For many reasons, it can be tricky business creating a snappy slogan. Why? Because simplicity is key. Having a benefit is critical. Delivering the client’s business is crucial. Making it memorable is vital. And keeping it short is essential.
A slogan needs to do and say so much. Yet it needs to be short and simple. But don’t misunderstand – that doesn’t mean sticking to one or two words. Although that’s exactly what the following slogans do…and incredibly well.
Just look online and you’ll see many ‘famous’ lines (usually for famous brands) that hit the mark.
Take NIKE® for example, the logotype ‘swoosh’ or ‘tick’ came first in 1971, with ‘Just Do It’ making its debut in 1988. The great thing about NIKE® is that the marketing has done such a great job, the ‘swoosh’ stands alone as a mark of quality for sports gear without having to say a single word.
But just in case you hadn’t cottoned onto this icon of design, the words ‘JUST DO IT’ should bring you up to speed. Its directness is hard to ignore, as is its message. Of course, you can only ‘do it’ with NIKE® – and this is why the slogan/strapline works. It provides a benefit; two in fact, one that ‘believes’ in its audience to be able to do anything and the other suggests that it can be achieved (whatever ‘IT’ is) with NIKE®.
Other notable successes include Tesco’s ‘Every Little Helps’ and McDonald’s ‘I’m lovin’ it’. Tesco’s line can be applied to any proposition in its repertoire – value, quality, service – whilst reinforcing its image as a ‘helpful’ for-the-people company. McDonald’s not only puts burgers into the mouths of the nation, but words. The line is cleverly delivered by ‘the consumer’ suggesting the benefits for taste, choice and convenience.
Now, a short interlude…
In true SLG style, we enjoy a little creative challenge, so here’s a list of great slogans for you to put a brand to:
Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.
Does exactly what it says on the tin.
Because you’re worth it.
The car in front is a ?
The best a man can get.
Probably the best lager in the world.
It’s a bit of an animal.
The appliance of science.
And now to those slogans that need a mention for all the wrong reasons.
UPS, or United Parcel Service felt it would be a cool idea to associate its slogan with its brand colour. Not the worst idea in the world to differentiate the carrier from its competitors – except when you realise the colour is brown – and only made worse with the essence of the slogan itself.
‘What can brown do for you?’
Firstly, it makes no sense to ask a question given the potential audience is unlikely to know the answer. Secondly, it’s confusing if the brand colour is unknown to anyone. And lastly, it has certain toilet-humour connotations that don’t need explaining. Thankfully, UPS has changed its slogan twice since then – neither are fit for the toilet we’re happy to report.
And then there’s American telecoms company, AT&T with its ‘never to be forgotten’ gem from 1979, ‘Reach out and touch someone’. We know what they really meant, but decided to think the worst instead – just like America did.
Finally… a slogan to die for.
As a campaign, it’s been criticised for plagierising the film ‘What We Do in the Shadows’, but who cares? The creatives have taken a cue from a cult and cool movie – perfect for this client. The TV ads, the casting, the slogan and the seamless integration of all components make this a winner in our book, and is ‘up there’ with ‘Just Do It’.
Virgin Games. Live a little.
‘Live a little’ wraps its ‘arm’ around its viewers, welcoming them into the Virgin gaming world by letting them know they’re allowed to let their hair down. Cleverly, the line also nods to the Gambling Aware directive by the ‘a little’ part of the line. The proposition is reinforced by the beautifully casted ‘young-looking’ ancient vampire, who is forever alive (or undead for over 500 years). And the film is finished off with an audible strap line that matches the visual one.
In short, campaigns and copy lines need to engage, excite and sell – not confuse.
“A slogan needs to do and say so much. Yet it needs to be short and simple. But don't misunderstand - that doesn’t mean sticking to one or two words.”