Crafting your million dollar message

proposal, presentation, tagline writing

Punchline crafts million dollar messages for proposals, presentations, campaigns, brands and taglines. This first, most important message – essentially a very short story – has to do a lot of heavy lifting.

Our underlying principle in unearthing this gem is to use question-storming, in the trenches, with the client.  Question-storming works. Questions reveal understanding.

Unlike advertising agencies, Punchline doesn’t go away to be creative and brainstorm this message.

Brainstorming doesn’t work. Brainstorming attempts to jump to an answer. But what you are trying to do is create a story essence – and that can’t be achieved by dreaming up something in isolation.

A million dollar message can only have one central truth

Using Punchline’s million dollar message crafting process, clients can unearth the one central truth of what they need to say. The central truth isn’t the message – but clearly shows an understanding of the value proposition to be expressed to a specific target.

It is then, and only then, that creativity needs to come to the party.

Words, the right words, tell the story that reflect the central truth of your message.

A million dollar message preferably answers ‘why’ in the eyes of your intended audience:

  • Why potential customers need to learn more
  • Why your potential customers should care
  • Why your potential customers really should make contact, now
A simple message is difficult to find

A compelling message is a challenge to unearth, and can’t simply be brainstormed

Punchline helps create persuasive messages that matter.

We are specialists in taglines, straplines, slogans and escalator pitches.

We thrive in nailing the story behind a proposal and presentation.

We rise to the challenge of  crafting the wording for a campaign.

But before the process of crafting a million dollar message can start, a conversation is required.

Give us yell. We like listening, almost as much as we like writing.


+64 21 0696 040


Punchline believes in collaboration with designers. In fact, design collaboration is a key component of the company’s business strategy.


A picture brings a story to life, adds emotional impact.

Equally, design imparts a feel, illustrates the story a client wants to tell.

Sometimes however, it will be a challenge to unearth exactly what a client wants to say. Yes, they want a website, but don’t have their story under control. From a design point of view, this is an almost impossible task.

Collaboration by designdesign collaboration, writing by design, design messages

Punchline is more than happy to collaborate with designers, and act as a virtual member of your team to bring outsourced expertise to the party.

By bringing in specialist outside help and using Punchline’s process to hone and simplify a client’s story, designers can save themselves a power of frustration.

You, as the designer can picture the words. Punchline as the writer can uncover the words for you to illustrate.

So, give Punchline a call, and design to a message that matters.


+64 21 0696 040



We have helped many clients unearth their first, most important story. We are also the first to admit that it is a challenging, often messy, usually fun process.

Here’s testimonials from some businesses about the exercise we carried out with them.


Our Wellington people had the pleasure of a one on one workshop with Peter Kerr 2 months ago. I’ll set the scene, our team of 3, a whiteboard, a craft beer each and Peter’s intrinsic understanding of how this process works.
Without even realising we were doing it, we had drilled down and come back to the essence of what it is our business is setting out to achieve. We stripped back the jargon and re-connected with the ideas and ethos that underpin the success of our organisation. ‘Delivering engaged workspaces through really clever furniture.’
We are fortunate to see Peter on a very regular basis and beyond his valuable business intelligence and excellent sense of humour, I welcome our frequent and robust discourse and being challenged to check in that we are living and breathing our tag line.”

Emma Bell-Norris, Digital Content & Marketing Manager – Haworth by Europlan

“Our tagline wrangling session was, as Peter warned me beforehand, a real challenge. But refining our primary message to ‘Respectful. Respected. Recommended’ has helped focus all our communications efforts, including face-to-face discussions. It’s great too when our clients come back to us and say that’s exactly what they tell their own colleagues…that these three words describe exactly who and what we are.”

Peter Ryan, Licenced Immigration Adviser, Capital Immigration Services


‘Be open to change. Be ready to succeed’

Our engagement started with great serendipity. I hadn’t prioritised the problem until a chance meeting with Peter and tried to answer the ubiquitous “What do you do?” question.

The session was fun including some interesting technical problems when the UK team’s internet failed. Peter kept us on track and we’ve come up with a tagline I wouldn’t have predicted – but something we’re all happy with and that we can create some strong marketing themes around.

We love the calls to action.”

Richard Wyles, co-founder and CEO of Totara Learning (open source software)

best slogans and taglines by Punchline

Punchline is based in central Wellington, New Zealand, but in touch with the rest of the world thanks to the internet.

Peter Kerr

+64 21 0696 040

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