In honor of Earth Day, here’s an eco-friendly slogan I admire a lot. Although maybe “friendly” isn’t quite the right word.
“Don’t leave the planet to the stupid.”
The slogan’s been around for at least a year, but I’d never seen it—or anything else from the German solar-panel company Solon—until I opened my Sunday San Francisco Chronicle a few weeks ago*. Last May, TriplePundit called the slogan “the most fantastic, and perhaps the most arrogant corporate tag-line of all time.”
I agree, if “fantastic” means “excellent” and “arrogant” means “smart and confident.” In a world of interchangeable Three P slogans (“People Passion Performance,” et al.), Solon’s tagline is bracing, distinctive, and unequivocal. It’s unafraid to break rules—like the “no negatives” rule (why not start with “Don’t”?) and the “keep it bland” rule (why not call the stupid “the stupid”?). And, yes, it’s seven words long. Just because Nike uses a three-word slogan doesn’t mean your company has to.
The Solon name is satisfying, too. It packs a double punch: it suggests “sun on”—“sol” means “sun” in Latin and Spanish—while evoking wisdom and laws. (Solon was an Athenian lawgiver; lower-case “solon” used to show up frequently in headlines when editors needed a shorter synonym for “legislator.”) It’s a solid, classical name with plenty of gravitas—nicely offset by the yeah-I’m-talking-to-you directness of the tagline.
Judging from the TriplePundit** post, Solon’s headquarters in Berlin are pretty smart, too.
Well played, Solon.
* The chance to discover ads like Solon’s is one reason I still read dead-tree media.
** I regret to report that TriplePundit has one of those interchangeable Three P slogans: “People, Planet, Profit.”