A good tagline doesn’t have to express a grand thought or be extremely clever. The new tagline for Lactaid Milk makes this point nicely.
The tagline is this:
The milk that doesn’t mess with you
At first glance, rather unremarkable, right? but here’s what I like about it. First, by saying “The milk”, this tagline establishes that Lactaid Milk is, in fact, milk. It avoids the question of whether this is a milk substitute, a pretender of some kind, by being assumptive up front. Answered. No need to ask.
Second they’ve chosen to put the benefit in conversational, colloquial language—it’s milk that doesn’t mess with you. They could have talked about lactose intolerance or lactose sensitivity or something like that. But they characterize the problem very empathetically in a way that anyone who is lactose-intolerant understands.
Also, the use of the word “mess” is very smart. The manifestation of lactose intolerance can be messy indeed. But the Lactaid folks dial it back just a little, avoiding the grosser connotations of that word by using it as a verb, not a noun. So the allusion to the “mess” is very subtle, implicit, indirect. Tasteful, without becoming euphemistic. It doesn’t evoke the messy end result, but rather, the gassy, crampy, uncomfortable experience of lactose intolerance.
For lack of a clever last line to this post, I offer a tip of the cap to whoever wrote this tagline.