It’s about fourth grade when we start thinking innocent things are funny. We found risqué overtones in nearly everything, even going so far as to make our calculators spell out the names of human anatomy. You know exactly what I mean.
In many ways, and as sad as it may seem, we never really quite grow out of that immature mindset. We are all still fourth graders at heart. It explains why “that’s what she said” became a popular joke, and you still hear corny pick-up lines at bars.
Because our minds are still in the gutter, you might find these completely PG advertising slogans slightly suggestive and inappropriate. Here are the 20 worst offenders.
1. Reach Out and Touch Someone – AT&T
Ad agency N.W. Ayer created this slogan in 1979. It’s supposed to be about emotionally connecting with another individual through your phone, but that’s not the first place our minds go. In a world of Kevin Spacey and #MeToo, this slogan seems kind of wrong.
2. When It Fits, You Feel It – JCPenney
Interestingly enough, JCPenney did not keep it all inside over the years. They played it a little too fast and loose, and as a result, roughly 14% of their locations closed as of 2017. This super awkward tagline came out during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. To make matters even worse, it aired on Valentine’s Day, right when people across the country were practicing that very sentiment behind closed doors.
3. It Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking – Timex
The Baby Boom was at its peak in the 1950s, meaning America had only one thing on its mind. As such, it makes sense that Timex would come up with this slogan in the same decade. Time keeps on ticking for the billion dollar company, and with competition from Rolex and Swatch, they were due for an upgrade. In 2013, the company spent a cool $6 million to market their products with the new slogan “Life is Ticking.” Way less suggestive!
4. Just Do It – Nike
Everybody recognizes Nike’s iconic slogan, but few realize how pivotal it was in saving the company from extinction. In 1987, the company was in its biggest slump and had laid off 20% of workers. “Just Do It” was a call to action for both the brand and the athletes who wore their apparel. Out of context, though, it’s easy to think of this brand slogan as suggestive. After all, we know that “do it” has a double meaning.
5. Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don’t – Almond Joy/Mounds
In 1970, American composer Leon Carr wrote the iconic “Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut” jingle for Almond Joy/Mounds. The song explains the difference between the two candies and has since went on to have a salacious life of its own. In fact, Weird Al Yankovich, known for his parody songs “White & Nerdy” and “Eat It,” did his own cover of the catchy tune.
6. Pleasing People the World Over – Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn has been “pleasing people the world over” since the first hotel opened in 1952. Meanwhile, the slogan makes you think of what happens when the “Do Not Disturb” sign is hanging on the handle. Holiday Inn has tried other slogans that also evoke thoughts of the bedroom like “We put a smile back on your face” and “The best surprise is no surprise.” Still, this is the slogans honeymooners are most likely to understand.
7. Is it In You? – Gatorade
If an athlete takes steroids, the rumor is they take *cough* *cough* “performance hits” in other areas. This slogan could double as the question that’s asked in those particular moments. When it was first released, Gatorade was a huge hit as it helped keep athletes cool in the blistering heat. By 1983, it became the official sports drink of the NFL. Really, every athlete wants Gatorade to be in them at some point. Get your mind out of the gutter!
8. Let Your Fingers Do the Walking – Yellow Pages
With caller ID and Google, looking up a number in the Yellow Pages is a dying art. Still, this slogan appeals to more than just trying to locate a phone number. Even today, our fingers do the walking when we swipe right on Tinder or upload a profile to a dating site. Who knows where the fingers can be walking after that!
9. Beauty Outside, Beast Inside – Mac Pro
The apple of Apple’s eye was the Mac Pro in 2013. This sleek computer has flexible memory, vast hard disk space, and customizable options for hardware and software. Their slogan matches the fierceness of the product, but also works well as a racy euphemism. The old saying holds true: Sometimes looks can be deceiving.
