Movie Taglines: “Be Very Afraid” (Or Not)

Movie taglines have been used over the years by film studios as catchy ways to draw potential viewers’ attention. But did you know that many of the most memorable and effective movie taglines are those that play on our fears and anxietiesTagline Guru conducted a survey among advertising, marketing, and branding professionals, who came up with a top 100 movie taglines. Get a load of the top five:

  1. Alien (1979): In space no one can hear you scream.
  2. Apollo 13 (1995): Houston, we have a problem.
  3. Poltergeist II (1986): They’re back.
  4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977): We are not alone.
  5. Jaws 2 (1978): Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

See also Number 8, The Fly (1986): Be afraid. Be very afraid. Similar in nature is 16, Apocalypse Now (1979): The horror…the horror.

On the other hand, some well-known scary-type movies have gotten taglines that are actually more satirical or witty. Number 20 is Psycho (1998): The classic story about a boy and his mother. Number 28, Mommie Dearest (1981): The biggest mother of them all. Number 36, Jaws: The Revenge (1987): This time, it’s personal.

Some of the movie taglines in the top 100 address Minding Therapy-type issues:

  • Number 34, Forrest Gump (1994): Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.
  • 51. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001): Family isn’t a word, it’s a sentence.
  • 79. Waiting to Exhale (1995): Friends are the people who let you be yourself…and never let you forget it.

Finally, the following list includes movies previously cited on Minding Therapy, several of which made it into the survey:

  • At number 24, The Shawshank Redemption (1994): Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.
  • Number 35, Groundhog Day (1993): He’s having the day of his life…over and over again.
  • Number 48, The First Wives’ Club (1996): Don’t get mad.Get everything.
  • Number 50, Postcards from the Edge (1990): Having a wonderful time, wish I were here.
  • Number 54, As Good As It Gets (1997): A comedy from the heart that goes for the throat.
  • What About Bob? (1991): Bob’s a special kind of friend. The kind that drives you crazy!
  • Good Will Hunting (1997): Some people can never believe in themselves, until someone believes in them.
  • Prime (2005): She thought she could tell her therapist anything. But she’s about to discover that she’s already said too much…
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006): A family on the verge of a breakdown. Also, Everyone just pretend to be normal.
  • 50/50 (2011): It takes a pair to beat the odds.
  • Silver Linings Playbook (2012): Watch for the signs.
  • Side Effects (2013): One pill can change your life. Also, This is your insanity on drugs.

Screen Crush provides an additional list of recent movie taglines that worked well. Below are several I’ve addressed on this site:

For whatever reasons, taglines are no longer as commonly used, but below are a few from films I’ve seen and/or addressed more recently:

Speaking of Barbie, although I believe awards shows like the Oscars are over-valued, I’ll just add, given the recent snubbing by the Academy of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie for their respective roles while nominating Ryan Gosling, can “Kenough already” be a new favorite tagline (of sorts)?

1 visit(s) today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *