms “headlines” and “taglines” are often confused with one another!

That is why this article exists. Having a clear idea of the differences between these two terms will definitely facilitate effective business communication and create more productive meetings.

So what is a tagline?

From a business perspective, taglines are words that complement your company logo and business name. A tagline is a catchy, memorable, short phrase that sums up the vision behind the service or product that you are offering. A good tagline could ideally polarise the crowd and appeal directly to your “tribe”. It should also be simple, easy to remember, and remain consistent so that it reaches out to the masses and sticks to people’s minds.

Think of a tagline as a slogan – with repetition, it has a huge potential for enhancing your brand because slogans help people to remember your brand name better. Outside of the business context, taglines can be used for political purposes or to brand a country.

Some memorable taglines are–

  • Donald Trump: Make America Great Again!
  • Apple: Think Different.
  • Singapore: Your Singapore.
  • Adidas X David Beckham: Adidas is All In.
  • Singapore Airlines: Great Way to Fly.
  • Mastercard: Priceless.

What is a headline?

A headline can be thought of as a heading at the top of an article or page in a newspaper or magazine. Since newspapers, magazines, and ad campaigns can be targetted at different types of audiences or niche, headlines by definition vary under an overarching theme. Still confused? Let’s take a look at some examples…

Example No. #1: Donald Trump.

  • Channel: Youtube, Fox10 online streaming.
  • Headline for this video: “LIVE: DONALD TRUMP RALLY.”
  • Tagline for Donald Trump’s brand: “Make America Great again!” (You can see it on the sign in front of his stand)

The tagline for Donald Trump’s campaign never changes, whereas the headline changes according to the communication channel. However, while changing, headlines usually revolve around the same themes. For Trump’s case, the themes are “anti-establishment”, “inconsistent”, “controversial”, to name a few.

Example #2: Subway

  • Channels: Advertisements in Newspapers.
  • Headlines: “Train Hard. Eat Fresh”/ “My Sub. My Way”
  • Tagline: “Eat Fresh”

Similarly, Subway’s tagline remains the same across different ads, while the headlines differ. The tagline ‘Eat Fresh’ is kept short and sweet while succinctly capturing the company’s value proposition. It even has a catchy jingle so people remember it (can you hear it in your head now?).

So how do you create compelling ads that drive consumer actions? Here are examples of irresistible Facebook Ad Copies that convert.

Example #3: Mastercard.

  • Channel: Magazine.
  • Headline: More ways to love New York: Priceless.
  • Tagline: Priceless.

Here is an interesting case because Mastercard often uses its tagline in its headline. Perhaps this is the benefit of having a one-word, simple-to-remember tagline. Therefore, another way headlines differ from taglines is that headlines can include taglines. However, a tagline cannot include a headline, since taglines are usually shorter than headlines and taglines do not (and should not) change.


As you can see, there are actually huge differences between a “tagline” and a “headline”. Here is a summary of the main differences:

  • Headlines are the headings for various communication channels (newspapers, magazines, etc.), while taglines are like slogans that sum up the vision behind your company/product/service.
  • Headlines can vary depending on the targeted audience and communication channel, while taglines almost never vary (unless there are huge structural changes within the organisation/company).
  • Headlines can include taglines, but taglines cannot include headlines.

We hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Do you need someone with superb copywriting skills to create awesome headlines for your ads? Find out how this Digital Marketing Agency can help you out with Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Linkedin Advertising, and Web Design and Development!

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