40 Memorable Advertising Slogans (and How to Create One)
Think back on your favorite products or brands. Now try to think of a sentence or a phrase that you associate with them. The moment you hear this phrase, you think about the product, and vice versa (when you see the product, the phrase pops into your head almost instantly).
These phrases or sentences are advertising slogans, and if you remember them, even if they were all the way from your childhood, that means they are successful advertising slogans.
In this article, we will dig deep into 1) what and how to use advertising slogans, 2) 40+ memorable advertising slogans you should know, and 3) how to create your very own advertising slogan.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT ADVERTISING SLOGANS
What are advertising slogans?
Advertising slogans are those brief yet memorable phrases that you find in marketing and advertising campaigns, acting as the main attention-drawer to the product, service, company, or brand that is being advertised.
They are catchy, they are short – often written in five words or less – and they sum up what the product or the brand has to offer. They are designed to draw the attention of customers to a brand, and keep that brand in mind in their future shopping or purchasing decisions.
What are advertising slogans for?
At a glance, it would seem that a slogan is just a tag line or a catchphrase that advertisers come up with. However, they have a more important function. Advertising slogans are part of a bigger marketing strategy. For example, every branding strategy involves the creation and use of an advertising slogan. After all, these slogans are often identified with a brand.
You will notice how all product or service providers come up with their own advertising slogans. This is because some slogans are more recognizable and thus offer more effective recall than mere brand names.
Advertising slogans are created for the following reasons:
- Differentiation. An effective slogan sets you apart from the competition. This is extremely important if the business is in a highly competitive industry, with so many players in the market that offer similar products or services. One way to differentiate the business is to come up with a creative slogan that will make the brand instantly recognizable and, more importantly, more memorable than the other brands.
- Information dissemination. Specifically, information about the business. Sometimes, consumers may not have an idea what a certain brand is for just by hearing the brand name alone. However, the moment they hear the slogan, they will have an idea what it is about. An example is Nokia. Those who are more geographically-oriented will immediately think of the town in Finland. But when they hear its slogan – “Connecting people” – they will immediately realize that it refers to the communications and information technology company based in Finland.
- Reinforcement of brand identity. People tend to remember what they are constantly exposed to, and they easily forget what is not there. The advertising slogan accomplishes this by serving as a constant reminder of the presence and existence of the brand.
40 MEMORABLE ADVERTISING SLOGANS
#1 “The King of Beers” (Budweiser, late 1800s)
Since the 16th century, the beer brewed in Budweis – the Budweiser – specifically from Budejovice, was dubbed as the “beer of Kings”.
When Adolphus Busch developed the lager that will soon become the world-famous beer, he used this title in the marketing, using “The King of Beers” as a tagline, denoting its superiority over all other beers.
#2 “I’d walk a mile for a Camel” (Camel, 1921)
Placing itself as America’s favorite cigarette, Camel first made use of this catchy slogan in 1921. It caught on pretty quick, and was used for several decades. It was definitely a much better and catchier slogan than its predecessor “Leave no unpleasant cigaretty after-taste”.
#3 “When you care enough to send the very best” (Hallmark, 1934)
Retail chain Hallmark started out as a stationery store, until it became the United States’ largest manufacturer of greeting cards. That is why this slogan was very fitting to the brand’s identity when it was launched.
Decades later, even when Hallmark branched out into licensing and manufacture of other gift products, the slogan still holds true to its core vision.
#4 “Breakfast of champions.” (Wheaties, 1935)
Wheaties, a General Mills breakfast cereal, became known for its packaging, with famous and noted American athletes featured on the cereal box.
This association with sports and sports athletes was the starting point for its campaign, claiming that “Champions get many a small boy to eat a good breakfast.” Hence, the “Breakfast of champions” tagline was born.
#5 “A diamond is forever” (DeBeers, 1948)
DeBeers is a pioneering company when it comes to diamond mining and trading. Its line of jewelry has brought the company prominence, largely thanks to its successful advertising campaign, revolving around the slogan “a diamond is forever”.
