I can't get my head around the slogan "men's style decision, too". It's for the fashion e-commerce company Zalando. I've twisted and turned the sentence, tried stressing different words but can't make any sense of it. I think it reads and sounds "ugly". What does it mean? Is it even correct English?

Neatly dressed guy with Zalando box under his arm

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    Yes, it's not only correct but brilliant. You're thinking about Zalando and trying to figure it out. It's just odd enough to keep your attention and not so odd that you dismiss it as nonsense. It looks like there's probably some way to interpret it that is just out of reach, so your brain won't let it go. It is correct and perfect for Zalando and means exactly what they intend. In this case, English is just a tool to manipulate you. – fixer1234 Mar 26 '17 at 7:54
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    Wow! What an odd slogan. – snailboat Mar 26 '17 at 10:10
  • Thank you, @fixer1234. It's indeed been on my mind far longer than any other commercial, probably ever :). But what does it actually mean? – TomG Mar 26 '17 at 11:22
  • @fixer1234 - Can you explain how it's correct? It's not a complete sentence, and it looks like it's missing an article. – stangdon Mar 26 '17 at 13:15
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    @stangdon, it isn't correct as English, it's correct in terms of being a communication that perfectly accomplishes what Zalando set out to do. It doesn't "mean" anything in a literal English sense. It's more like a a "brand name" that sort of sounds like a real word but isn't and conveys a vague association with something. The phrase is a psychological mechanism to hold your attention on the company and its products. – fixer1234 Mar 26 '17 at 16:42

You could come up with an explanation for what it means, and people might look at it and say it makes sense. For that matter, you could come up with multiple explanations that all seem plausible. But I believe the slogan isn't actually an English phrase with a specific meaning. Rather, it is a very clever way to use English as a psychological mechanism for a marketing tool.

There are several things going on with that slogan. First, it is somewhat like an invented brand name. You are undoubtedly familiar with brand names that aren't real words, they are combinations of word fragments that sort of sound like a word. The fragments are associated with concepts the manufacturer wants you to think about in connection with the product.

Similarly, the key words in this slogan are associated with concepts they want you to connect with the product. Rather than word fragments joined into a single word, they are words seemingly connected in a phrase.

Words like "decision" also serve as a form of subliminal suggestion. People associate "decision" both with being in charge of making the decision (empowering; they can feel comfortable buying because it is their own choice), and the suggestion to make a purchase decision.

What is brilliant in the slogan is the use of something similar to cognitive dissonance. The human brain works efficiently when it is able to make sense of things and form associations and connections that all work together. When two ideas are in conflict, or something simply doesn't make sense when it apparently should, it actually creates a form of mental stress to motivate you to simplify things and make everything cohesive.

The slogan almost seems to make sense; if you just think about it enough, the meaning will come to you. That is like a mental hook, and your brain won't let it go. It keeps you thinking about the company and its products.

So the meaning of the slogan is anything you would like it to mean as long as you are thinking about the company and its products.

  • That's just brilliant! I mean all the things: question, answer and now even the slogan. I'll never look at it the same way again :) – JOM Apr 7 '17 at 8:12

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