Where’s the Slogan?

Where’s the Slogan?

Looking for inspiration? Catchy slogans have been a part of our lives and make impressions on the views we have on products. They have those jingles that ring in the back of your mind, or announcer voices that take over your thoughts. Wondering what slogans have made impressions over the past? These slogans reign as the top 10 according to Ad Age.

1. Diamonds are forever (DeBeers)

2. Just do it (Nike)

3. The pause that refreshes (Coca-Cola)

4. Tastes great, less filling (Miller Lite)

5. We try harder (Avis)

6. Good to the last drop (Maxwell House)

7. Breakfast of champions (Wheaties)

8. Does she … or doesn’t she? (Clairol)

9. When it rains it pours (Morton Salt)

10. Where’s the beef? (Wendy’s)

Do they live up to everything you thought they’d be? There must be some that you think should have made the list. Sometimes even the best slogans get overlooked. With Slogan Slingers, you can choose your own top 10 and choose the slogan that works best for your business. Perhaps our writers will come up with a tagline that makes the next century’s top 10!

Out of the top 10, what’s your favorite? Ours is #10 “Where’s the beef?” This slogan has humor, while also mentioning their major product, beef. It makes you laugh while also making you hungry. Where IS the beef? You want some right now! Where’s your hamburger!?

Want a slogan worthy of being on top? Start a contest now on our slogan maker and have options pouring in for your business slogan.

History of Taglines

History of Taglines

We like to think that we live in a cut-throat world which is in many ways harder than ever before and whilst modern day customers and consumers are more sophisticated than ever. The problems of getting the word out on the street through advertisements, taglines and straplines are as old as business itself.

 

For centuries in the ancient and medieval world, there was no formal advertising as products were popularized simply by word of mouth but as soon as the printing press was up and running 500 years ago taglines became necessary. The first printed advertisements soon followed. By the 17th and 18th century, the weekly London newspapers were packed with adverts and slogans, ranging like today between the must-have products and those whose taglines were simply unbelievable.

 

19Th Century Straplines

The 19th century saw a huge growth in corporate business and this was accompanied by the growth of an advertising industry. It was during that century primarily in the U.S that saw the establishment of advertising agencies.

At the time they started off as brokers for space in newspapers rather than modern day ad agencies. By the early 20th century, ad agencies became involved in producing the advertising message itself including the artwork and taglines.

The Birth of the Jingle

The spread of radio sets in the 1930s led to a advertising jingles hitting the airwaves.  Unlike modern taglines, these were often lyrical slogans sung out to entice buyers.

Slogans that may sound odd tour our ears today were hugely popular at the time as they fitted the way of the life at the time.  Early Harley-Davidson’s had a tagline of ‘the motorcycle that is not uncomfortable’.  It is hard to imagine a modern campaign encouraging us to buy a computer with a tagline of “The computer that doesn’t crash”.

 

Slogans for Service

 

The 1940’s saw slogans that either emphasized an organizations commitment to the war effort or those that stressed its all-American heritage.  The driving force of consumerism changed everything after World War II and housewives were encouraged to buy the latest home accessories to make their lives easier such as freezer units, washing machines and cleaning products.  There were so many that they even gave a name to the TV shows they were advertised between, Soap Operas.

 

Savvy Slogans

 

The 1980’s and 90’s saw consumers become more savvy with advertising and as such longer slogans became replaced by shorter taglines and the focus shifted onto leisure time.  Many of these are still with us today such as Nike’s ‘Just do it’.

 

Whatever the era of the ad, the basic rules were the same, be clear, have a catchy slogan and be in tune with the great American Public. If you remember these basic proven rules when thinking about your slogan or tagline then you’ll be on the way to success.

Hollywood Taglines

Hollywood Taglines

If you think that coming up with a tagline for your business is difficult, then spare a thought for those creative studio types who have to come up with slogans for the latest movie.

Hundreds of millions of dollars can be at stake depending on the success of the marketing of the movie.  Whilst promo videos can do a lot, when it comes down to it, often taglines at the end of each trailer or at the bottom of that movie poster is either going to entice cinema goers or make them spend their money in another theater.

Tinsel Town Taglines

The fact that taglines are important to a movie demonstrates how important picking a good tagline is for your business.  As a tagline can make or break a movie then the same goes for your organization.  It is a shame for such a small but important element of your business to be so pivotal to your success but that is how it goes.

On average it take 18 months to 2 years for a Hollywood movie to go from the writers head to the big screen and in the meantime millions of dollars are spent and hundreds of people are involved in a project that has to be financed in advance with no guarantees of success.

Imagine hearing about a new action blockbuster, it stars all of the big names and has car chases and exploding helicopters and probably the odd wise-crack.  If the tagline for it is something lousy and forgettable people will avoid the film. A strapline which doesn’t relate in any way to the movie genre such as “the best nature documentary this year” will simply confuse and frustrate moviegoers.

