Timex Drops Licking/Ticking Tagline

In a blunder similar to the one just made by Reebok, Timex has dropped its famous "Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking" tagline for it's bland replacement: "Timex. Life is Ticking." That's about as exciting as Reebok's move to "Wear the Vector. Outperform."

"This is not to dis anything we've done in the past," said Mark Shuster, senior vice president for marketing and chief marketing officer at Timex in Middlebury, Conn., who joined the company five months ago, "but we have an opportunity to take the brand forward." He really means, this is an opportunity for him to take his personal brand forward by doing what every new MarCom director does; change ad agencies.

"'It takes a licking and keeps on ticking' was very consistent with a durability message, and was very effective," Mr. Shuster said. "But durability is now almost a given because as technologies have improved, people have caught on to it. Our thought was, is there a way to evolve beyond durability, to look for that something that captures more of the spirit and mindset of today."

The spirit and mindset of today as represented by "Life is Ticking" is flatter than a pancake under a pig's ass. The line says nothing other than stating the obvious notion that life is ticking by. It says nothing about the brand.

The "Licking/Ticking" tagline ranks number 40 on Ad Age's list o the top 100 ad campaigns of the 20th century. With that kind of notoriety, it boggles the mind when companies make these changes and it is an underlying problem of the advertising industry. Advertising professionals want to put their personal mark on something so they have an agency review and launch a new ad campaign. Of course taglines and brand messaging need to change with the times or when the company's mission changes but they need change to something with meaning and not drivel such as "Life is Ticking."

Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York is the agency that let this happen.

by Steve Hall    Aug-26-03   Click to Comment   

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.