To be successful, a slogan must capture and convey the essence of whatever it represents. Your brand.  If the choice of words doesn’t achieve this very basic goal the statement will be a failure.  Even a great line that doesn’t match up to the brand will fall flat.

One of the most successful slogans in the history is that of the U.S. Marine Corps: “The Few, the Proud, the Marines.” The catchphrase quickly captures the spirit of the Marines; they are a very proud, very selective, and very elite organization. This tagline was so successful that it was actually chosen for Madison Avenue’s Advertising Walk of Fame in 2007.

The slogan not only sounds great and is memorable, it captures the essence of the Marines. It emphasizes the values and the image that the organization wants to convey to the world. Yet it is also very simple and easy to understand.

Chicago adopted the tagline, “We’re glad you’re here.”  How boring.  How generic.  With such a great city to work with, that was the best they could do.  It’s certainly a far cry from “What Happens Here Stays Here” used by Las Vegas or “The Happiest Place on Earth” used by Walt Disney World. These taglines tell potential visitors what they can expect and are lock step with the brand.

Some of the best slogans also have fun with a customer.  Maybe even gently zinging them as a friend would.  The popular catchphrase for Old Spice antiperspirant is a great example of this: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” uses an over the top perfect man as the spokesperson.  It reminds women that while their boyfriends and husbands aren’t perfect like the spokesman, they can at least smell like him.  The viewers get the message and they get a chuckle.  Guys even liked it to.

If you can solve your branding first and translate that in your contest brief, an amazing slogan is likely to follow.  So do your homework and then start a contest.  Good luck!