It focused on women’s belief that diamonds represent love, commitment, and marriage. Since 1948, this slogan has appeared in every engagement advertisement that the company has launched, leading Advertising Age to proclaim it as the “slogan of the century” in 1999.
#6 “Finger lickin’ good” (KFC, 1952)
Say this line out loud and “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, or KFC, immediately comes to mind. This phrase has become the company’s slogan, trademarked by founder Harland Sanders and used by the company in its campaigns.
#7 “The milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” (M&Ms, 1954)
This tagline has been used since the company first introduced its peanut M&Ms in 1954. It was inspired by the idea that the shell coating the chocolate was hard enough to avoid melting in the hand, but will eventually do so once they enter the mouth for eating.
These candies were pitched to the military as part of the rations for the American soldiers when they went off to war, and their hard shell made them ideal for long transports and storage.
#8 “Have a break… Have a Kit Kat.” (Kit Kat by Nestle, 1957)
Kit Kat developed its chocolate-covered wafer biscuit of the same name in 1957 but launched its advertising efforts in full force in 1951. However, since 1951, until the company was acquired by Nestle in 1988, the worldwide slogan for the product has been “Have a break… Have a Kit Kat.”
#9 “Look, Ma, no cavities!” (Crest by Procter & Gamble, 1958)
This tagline was used simultaneously with the launch of Crest Toothpaste, and helped the brand become one of the bestselling oral hygiene products in the United States at the time.
By using a Norman Rockwall artwork featuring smiling children with healthy and decay-free teeth, it was able to target its main demographic: families, specifically mothers and their children.
#10 “Think small” (Volkswagen, 1959)
Out of the many ads that Volkswagen has released, one of the most famous, by far, is “Think Small”, which was specifically for the Volkswagen Beetle. It aided in pushing the campaign to be named by Ad Age as the “best advertising campaign of the 20th century”.
#11 “We Try Harder” (Avis, 1962)
For 50 years, rental car company Avis used the slogan “We try harder”.
This was first launched when the company was ranked second (Hertz was first) in the rental car industry. It also denoted a promise about how the company will still work on keeping its service quality high, despite being second.
#12 “Fly the friendly skies.” (United Airlines, 1966)
Although this iconic catchphrase has been officially retired by the company in 1996, it was such an effective advertising slogan that it was resurrected in 2013.
This hardly mattered, however, because during the retirement period, most of the general public was not even aware that it was replaced by other slogans. “Fly the friendly skies” was that memorable.
#13 “It’s the real thing!” (Coca Cola, 1969)
Coca Cola is another company that has used a long list of advertising slogans since its founding in 1886.
The “It’s the Real Thing!” slogan was associated with the most famous Coca Cola television commercial released in 1971, which had young people atop a hill, singing “I’d like to buy the world a Coke”, further cementing its status as one of the most memorable slogans of the brand.
#14 “Nothing runs like a Deere” (John Deere, 1972)
When we talk of construction, agricultural and other heavy machinery, the American manufacturer John Deere is a force to reckon with. And so is its company slogan, which is reinforced further by a logo featuring a deer in the act of leaping.
When it was developed in 1972, its intention was to promote its line of snowmobiles. Even when that snowmobile line ceased production, the slogan remained in use.
#15 “Have it your way.” (Burger King, 1973)
Before adapting the currently in use slogan “Be your way”, Burger King had been using another slogan for 40 years. For 4 decades, Burger King has been associated with “Have it your way”.
This was initially formulated as a slight attack on McDonald’s being known for its rigidity when it comes to burger orders, and highlighted Burger King’s flexibility, allowing its customers to order their burgers and have Burger King serve it how they want it.
#16 “Because I’m worth it” (L’Oreal, 1973)
The French cosmetics company’s main target customers are women, so it made sure to appeal to every woman’s natural instinct for self-worth.
The slogan hit women right where it matters the most, as it encompassed her “self-confidence, her decision, and her style”. It has become so iconic that it has also become synonymous to the L’Oreal brand.
#17 “Probably the best lager in the world” (Carlsberg, 1973)
Global brewer Carlsberg has used one of the most well-known advertising slogans in the world since 1973, until a rebranding move replaced it with the current slogan, “This calls for a Carlsberg”.
