Top 10 Effective and Ineffective Advertising Slogans
My only frame of reference for how advertisers come up with slogans is from the countless hours of Mad Men that I’ve watched. With Don yelling at Peggy and her team, they don’t make it look easy (even if they do so while drinking aged scotch), so I can’t imagine being in charge of creating the next “Just Do It” or “A Diamond is Forever” campaign!
Some advertisers I’ll mention here have gone above and beyond clever slogans (some of them even created jingles to go along with them). Others deserve a second chance to get it right because their first effort wasn’t exactly right on mark. We’ll focus on the positive before we get to the latter group.
Who got it right:
Verizon: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good!”
"Yes! I can hear you now!"
I love this slogan because it’s easy to remember and it’s so basic and simple that it can’t be interpreted any other way. It’s also something that I’m sure we’ve all said while we’re moving to a place with better cell phone reception. Verizon summed up exactly what they can do for their customers: provide better reception. So even if you have to ask the person who called you if he/she can hear you now, you’ll know the answer.
Visa: “It’s Everywhere You Want to Be.”
In today’s world, it seems impossible to go anywhere without having your credit card work. Visa reassures their customers that no matter where they go, they’ll still be able to enjoy it to the fullest without worrying about cash. It follows the KISS principle perfectly (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and scores a 10 out 10 from me.
L’Oreal: “Because We’re Worth It.”
If beer commercials take 30 seconds to sum up what men are thinking, then L’Oreal has done the same for women. They’ve changed it a few times in the past; it used to be “Because you’re worth it.” However, they have now landed on “Because we’re worth it,” which seems to create a stronger involvement from consumers. I’m not sure if this slogan still packs the same punch as it did when they first starting using it, but I still love hearing it. A little positive affirmation never hurt anyone!
"Mmmm, mmm, yum!"
Pillsbury: “Nothin’ Says Lovin’ Like Something from the Oven.”
Who doesn’t love the smell of bread, pie, cookies, or cake baking in the oven? That same thought must have been what crossed advertisers’ minds when they came up with this slogan for Pillsbury. Bake a little love for your sweetheart, because nobody bakes something for someone they despise (unless they’ve got ulterior motives).
Who missed the mark:
AT&T: “Reach Out and Touch Someone.”
"Are you there?"
Alright, I understand what AT&T was trying to say, but it didn’t come across that way at all in this slogan. By reaching out (by calling someone), you’re able to touch them emotionally and reconnect with them. I personally didn’t read it that way when I first saw it. Instead, I imagine a hand reaching out through a telephone and eerily touching the person on the other line. It sounds more like a plot for a horror movie than a nice and wholesome telephone company’s slogan!
US Cellular: “Believe in Something Better.”
If this were a slogan for a different product, then I’d say it was uplifting and inspirational. But it’s a cell phone company. Come on, you’re not exactly saving the environment or creating a better world for today’s children! This slogan sounds like a better fit for a renewable energy company or some other eco-friendly company. Unfortunately, it’s sort of wasted in this case.
Frito-Lay: “Take a Cheetos Break with Cheetos.”
This isn’t a bad slogan. In fact I liked it because they tied in with a contest for people to literally “take a break with Cheetos.” So why did it miss the mark? My only complaint, and the thing that keeps it from being a great slogan, is the “with Cheetos” part. Seriously? What else are we going to take a Cheetos break with? Cheez-Its? Pringles? Goldfish? I’m not sure if they’re insulting our intelligence or just trying to drop their name as many times as possible in six words.
Exxon Mobil: “We’re Exxon, We Do It Right.”
While I applaud Exxon’s efforts to revitalize the fuel industry by doing things right, I think their somewhat vague slogan could have been more creative. What exactly are they doing right? Safer drilling techniques? More efficient transportation? They could highlight one of these aspects and really market that to stand out from their competitors.
Here lies Garry the Grub: 2011-2011
Raid: “It Kills Bugs Dead.”
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “kill” I pretty much assume that whatever it is will end up dead. Repetition can be clever if it’s executed properly, but it misses the mark here. This might be pessimistic of me, I know, but the extra clarification in this slogan is not needed. “It Kills Bugs” (period) would’ve done the trick and I would still trust your product.
The only time I’ve ever had to create a slogan was for an advertising class in college. It wasn’t easy, so I can appreciate the amount of hard work that these teams did in creating them. With a few minor tweaks I think all of them could’ve hit a bull’s eye by being effective slogans!
Have you recently heard a great slogan that you really liked? What about one that you didn’t like? Sound off below!