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How to Write an Arresting Factual TV Tagline: A Quiz

Photo by Nick J Webb When you are selling factual television show, whether you are sending an email, writing a proposal or pitching in an elevator, you need to capture the attention of a buyer within seconds. The best way of doing that is to boil down your concept into a single succinct sentence that captures the essence of your programme, suggests the content and makes your commissioner want to know more.

A successful tagline (aka logline or strapline) looks deceptively simple and obvious, but they are fiendishly difficult to devise; and you need to have thought your idea through thoroughly in order to do it right. That means a lot of work, but you knew that, right?

The best way to understand taglines is to look at what other people have come up with, so here’s a quiz to get you going.

I’ve given you 20 taglines that have been attributed to factual TV shows – can you guess which show each one refers to (I’ve removed the actual name of the shows in a couple of instances)?

  1. There’s only one winner …. and no second prizes.
  2. is the series that hunts out the geniuses of the junkyard.
  3. Perhaps the world’s first make-UNDER show.
  4. Everyone’s on pins & needles.
  5. Who’s watching you?
  6. 39 days… 16 people… ONE… survivor!
  7. Bring the bling.
  8. Monday night fever.
  9. Thousands audition… Millions vote…. One wins.
  10. You can run, but … will get you!
  11. It’s under Yellowstone. And it’s overdue.
  12. I can smell it now.
  13. Be a traveler, not a tourist.
  14. We call it a fantasy. They call it home.
  15. They put the funk into dysfunctional.
  16. The world is waiting… GO!
  17. She’d kill to get her shot.
  18. Engaged, Enraged. About to be committed.
  19. They don’t just tell the myths; they put them to the test
  20. 26 sums of money, 26 suitcases and one question:……

Here are the answers.

And, as ever, feel free to share, tweet or comment.


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