10. Put a Tiger in Your Tank – Esso
It’s kind of like when R. Kelly made keys in an ignition seem lewd. Esso, the multinational oil and gas corporation, took the road less traveled with this unintentionally inappropriate tagline. The slogan was created in 1959 by Emery Smith, a young copywriter who may have had more on his brain than just fueling engines.
11. Our Most Important Package is Yours – FedEx
Often, we will refer to someone we really like as “the full package.” We might even go as far as to use that word to describe other body parts if you catch my drif.t FedEx’s slogan more or less conveys that the customer is always right. It also goes on to suggest that there’s nothing that shouldn’t be done for a really good package.
12. If it Doesn’t Get All Over the Place, it Doesn’t Belong on Your Face – Carl’s Jr.
It’s no surprise that a company sexualizing hamburgers in their commercials would use such a suggestive slogan. Take a look at any of their ads from the early to mid-2000s, and you’ll see supermodels leaving nothing to the imagination as they seductively bite their burgers. Nowadays, Matthew McConaughey offers his trademark drawl to the ad’s voiceovers.
13. Somebody Else Up There Loves You – Southwest Airlines
Some people dream of joining the Mile High Club. If you have flown on Southwest at some point during their 51 years in operation, you might have even made those dreams might come true. Of course, the airline isn’t trying to encourage any kind of craziness in the cockpit. They would much rather you sit back, relax, and enjoy some of those super salty peanuts.
14. Mmm, Mmm Good – Campbell’s
This hot and steamy slogan has been in use for Campbell’s since the 1930s. From tomato bisque to broccoli cheese, they’ve brought plenty of flavor to American kitchens. It’s your business what else you spend time doing in the kitchen. Just make sure you at least enjoy a nice dinner of Campbell’s soup beforehand.
15. The First Time is Never the Best – Campari
The dirtiness here may or may not have been intentional. Campari recognizes that practice makes progress and even pairs this slogan with seductive advertisements. The cocktail ingredient, invented by Gaspare Campari in the early 1900s, may actually be responsible for a few first (or even second) times across the board.
16. It’s So Big, You’ve Got to Grin to Get it in – Wagon Wheels
How can you not see this slogan as dirty?! These European snack foods are giant chocolate cookies with marshmallow filling. The slogan, first used in a 1979 commercial, further emphasizes just how suggestive it can be to eat the entire treat in one bite. It’s a weird message to have paired with such a wholesome dessert.
17. The Best a Man Can Get – Gillette
Before a big date, a man might shave to ensure he looks his best. Gillette recognizes that (and maybe what else these men have in mind) with their 1989 ad campaign. The slogan launched during the Super Bowl and featured a series of super successful men in different careers. You’re not going to want to have a one-night stand with Gillette. This is a product you bring home to mom.
18. It’s Finger Lickin’ Good – KFC
The “Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan was born from customer frustration. As the story goes, a viewer called in to complain about a commercial showing finger licking. The response was “well, it’s finger-lickin’ good” and a lightbulb went off for the company. Now this tagline can apply to a number of other interesting experiences.
19. Pleasure is the Path to Joy – Häagen-Dazs.
Get a taste of the sweet life by enjoying a delicious Häagen-Dazs. After all, the ice cream giants know that “pleasure is the path to joy.” Never mind that “pleasure” and “joy” basically mean the same thing, this slogan evokes all kinds of feelings about what else can lead to such happiness. Even if you stick with just ice cream, there’s no doubt you’ll have a good time.
20. Good to the Last Drop – Maxwell House
The best part of any morning is a good cup of coffee. However, if you’re feeling particularly frisky there’s other fun that could be had in the morning. Good to the last drop could apply to either scenario. This slogan is rumored to have been developed by our 26th president Theodore Roosevelt.
If anything can be learned, it’s that there’s always potential to read anything as inappropriate if you try hard enough. You never know how the general public will react to your logos, slogans, and even the most quality promotional products. Keep in mind the world is full of fourth graders who will snicker at even a slight innuendo, every time!
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