Boeing’s Unfortunate Tagline Serves as a Lesson for All

Boeing Build Something Better photo w/ airlplane

Taglines can be tricky. That’s why it’s so important to test potential taglines with different audiences within and especially outside your company. A tagline that sounds perfect at inception may not seem so great if something goes wrong.

I bet Boeing was very excited about their “Build Something Better” campaign. They were so excited about a message they thought conveyed their dedication to innovation and their commitment to “challenging the impossible” that they probably never even thought of — or ignored — what would happen if tragedy struck.

Well, watching TV early Saturday morning, about 15 minutes or so after seeing a report on the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared into the China Sea, a commercial for Boeing ran with “Build Something Better. Boeing” at the end:

Boeing’s passion may truly be to build something better, but right now with the tragic news of the Malaysian Airlines jet and more news that cracks were found in a Boeing 787 on the production line, the tagline suddenly becomes a command. “Boeing, please, build something better.”

Never settle on a tagline that can in any way be turned against you.

And God bless the 239 souls who were on board that flight and the families they’ve left behind.

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