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Taglines (often called slogans) are catchy, enticing short phrases used by marketers and film studios to advertise and sell a movie, and to sum up the plot, tone or themes of a film. Many films have multiple taglines. Composing ad copy for posters and trailers is generally the first step in marketing a film and setting a strategic direction for the product. These 'sound-bite' epigrams are often placed on either film posters (above or below the film's title) or on the merchandise itself (DVD or video cassette box, etc.), to reinforce what the film is all about.


In this activity, you will be writing some taglines for your movie pitch, to be placed on the movie poster and in the teaser and full trailers. 

To help you get started, take a look at some of the most memorable movie taglines from American cinema.


Writing taglines for movies involves being aware of rhetorical devices.  Using rhetorical devices such as allegory and parallelism is fundamental in understanding why a tagline is so memorable and how to start writing one.  For more information on the practice of writing taglines, please visit this site by the "Tagline Guru", Eric Swartz.  This website is devoted to sharing information on how to write effective taglines and focuses on learning the basics of rhetorical devices. 

Now start brainstorming on what your taglines are going to be.  While it may sound simple to write a tagline or two for a story, the idea behind writing a good tagline is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of the story.  That is not as easy as it sounds.  Successful taglines often merge a commonplace phrase with something unique to the movie.

The taglines you write in this lesson will be useful in the Pitch a Book curriculum unit, when you create a teaser trailer, movie poster, and the full trailer.  It will also give you practice crafting persuasive arguments and statements. 


Now, try writing some taglines for your book.  Try coming up with at least three taglines.  When you are satisfied with the taglines you have, post them to your movie website.  Immediately following this lesson, you will start on the Movie Poster lesson.  The taglines you wrote will be used for this lesson.  If you are feeling ambitious, in addition to the three required taglines, try writing taglines for some of the main characters in your book, so you can create character posters to supplement the main movie poster.