The famous slogan, “Probably the best lager in the world”, was made even more popular during its launch by the fact that it was originally spoken in the ads by the equally famous actor Orson Welles.
#18 “The Uncola” (Seven Up, 1973)
For the longest time, the creators of this lime-flavored soda drink targeted the younger demographic, to no avail. When it launched the UNCOLA campaign, with the tagline “The Uncola”, this trend started to change.
Young people became interested in a drink that is different, since it did not contain any caffeine, and is marketed to not have the gassy effects that cola drinks are known to bring about.
#19 “Impossible is nothing” (Adidas, 1974)
This slogan was taken by sports brand Adidas from a quote by boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was also the featured endorser in a series of short videos developed for the campaign. The slogan was in keeping with Adidas’ vision of supporting top athletes in their respective sports events.
It was once again used in the brand’s global campaign in 2004, featuring athletes who are legends in their own rights, joining Ali. They include footballer David Beckham, long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and NBA’s Tracy McGrady.
#20 “The Ultimate Driving Machine” (BMW, 1975)
BMW cemented its brand image of being bold and having lots of attitude and power with the use of this slogan. Undoubtedly, this remains to be one of the best advertising taglines in the automobile industry.
#21 “The Citi never sleeps” (Citibank, 1976)
This slogan was the company’s way of staying true to how Citibank was the first bank to install and promote in earnest its 24-hour electronic or automated teller machines (ATMs) in New York City.
The complete line was “The Citi Never Sleeps, But Your Neighborhood May Be Put To Rest”
#22 “I Love New York” (New York City, 1977)
Go to any city in the world, and you will probably find a merchandise with the “I Love New York”, or “I ❤ NY” slogan emblazoned on it.
This is a great example of an effective use of a slogan in an ad campaign. The city of New York used it in order to promote tourism in the City and, subsequently, of the entire state of New York.
#23 “When if absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” (Federal Express, 1982)
There were a lot of courier services at the time, but FedEx was able to differentiate its name and service from the competition when it used this slogan. It was also part of the reason why FedEx is now one of the world’s largest express transportation.
#24 “The world’s favourite airline” (British Airways, 1983)
Today, the official company slogan is “To Fly. To Serve.” Before that, however, British Airways successfully marketed itself as “The World’s Favourite Airline”.
Although this self-proclamation earned a lot of criticism from other airlines and the industry in general, giving British Airways the impression of being conceited, it remains to be a slogan that is very memorable among the public.
#25 “Where’s the beef?” (Wendy’s, 1984)
One of the most famous American catchphrases, which was used to question the substance of a product or even an idea, was actually derived from an advertising slogan for fast food chain Wendy’s.
#26 “Quality never goes out of style.” (Levi’s, 1985)
The iconic jeans produced by Levi Strauss & Co. have this slogan on their labels, but it has also been used in several television and print ads, making it one of the most memorable and enduring advertising slogans of all time.
The company has been known for its highly durable and lasting jeans, which is clearly embodied in the slogan.
#27 “It’s everywhere you want to be.” (Visa,1985)
Visa presently uses the tagline “Everywhere you want to be”, which is a shortened version of the original, “It’s everywhere you want to be” slogan. The company is basically saying that, as long as you have a Visa card, you can get your hands on anything, go anywhere, and enjoy any experience, wherever you are in the world.
#28 “Just do it.” (Nike, 1987)
According to Dan Wieden, the advertising executive behind the “Just do it” tagline, the slogan was based on the last words of convicted killer Gary Gilmore, before he was executed through a firing squad. Apparently, before he was shot, he said “Let’s do it”.
Wieden tweaked it to “Just do it”, and it gave consumers the feeling that they, too, can do anything and succeed just by wearing Nike products. This slogan was named by Campaign Magazine as the best tagline of the 20th century.
#29 “The best a man can get” (Gillette, 1989)
Nothing says masculine more than a man shaving, and that is what the Gillette brand wants to demonstrate with its products. That is what inspired the ad executives behind Gillette’s campaign to choose this slogan.
In fact, it was so successful, it was even translated into 14 languages and used across the globe.
