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Timex takes a lickin'

Timex changed their tagline - with the help of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. The old slogan was introduced in the 1950's and revived in the 1990's. The new slogan for Timex is: "Life is ticking." What, like a bomb? A heart rate monitor watch, shown with a heart-stopping breakfast, complete with "Life is ticking." tagline. The New York Times has more on the story and even interviewed Sloganmaven Timothy Foster - adlist member since 1997.

'It takes a licking and keeps on ticking' is brilliant, because the slogan says the benefit," Mr. Foster said. "With 'Life is ticking,' I have a tendency to want to complete the slogan; it doesn't sound like it's finished."

"What I actually said was 'Life is ticking away...'" said Timothy on our mailinglist adlist, and we agree with him.
Though the strategy has good point - people no longer worry about watches stopping, they expect watches to just work - it's still a significant risk in the gamble to replace one of the most memorable taglines in ad history.

Timothy suggested instead; Timex. Still ticking.. " 'It takes a licking and keeps on ticking' is one of the greatest tag lines in terms of memorability, but it's no longer relevant." said Rob Feakins CD at Kirshenbaum Bond to the NYT. That old self promotion poster Kirshenbaum did, stating there was only three things you needed to make a good ad: "A great idea and.." with a visual showing two brass balls - must be true. It's quite daring to leave "it takes a licking" behind.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Robblink's picture

I hate to admit it, but bacon, eggs and hashbrowns are my favorite comfort food. Maybe it's universal. Add a slice of tomato, drop a few sausages, maybe a piece of ham, some beans and you got an English breakfast. Subsitute the sausages for some blood sausages and you have an Irish breakfast. Oh, and the ad is ok (Translation: I want to work at K&B one day and I don't want to piss anyone off).

anonymous's picture

I had visited their site and I really think they could have done much more with the fact that they are evolving. I had no idea they made watches with mp3 players, that could do SMS/instant messaging, and the like. "Life is ticking" is awful. I know there's room to play with language but to me this phrase doesn't make sense. What the hell does it mean?
Their old tagline still relevant in that they are designing watches that are sturdy and can, well, take a lickin'. There still are a lot of other brands on the market who make shoddy and cheap ass watches. To me the old line means quality. And their new line..hell if I know what it means.