No Matter Why

Blog Entries, Essays

Something I’ve noticed is that big companies promote their products with promises of meaning. Verizon may have done it best with their tagline: “Better matters.” Better mobile service, internet; more efficiency, go with us, we’re the better brand. And better matters. This is important.


Mazda has a slightly vaguer message. They say, “Driving matters”. Does driving matter? This is trickier territory. Mazda believes it does, or at least wants you to think so. It’s important and meaningful, and ostensibly, Mazda takes it seriously too. Therefore, you should buy a Mazda.


ConEdison is an energy company, and it makes sense that of any industry, they would be the one to mess this up. Deliciously ugly: “Everything matters.” In fact, they have a whole ad campaign with things like “Sunday Matters”, “Inspiration Matters” or “Trust Matters” as the headlines, with the ConEdison logo and tagline on the side. They’re like the unpopular kids at the tagline party who get good grades in school because they’re nerds but have no style and definitely no original tagline. And since “____ matters” is in, they run up, double-chin bouncing, whining, “Don’t forget about us! We’re cool, too!” Fumbling, catching their breath, wheezing – “Stuff matters! Things matter! EVERYTHING MATTERS.”

Con Ed

So sure Verizon and Mazda are giving ConEdison death looks, because hey, they just totally killed their vibe, am I right? Saying everything matters means that nothing really does. Everything has its place, but there must be a hierarchy of value for us to live lives and make conscious choices.

I don’t like the direction that these taglines take. It used to be, “We offer kick-ass mobile service”, and “We make sweet cars”. And that was…

What’s that ConEdison? You what? Speak up. “We sell lots of energy.”

Ah – ok. Thank you. Anyway, that used to be good enough. You needed a product, you picked your choice from the competition (assuming a free market economy) and life goes on. What’s with this “Blah blah blah matters?”

Advertising is nothing new. The thing I’m objecting to is that they’re targeting our values. It’s subtle, but if you just let an idea like potentially better mobile service having value sit in your head, it will have value. Driving will have value, if you let it be a repetitive tagline in your head.

The only time a tagline like that should be used is in art shops, where “Framing Matters” can be a whimsical pun that artsy types can get away with.

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