A slogan should communicate the core idea of a company, product, organisation or movement. When we see a slogan that ‘speaks to us’, it feels almost like we are in dialogue with the brand, that we ‘get it’ and it ‘gets us’. Some slogans are so effective, so pervasive, that they can define a brand long after the line is first conceived.
Here are a selection of iconic slogans, in no particular order.
1. Think Different – Apple
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. These words from Apple’s advertising campaign signified their return to base brand values. Has any other slogan so encapsulated what a company stands for than Apple’s Think Different? Just two words that say so much about the company’s identity as the mavericks of the digital age.
2. Every Little Helps – Tesco
There have been many great straplines written for supermarkets, but the enduring brilliance of this one edges it for me. I can remember my son at two years old reciting this catch phrase at the sight of the Tesco carrier bag, before he could read, which is both disturbing and impressive. As one the of most successful company slogans ever created, it was surprising to hear that earlier this year, Tesco were close to dropping it.
3. Coca Cola – It’s the real thing
Number one in Interbrands top 100 brands (2011), only Pepsi (#22) has anything approaching Coke’s status as the standard in that space. The slogan is a confident expression of their dominant position and original status that the competition could never dispute. Coke tend to change their slogans regularly, but this line is closest to what most of us would think of as the soul of the brand.
4. Beanz Meanz Heinz – Heinz Baked Beans
Another slogan conveying the authentic and original, this one came top in Creative Review’s Top Twenty Slogans list recently. Its durability is living proof that a well written slogan can continue to deliver a relevant and powerful statement of the brand image.
5. The Ultimate Driving Machine – BMW
One of many incredible straplines written by the ultimate sloganeer, Robin Wight of legendary ad firm WCRS. This powerful line sums up the BMW ethos and is yet another example of the comeback slogan.
6. Don’t Die of Ignorance – UK Government
It’s not just the power of purchase that have inspired brilliantly constructed slogans. To bring awareness of AIDS virus into national consciousness, this terrifying public information campaign was conceived by in the 1980s. As HIV infection rates are much higher today, maybe it’s time for another.
7. Loose Lips Might Sink Ships – OWI
This succinct and foreboding warning of the dangerous consequences of careless chatter when enemies could be all around. It was one of many brilliant and influential wartime slogans that remain in our language today.
8. Just Do It – Nike
Nike’s trainer wearing foot gives us a kick up the backside with this slogan penned buy advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy. Strangely, it has been since stated that it was inspired by US murderer Gary Gilmore‘s last words before being handed the death penalty.
9. Good Things Come to Those Who Wait – Guinness
Much better than the dubious promise that stout is a life prolonging health food (Guinness is good for you), this slogan draws on the uniqueness of the drink’s identity makes the mouth water with anticipation.
10. It’s a Skoda. Honest – Skoda
How do you double the value of a Skoda? Fill up the petrol tank! As the butt of many a joke prior to its takeover by VW in 2000, few would have believed the Skoda name could survive. This slogan formed part of bold rebranding campaign that used humour and wit to successfully turn the negative perception of the brand on its head.
11. Ronseal Quick Drying Woodstain – Does Exactly What it says on the tin
This slogan seems almost effortlessly simple, but it’s so remarkably catchy it has become a phrase in its own right. A shrewdly calculated assertion of ‘never mind the bollocks, it just works’, it fits the brand image perfectly.
12. Codemasters – Genius at Play
Genius at writing slogans. Not in the beginning though as some of their original slogans included non starters such as ‘The Fun Starts Here’ and ‘Absolutely Brilliant’. It was a shame to see such a assured and defining strapline retired after a 2007 rebrand.
Here’s a few more great examples:
- Nokia – Connecting People
- Heinieken – Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.
- Audi – Vorsprung Durch Technik
- Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – French Revolution
- Opal Fruits – Made to Make your mouth water
- Hamlet – Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet
- Allinsons Wholemeal – With Nowt Taken Owt
- Subway – Eat Fresh
- Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority – What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas
- Redbull – Gives you Wings
- Rolo – Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo
- Labour is not Working – British Conservative Party
- SAS – Who Dares Wins
- Budweiser – King of beers
- Commercial Union – We won’t make a drama out of a crisis
- HSBC – The world’s local bank
- Alien (movie) – In space no one can hear you scream
- Fender – looks like yesterday sounds like tomorrow
- Peperami – It’s a bit of an animal
- Ford – Everything We Do is Driven By You
- Kitkat – Have a Break
- Obama Presidential Campaign 2008 – Hope / Change
- Carlsberg – Probably The Best Lager In The World
- Penelope Rosemont – Make Love Not War