There’s a company called Asus, manufacturer of motherboards. They carry a tagline that should never have happened. The line goes like this:
Inspiring Innovation. Persistent Perfection.
This line has, at a minimum, three fatal flaws.
1. It has the appearance, at first blush, of displaying parallelism between the first half and the second half. However, in order to be even slightly parallel, each half of the line would need to be similar in structure. The first half of the line starts with a verb. Therefore, the second half begs to start with a verb as well, but it doesn’t. You can’t just throw up any two pair of words and claim parallelism. And, because we have become accustomed to seeing taglines that are parallel, it is a disconnect (and not a GOOD disconnect) when we read what seems like it’s going to be a parallel line, and then bang into a decidedly un-parallel second half of the line.
2. If Asus had just settled for the first half of the tagline, it would be a better line. Because at least they would have employed a fairly common but effective device, namely, to play on both senses of a word that can either be a verb or an adjective. “Inspiring” is one of those words. So the line can be read as “We inspire innovations” and it can be read as “Our innovations are inspiring.” That’s enough of a play to sustain this as a passable tagline by itself. But then they went ahead and added “Persistent Innovation”. In doing this, they undercut our ability to see the cleverness of the first half of the line by distracting us with this new, incongruent thought.
3. I don’t get what “persistent perfection” even means. Disregarding that small problem, there is an implication in these two words, that perfection has been achieved. You can’t persist is doing something unless you’ve already initially done it, right? So if Asus is claiming persistent perfection, they seem to be saying, “Not only have we achieved perfection, but continue to achieve perfection on an ongoing basis.” When Perrier water debuted the tagline “It’s perfect. It’s Perrier.”, they caught a whole load of grief for making such an non-credible claim. It’s ill-advised to ever claim perfection for any product or service. There’s always room for improvement, last I heard. Perfection is an ideal, something to strive for, knowing that it can never be achieved. So I’m pretty sure Asus hasn’t achieved perfection in the first place, never mind continually achieving it.
This is not an exhaustive list of this tagline’s flaws, but probably a sufficiently exhausting list that I’ll stop here.
If you know anyone at Asus, have them contact me, and I’ll be glad to solve their tagline problem.