If a picture is worth a thousand words, then they’re really important in advertising, wouldn’t you say? But you can’t take pictures with you, can you?

But slogans… A slogan says so much with so little. It’s the brand’s memo to the record, and that’s a big deal, wouldn’t you say?

I also think we can learn a lot from a good slogan. Every brand has a logo, but not every brand has a slogan. Well, here are the Top 5 Brand Slogans (in no particular order) according to me.

Just Do It.

Brand: Nike
Personally, I was never crazy about this one, but it seemed to define the brand for a generation (and maybe longer). But it’s so much more than just a slogan. It’s a mantra and a call-to-action.

The slogan was coined by Dan Weiden, co-founder of Wieden+Kennedy, for a 1988 ad campaign, which debuted on July first that year. Nike trademarked the slogan in 1989, and it was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top slogans of the 20th century.

Got Milk?

Brand: California Milk Processing Board
What I’ve always love about this slogan is that it’s a question. But it’s also so much more than just a question. It’s a rhetorical question. It’s cute and it’s challenging, and the creative is as simple and wholesome as a glass of milk.

The slogan was originally created for the California Milk Processing Board, and subsequently licensed out to similar organizations throughout the US. It was also credited with greatly increasing milk sales in California, but not nationwide.

It’s toasted.

Brand: Lucky Strike
Okay, so a lot of us has have  that scene from Mad Men where Don Draper comes up with the slogan. But the slogan is actually much older than that. Lucky Strike started using the slogan in 1917 to inform consumers that their tobacco was toasted rather than sun-dried.

Regardless, everything Donald Draper says during his pitch pretty much sums up why this slogan is such a great on: “Everyone else’s tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strike’s is toasted […] Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? It’s the smell of a new car, it’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard, on the side of the road, that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.

The snack that smiles back…

Brand: Goldfish (Pepperidge Farm)
What I love about this slogan is how it’s tied to a jingle. It gets in your head and burrows into mind share in a harmless and playful kind of way:

“Here’s our jingle for Goldfish/Those baked and not fried Goldfish/The wholesome snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off/Did you know they’re made with real cheese/Even though they look like fishies/The snack that smiles back, Goldfish!” [emphasis my own]

This appeals to the whole family because singing that song is fun for the whole family — and everyone else, for that matter. If you’re a parent, they are a “wholesome snack that smiles back.” And if you’re a kid, you get to “bite their heads off!” I mean, how cool is that?

The slogan has been in use since 2002.

The other white meat.

Brand: National Pork Board
What I really love about this slogan is that, according to the US Dept. of Agriculture, pork is not a white meat. But that doesn’t matter because this slogan challenges us to use our imagination to prove it right.

And that’s what I think is so great about this slogan: it involves the consumer. And in that way, it kinda uses the foot in the door technique.

This slogan’s campaign began in March in 1987. By 1991, US pork sales had increased by 20%.

Any big ones I missed? What are your favorite slogans?

6 thoughts on “5 Great Brand Slogans

  1. Two come to mind right away……
    American Express – don’t leave home without it.
    Alka-Seltzer – plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is

    1. Yeah, Jack, I agree with both of those. The Amex one is legendary, and the Alka-Seltzer one is also part jingle, which makes it so much more catchy.

      One that only occurred to me after I published this post was the new one by Frank’s Red Hot: I put that sh*t on everything…

      I love that one.

    2. You know what’s amazing about Alka-Seltzer is that sales improved greatly as soon as they started implying in ads (and the slogan) to take two at a time instead of one, which is often enough.

  2. We had our college slogan and now i forgot it. These slogans are really the nice one and people should try to understand the exact meaning of the slogan so it should be very simply , short and sweet..

  3. A great slogan goes a long way, most of these are catchy both visually and verbally and easy to remember, so their brand is easily recognized and communicated. These slogans are all short, sweet and to the point and get the job done.

  4. Totally agree that slogans should be short, sweet and to the point. And it should reflect who/what the business is. Also capturing the business attitude and philosophy too! Here at KAI Design & Communication, our slogan is: We design because we care.

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