#30 “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (Maybelline, 1991)
Since launching this slogan in 1991, the make-up company, which is under parent company L’Oreal, has been using it even now, proof of how effective it is, putting the focus on the female beauty, and how makeup can do wonders for one’s self-confidence, even if they weren’t born looking like models.
#31 “Got Milk?” (California Milk Processor Board, 1993)
Ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners is responsible for coining this slogan for the California Milk Processor Board, a non-profit operating under the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
This national campaign was primarily to encourage the consumption of cow’s milk. What made it even more popular was its television commercial, which was directed by Hollywood A-lister Michael Bay.
#32 “Where do you want to go today?” (Microsoft, 1994)
Microsoft has been launching global image ad campaigns, and the second one was, by far, one of the most recognizable.
“Where do you want to go today?” was launched to highlight how the personal computers of the company can be used to cross borders and barriers, even technological gaps.
#33 “Hello Boys” (Wonderbra, 1994)
As if the product being advertized isn’t already sensational enough, the entire campaign, with the commercials, posters and the slogan tacked to it, made it even more memorable.
It came as no surprise, then, that the advertisement – which featured a then very young Eva Herzigova wearing the famed Wonder Bra – was voted by Outdoor Media Centre as their favorite iconic advertising image.
#34 “Good things come to those who wait” (Guinness, 1996)
Guinness may be a brand in the United Kingdom but, thanks to this slogan, it has gained worldwide recognition, aside from putting it ahead of the pack in the United Kingdom.
It was originally aimed at correcting negative opinion of consumers on how long it would take to pour a pint of Guinness directly from the tap.
#35 “Think Different” (Apple, 1997)
This slogan was used by Apple for a short time, from 1997 to 2002. It was meant to advertise the brand as a whole, rather than any of its specific products.
What made it even more memorable is the company’s use of famous names and familiar faces such as Jim Henson, Maria Callas, Cesar Chavez, and Miles Davis, to name a few.
#36 “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” (MasterCard, 1997)
Visa was ahead in coming up with “It’s everywhere you want to be”. MasterCard was not too far behind, with this longer tagline, which was part of the company’s award-winning Priceless brand awareness campaign.
Needless to say, this slogan made the name MasterCard a catchphrase in itself.
#37 “The Power of Dreams” (Honda, 2001)
The global slogan of automobile giant Honda put more emphasis on dreams instead of reality. It struck that chord within each individual who dreams of owning a car. It was also specifically released in time with the launch of the Honda FCX Concept, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
This addresses another dream of many, which is of an automobile that does not contribute to pollution.
#38 “I’m Lovin’ It” (McDonald’s, 2003)
Having run for 13 years, the “I’m lovin’ it” tagline has become the longest-running tagline used by the fast food chain giant. The melody of the jingle was written by rapper Pusha T, and sung by Justin Timberlake.
It came in handy, since the brand was then battling accusations for serving unhealthy food. It was also that time when obesity was a huge issue.
#39 “Imagination at Work” (General Electric, 2003)
General Electric, both as a company and as a brand, is an institution, and it owes much of that status to its strong marketing campaigns. The slogan “Imagination at Work” sends the message that imagination is what primarily inspires them in working on the development and manufacture of their products.
#40 “Real Beauty” (Dove, 2004)
The “Real Beauty” campaign by Dove also made use of the same tagline. This was the brand’s effort to promote body awareness and acceptance among women – curves, rough edges and all. Recently, women have been experiencing a lot of body issues, and Dove aimed to correct that with this campaign and slogan.
ANOTHER VERY GOOD SLOGAN EXAMPLES
#41 “Shave Time. Shave Money” (Dollar Shave Club, 2013)
This commercial slogan by Dollar Shave Club, a company that sells affordable razors by mail order, is not only amazingly simple, it also quickly communicates the brand’s value – it saves you time by sending your shaving razors to you, and saves you money since its razors are quite affordable. In addition, this slogan is catchy and presents Dollar Shave Club as a direct, playful, and witty brand.
