It’s about fourth grade when we started thinking innocent things were 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 we mean.
In many ways, and as sad as it may seem, we don’t 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. Even more, it explains why you’ll find these completely PG advertising slogans slightly suggestive.
Go ahead and keep your mind in the gutter. Here are 20 of the most suggestive advertising slogans in history!
#1: AT&T – Reach Out and Touch Someone.
Image source: Novelix
Ad agency N.W. Ayer created this gem in 1979. The idea was to convey emotionally connecting with another individual through your phone. Unfortunately, that’s not the first place our minds go when hearing this slogan. In a world of photo leaks and questionable selfies, it’s no wonder that message was lost on the public. Make sure you have consent before you reach out and touch someone.
#2: JCPenney – When it Fits, You Feel It.
Image source: InSites
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 Timex – It Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking.
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!
The classic line is used at the beginning of this 1990 Timex commercial:
#4 Nike – Just Do It.
Image source: Rafferty, J. Light Bearers
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. It definitely isn’t a demand you should hear anywhere other than the field or court.
#5 Almond Joy/Mounds – Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don’t.
Image source: YouTube
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. No pressure if you don’t feel like a nut at this moment.
#6 Holiday Inn – Pleasing People the World Over.
Image source: Gatbonton, A. Hongkiat
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. The company 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 one honeymooners are most likely to understand.
#7 Gatorade – Is it In You?
If an athlete takes steroids, the rumor is they take 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.
The sports drink has their slogan all over this 2003 commercial:
#8 Yellow Pages – Let Your Fingers Do the Walking.
With caller ID and Google, looking up a number in the Yellow Pages is a dying art. Still, the message here 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 what could happen from there?
See what happens when your fingers do the walking in this 1982 commercial:
#9 Mac Pro – Beauty Outside. Beast Inside.
Image source: YouTube
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 Exxon – Put a Tiger in Your Tank.
Image source: Seeking Alpha
It’s kind of like when R. Kelly made keys in an ignition seem lewd. Exxon, the multinational oil and gas corporation, took the road less traveled with this unintentionally provocative campaign. The slogan was created in 1959 by Emery Smith, a young copywriter who had more on his brain than just fueling engines.
#11 FedEx – Our Most Important Package is Yours.
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 accoutrements. 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.
FedEx makes sure to convey the importance of the package in this 1996 commercial:
#12 Carl’s Jr. – If It Doesn’t Get All Over the Place, It Doesn’t Belong in Your Face.
It’s no surprise that a company sexualizing hamburgers in their commercials would use such a lascivious 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.
This 1998 Carl’s Jr. commercial leaves nothing to the imagination:
#13 Southwest Airlines – Somebody Else Up There Who Loves You.
Image source: Southwest
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 Campbell’s – Mmm, Mmm Good.
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.
The soup tasted Mmm mmm good in this 1990 commercial:
#15 Campari – The First Time is Never the Best.
Image source: Coloribus
This one 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 Wagon Wheels – It’s So Big, You’ve Got to Grin to Get It In.
Be cautious when eating Wagon Wheels anywhere near a depraved individual. 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 disturbing message to have paired with such a wholesome dessert.
The jingle is deceiving catchy in this 1979 commercial:
#17 Gillette – The Best a Man Can Get.
Image source: Slide Share
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 KFC – It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.
Image source: Munir Bawa
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 Häagen-Dazs – Pleasure is the Path to Joy.
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 joy. Even if you stick with just ice cream, there’s no doubt you’ll have a good time.
Brainwashing and ice cream have never looked as delicious as in this Häagen-Dazs commericial:
#20 Maxwell House – Good to the Last Drop.
Image source: Twitter
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. Teddy, you dog, you!
If anything can be learned, it’s that there’s always potential to become a meme in marketing. You never know how the general public will react to your logos, slogans, or advertising efforts. Keep in mind the world is full of fourth graders who will snicker at even a slight innuendo, every time.
Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.
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