Driving the Audience Away

Anyone with half a brain is going to think twice about seeing it as the reasoning goes if they can’t come up with a good slogan how can the movie be any good?  Likewise an awful movie with a catchy tagline and a colorful poster will probably fool lots of people into seeing a film they wouldn’t have done otherwise.

All of the best movies have a great tagline.  True they’d be a good movie without one but the tagline is the frosting on the cake.  Many of the best taglines are memorable decades after the release of the film.  They not only tell you a bit about the film but are memorable too.  “In Space no-one can hear you scream” can only belong to one film, Alien and not to a comedy road-trip.

If you don’t have a creative studio exec working in your organization then why not tap in to all of the creative sparks at Slogan Slingers.  If you need a tagline for your business, who you gonna call?

Geographic Taglines

Geographic Taglines

Some slogans are put on state license plates.

We all think of taglines as being used in the corporate world whether for small mom and pop businesses, multinationals or charitable organizations.

However they aren’t just used by businesses and many countries have long used unofficial taglines or mottos in their branding.  They do this because just as a business wants to get its message out over its values and services then it is important for a country too.

 

National Taglines

 

Many of the greatest nations have their own strapline.  Centuries ago France became embodied by the phrase “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” which translates as liberty, equality and brotherhood. 

 

The United States is known around the world for its slogans of “Land of the Free, and the Home of The Brave” or “The Land of Opportunity”.     Great Britain in the early 20th Century had a tagline of “A Land Fit For Heroes” and following a series of re-brandings and like many a good business re-branded itself and more recently coined the phrase “Cool Britannia”.

 

State Straplines

 

It isn’t just countries that get into taglines.  Mention “The Sunshine State” and few of us will think of Oregon but instead the sunny state of Florida.  The volunteer state can only be Tennessee.  In fact all 50 American states have their own slogan.

 

Just like in the business world, they use it for marketing, identity and heritage and differentiate themselves and their identity. Californiais theGoldenStatedue to its history with the Gold Rush,Virginiais theOldDominionStateas it as Charles II ofEnglandincorporated it with his other dominions inEurope.

 

Not all states have historical taglines, Wyoming is known as “The Equality State” due to the record of womens rights and equality there.  It sends a message to the rest of the country and the world of what sort of placeWyomingis and aspires to be.

 

City Slogans

 

It’s not even just states that have their own taglines.  Counties have them, even cities do too.  Everyone knows that New York is The Big Apple and the City that Never Sleeps, and that San Francisco is The Golden Gate City and The Music City is Nashville.

 

Like businesses, some cities have different taglines to target different audiences. London uses “See The World. Visit London” to attract foreign visitors while home-grown tourists see the slogan: “Totally London.”

 

Wherever they are, all these places place value on a good tagline and they spend billions on their identity and differentiating themselves from the competition.  It’s not necessary to spend a lot on your company tagline but if New York and London see value in taglines then so should your business. A slogan writing contest could make your organization as famous as those great cities.

Your Tagline Checklist

Your Tagline Checklist

A natural sounding tagline is always better than a clever one. If someone has to think what your tagline means then it isn’t working.  Simplicity is the key and your tagline should be easy to remember and not an in-depth market strategy.

A tagline or strapline should tell customers something about either your services or your company ethos as plainly as possible.  To be effective they must be simple and if possible hard-hitting.  Don’t be tempted into using taglines that sound impressive but don’t actually mean anything when stop and think about them.

Should a Tagline be a Promise or Not

Opinion is divided over whether your slogan should include a promise such as “always the best value” or “always on time”.  The risk is that sometimes you might fail to meet your obligations, which is even worse when your tagline emphasises that particular aspect of your organization.  However doing so does at least let your customers know that you are aiming high and that alone might be enough to secure their business.

When deciding on a tagline for your business it is important to consider the aspects of your business or services which your customers value most.   If you can get to the key point as what your customers value then you have got yourself a great tagline.

For example an internet company might stress its speed and mobility which isn’t much use for a business specializing in organic farmed produce. However, freshness and greenness is not usually something internet customers consider important.

Rhymes can make a strapline trip off the tongue more easily, and make it more memorable for your customers but don’t use that at the expense of the more important points above.

Finally and it might sound obvious but don’t use a tagline or a strapline simply for the sake of having one.  If it doesn’t add anything to your business image, you’re wasting your time and money.

Traits of a Really Great Slogan

Once you have a shortlist of possible taglines, rank them bearing in mind the following and discarding all that don’t make it.

Simplicity – Is it straightforward, honest, short?

Clarity –Is it really clear what you’re trying to say without leaving the customer scratching their heads?

Essence – Is it the very essence of what your customers need from your business.

Memorability – Is the phrase catchy memorable.  If you write it down and leave it for a day or two, will you still remember it?

Organize a slogan writing contest designed to give your organization a strapline that embodies these characteristics today. If you succeed you will give your company a marketing tool of immense value.