#42 “Stronger Than Dirt” (Ajax, 1960)
This slogan points to the strength of the Ajax laundry detergent in dealing with dirt. This slogan is also a reference to Ajax, a hero from Greek mythology who was very strong and muscular. This slogan was accompanied by a commercial that showed a knight in shining armor riding on a horse through the streets and magically turning the clothes of everyone he met bright and clean. Every time he turned someone’s clothes clean, a group of guys said the slogan “stronger than dirt.”
#43 “You’re in good hands with Allstate” (Allstate Insurance Company, 1950)
This brilliant company slogan was developed by Davis W. Ellis, the company’s general sales manager. It was based on a similar phrase his wife had used to reassure Davis when their daughter was ill, telling him that their daughter was in good hands with the doctor.
Generally, the clients of an insurance company need its services most when they are in crisis. This tagline reminds the clients that despite the crisis they are going through, they don’t have to worry because they are in good hands with Allstate Insurance.
This slogan was highly effective, and it is no wonder the company has used the slogan from 1950 to date. This slogan was even voted as America’s most recognizable slogan in the year 2000.
#44 “Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There” (State Farm Insurance Company, 1971)
This is another highly recognizable company slogan from an Insurance company. This slogan expresses the company’s “community first” approach to providing assistance to its clients when things go wrong. When something happens at home, most people reach out to their neighbors first, because they are sure that their neighbors will always be there. Similarly, this slogan reminds State Farm customers that State Farm will always be there, like another friendly neighbor. This differentiates the brand from other insurance companies which are not as eager to help their customer.
#45 “Don’t Leave Home Without It” (American Express, 1975)
The “don’t leave home without it” slogan was used to advertise American Express traveler’s cheques, and later, the company’s credit cards. Developed for American Express in 1975 by marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather, this was a highly effective slogan. American Express used the slogan from 1975 all through to the late 90s. The idea behind this slogan is remarkably simple: using American Express traveler’s cheques (and credit cards) is so convenient, one should never leave their home without carrying it.
#46 “The Quicker Picker Upper” (Bounty Paper Towels, 1965)
The fact that Procter & Gamble has used it to advertise their brand of Bounty paper towels for over 50 years is great testament to the effectiveness of this slogan. There are a couple of things that make it such a good slogan. First, the slogan uses three words that all rhyme with each other, making it a lot easier for people to remember the slogan. In addition, Bounty accompanied the slogan with a tune, which made it even more memorable. Finally, the slogan communicates the brand’s unique value proposition – Bounty is the paper towel that allows you to pick up messes faster than any other paper towel in the market.
#47 “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One” (Lay’s Potato Chips, 1963)
Developed by Young and Rubicam for an advertising campaign for Lay’s Potato Chips back in 1963, this slogan was highly effective because what it said was actually true. Unless it’s the last one in the pack, you can’t just eat one Lay’s potato chip and stop there. While this might hold true for other potato chip brands, the fact that Lay’s was the first one to associate this with their brand played a huge role in making Lay’s a people’s favorite.
#48 “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask For It By Name” (Meow Mix, 1976)
This is a playful, highly creative, and funny slogan developed in 1976 by Meow Mix, a cat food brand by Ralston Purina, though the brand is currently owned by The J. M. Smucker Company. The premise behind the slogan is simple yet effective – a cat food brand that tastes so good that cats actually ask for it by its name. This brand plays on the fact that its name is similar to the sound cats make. Therefore, the assumption here is that whenever a cat meows, the cat is actually asking for Meow Mix. Clever, right?
#49 “Reach Out And Touch Someone” (AT&T, 1978)
By the late 70s, AT&T had started being seen as a monopoly by customers, and therefore, they approached advertising agency N.W. Ayer to help them soften their image. The advertising agency came up with a TV and print ad campaign that was accompanied by the “reach out and touch someone” slogan. The idea behind the slogan was to encourage people to pick up the phone and make long distance calls. In addition to associating warmth and good feelings with AT&T, the slogan also helped position AT&T as an indispensable part of everyday life for every American.
