Earl’s Dead – Cadillac For Sale

A Pirate Looks at Great Messaging

I admit that this is probably not one of Jimmy Buffet’s greatest songs, but it may be his best title (“If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me” is a close second).

Earl’s Dead – Cadillac For Sale.

Don’t you want to know more? Who is Earl? What happened to him? What’s the significance of the Cadillac, and who is the cold-blooded person selling it? Tell me the rest of the story. I’m hooked!

The title grabs our interest and makes us curious. That’s what great messaging does. It communicates just enough at just the right time, keeping the customer engaged and pulling them into the deeper story. When you think about it, “Earl’s Dead – Cadillac For Sale” is like a great tagline.

Taglines are often described as short, memorable descriptions of your business that explain the big picture and leave your audience wanting more. Honey Copy suggests that a brand name is what you call yourself when you shake someone’s hand, but a tagline is the interesting thing you say to the person immediately afterwards.

You can find one of my favorite taglines at a great restaurant on the Gulf Coast called Seagrove Market.

“Serving Deep Fried Love Since 1949.”

It’s plastered right on their wall. What else is there to say? You know exactly what you’ll find there. And, since they’ve been doing it for over 70 years, they’re probably pretty good at it (spoiler alert: They Are!).

Active8’s primary tagline is not too shabby either:

Think. Create. Launch.

These 3 simple words that say a lot. They describe how our team works with clients to grow their businesses, strengthen their brands, and achieve organizational goals. It all starts with thinking. Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Before just jumping into an exciting campaign or creative project (which is very tempting!), we encourage clients to first take a breath…and think. What exactly do we want to accomplish? Who do we want to speak to? How can we best reach them? What is the most important message for them to hear and understand? What does success look like for this project?

Many of our clients (especially new ones) find great benefit in participating in an Active8 Messaging Summit. In this half-day workshop, Active8 leads a structured and collaborative (and fun!) process to help clients evaluate their own organization and opportunity, develop targeted messaging with specific market segments and customer personas in mind, and ultimately build a Marketing strategy that is aligned with the company’s distinctive competence, core values and strategic plan. This is a great first step toward adding precision and measurability to your Marketing activities.

Create” and “Launch” are also big parts of how we work with our clients. Once the Messaging foundation and plan is set, building compelling creative solutions and managing intentional Marketing programs becomes more efficient and impactful. Putting the 3 words together simply means that Active8 customers get the very most out of their Marketing investments!

Active8’s tagline has served us well. Those 3 words tell a much bigger story of partnership. They describe our agency’s commitment to not just deliver great creative work to clients, but to stay with them through the entire Marketing process to get results. That approach, more than anything, is why Active8 has been thriving in the Huntsville community for 20 years, and why so many of our clients have been with us for a large portion of that time.

My guess is you’ve already looked up the lyrics to “Earl’s Dead” by this point if you don’t already know them by heart. It’s actually a heartwarming story of a circus-performing human cannonball (Earl) his amazing car (Cadillac Eldorado with fins) and the love of his life (Moonvine).

Jimmy Buffet is a master of messaging, a great storyteller…and, by most accounts, an excellent Marketer.

Bill Neiland
Managing Partner

If you’re interesting in participating in a Messaging Summit for your company or nonprofit, contact us today!