#50 “The Few. The Proud. The Marines” (The US Marine Corps, 1977)
While the US Marine Corps has had several slogans, this slogan from 1977 is one of their most memorable slogans. The idea behind this slogan is that the Marine Corps is not just for anyone. It is for the few, high caliber men and women who are proud of serving in this elite military unit. The sense of exclusivity the slogan creates is very effective in enticing people to want to join the Marine Corps. It is no wonder, therefore, that the slogan even featured in Madison Avenue’s Walk of Fame in the year 2007.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR ADVERTISING SLOGAN
Considering the success of the slogans discussed, it is clear that businesses and advertising agencies all over are looking to come up with the next successful advertising slogan, one that will be used for decades and establish the brand and the company firmly in their respective industries.
But how does one create an advertising slogan that works?Here are some notes or tips you can follow.
Tip 1: Decide whether you need a slogan or not.
There are several reasons why ad campaigns are launched, or why slogans are created. Some do it to launch a new product or service. Others look at it as a way to rebrand, or breathe new life to an already fading brand.
It may also be a form of damage control, in cases where the brand is currently facing issues or problems.
Tip 2: You have to start by looking internally, and evaluating what you already have.
If the company already has a logo, that means branding has already started. It is also possible that the company or brand already has a slogan in use. What is wrong with the slogan?
Will there be a need to completely replace it, or can it be reworked, just like how Citibank shortened its slogan? Usually, creating a slogan starts from the logo, basing the words and message from its design elements.
Tip 3: Think about what image you want to accomplish with the slogan.
You have to look into the core of the business, and what its offerings are. Gillette, for example, placed great value on masculinity. That was its inspiration for its “The best a man can get” slogan.
Tip 4: Keep the slogan straightforward and simple.
There is no hard and fast rule on how long it should be. It could be as short as a single word or two (ex. “Think Small”) or it could even be a long sentence, or even two (“There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”). Some say that, the shorter a slogan is, the better it will be. This orientation works on the assumption that people tend to lose interest when they are made to read something lengthy or meandering.
The risk with short slogans is that, sometimes, the slogan may not contain all the necessary words to get the message across. If you have to use long slogans, however, make sure that they contain the important messages, not just fillers.
When choosing your words, pick those that are simple and easy to understand. You do not want people to have a hard time figuring out what the words in your slogan means, instead of getting the full picture instantly on the message that you are conveying.
Tip 5: Add some humor, if possible.
Usually, if something is funny, it will register better and faster with an audience. A funny slogan tends to have more hook than one with a serious or formal tone. However, do not force it, especially if the product or brand is not really meant to be injected with humor.
Tip 6: Make sure your slogan is honest.
Carlsberg faced some criticism with its slogan “Probably the best lager in the world” because it sounded conceited and almost dishonest. Do not overplay your hand and you may end up lying about what your brand is, or what your company offers.
Tip 7: Put some emotion into the slogan.
The catchphrase, in order to be noticed by consumers, must have something that resonates with their emotions. It should make them feel, if not think, something.
The word “beauty” alone will not mean anything, but add the word “real” to it and use “Real beauty” while promoting the Dove brand, and you have an effective slogan. “Because you’re worth it” also worked because it appealed to every woman’s desire to feel worthy.
Tip 8: Focus on the message.
Never lose sight of the message that you want to deliver. If you want to play up a specific strength of your brand, the slogan should refer to it. If you want your brand to stand out or be different, make sure the words reflect that.
Tip 9: Make sure your slogan is timeless.
Do not put limitations on the slogan, such that it will be applicable only in the present and not in the future. The words used should not be relevant in the present only, but throughout the years to come. Create a slogan that you envision to still be used by the company or brand long into the future. This is also one way to be forward-looking.
Good advertising slogans are not easy to make. They will sometimes take a lot of brainstorming before getting the right words that evoke the right feelings. However, it is something that can be done and once you get the right one, you will be happy you took the time to look for it. In many cases, a good advertising slogan can mean the difference between an ‘ok’ company and a ‘really great’ company.
Dear fellow entrepreneurs and readers of Entrepreneurial Insights / Cleverism! In autumn of 2014 …
In San Francisco (CA), we meet Co-Founder of Crittercism, Andrew Levy. Andrew talks about his story …