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10 Best Slogans

T he best slogans and taglines are so memorable that they do more than launch their associated products to the top of the market. They also remain in our society's shared vocabulary long after those products have achieved success.

A great promotional slogan (or tagline) is short, catchy, and memorable. It contains only a few words, yet it's incredibly difficult to produce, and there's no magic formula for producing one (much to the relief of gainfully employed marketers everywhere).

Every quality tagline shares a few common details, though. The best slogans of all time fuel our imaginations, make us think, and often possess a "feel good" factor. Interestingly enough, they rarely mention the product or business actually being promoted. Instead, an outstanding slogan engages audiences and inspires people to associate it with the brand behind it, although in some cases, the slogans can be more popular than the brand itself. In fact, many brands create taglines that are so successful and unforgettable that they become slogans for life in general. Seriously, children of the '80s, how many times did you ask somebody where the beef was?

Some of the best taglines are still used by their respective parties today, even though they were launched decades ago, and often find their way onto promotional products. You can call that "retro" if you like. We call it "staying power." There is some debate about which slogans fit into the top ten, but there's little doubt that the ones we discuss here are some of the most successful advertising efforts in history.

1 "A Diamond is Forever" Image copyright of De Beers. This deceptively-simple advertising slogan was launched by the De Beers Diamond Company in 1938 as the headline for what would become one of longest-running marketing campaigns of all time. Those four little words - a diamond is forever - suggest a sense of timeless, "we'll always have Paris" romance and tie that romance to the diamonds that De Beers sells. The De Beers Diamond Company remains one of the largest diamond suppliers in the world, possibly because of this solid, sparkly slogan, possibly because customers imagined being part of a love story as great as Casablanca's.
2 "Just Do It." Image copyright of Nike, Inc. In 1988, a struggling sportswear company called introduced this memorable line into its advertising and soon catapulted to the front of the pack. The company is called Nike. You might have heard of it. This quality slogan brims with attitude and captures the defiant and determined mentality that's required of successful sports stars. "Just Do It" is a bold statement that inspires athletes to work harder, a no-nonsense call to action that audiences instantly associate with Nike's apparel and accessories. It also serves as encouragement to customers when they're looking at Nike merchandise, credit card in hand.
3 "Got Milk?" Image copyright of The Dairy Association. This ad campaign, created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, debuted in 1993 as a message from the California Milk Processor Board to encourage people to drink more milk. Its simple tagline was accompanied by witty commercial situations, attractive stars wearing milk mustaches, and stadium cups emblazoned with the short-but-sweet slogan. This campaign demonstrated the power of straightforward messages that are easy for consumers to remember. It also demonstrated the power of showing beautiful celebrities sporting hilarious milk mustaches in getting people to believe that milk really does a body good.
4 "Where's the Beef?" Image copyright of Wendy's International, Inc. This marketing campaign, created for Wendy's by Saatchi & Saatchi, captured the frustrations of every fast food patron in the 1980s. Although this top-ten tagline was intended to poke fun at competitors' beef-lacking burgers, the catch phrase rapidly became a symbol for everything lacking in substance and quality, from student essays to company budgets. While the campaign ran for only a few years, the wildly popular slogan endured and took on a life of its own.
5 "Great Taste, Less Filling" Image copyright of Miller Brewing Company, Inc. Beer might not seem like a difficult sell, but Miller Brewing Company faced an uphill battle when its light brew was initially introduced. For years, beer had been marketed primarily to the more macho corner of the market. How could Miller introduce a concept like low-calorie beer to such a crowd? In 1975, an ad agency called McCann-Erickson Worldwide neatly solved this problem through a few advertisements. The new commercials depicted beefy, athletic men doing what beefy, athletic men were believed to do often in those days: fighting, in this case, over either the "tastes great" side or the "less filling" side of the quality tagline. The struggle allow Miller to maintain its masculine image-hurrah! The slogan also found its way onto Miller merchandise like beer koozies and boxer shorts.
6 "Don't Leave" Home Without It" Image copyright of American Express Co. American Express launched this campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, in 1975. The slogan was intended to establish traveler's cheques and traveler's check cards as essential accessories for daily life, right up there with the house keys. Since its release, this catchy tagline has been quoted, parodied, and repeated so often that it has worked its way into the American lexicon, with people everywhere holding up important objects and urging friends and family not to leave home without them.
7 "Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand" Image copyright of Mars, Inc. Coined by ad man Rosser Reeves and introduced by M&Ms in 1954, this enduring slogan has real appeal to consumers of all ages. It addresses a problem that every kid faces when she's playing in the sandbox and every parent laments when it's time to do laundry-candy mess. This slogan's simple truth reminds parents and children worldwide what's so appealing about these tiny treats. Even though M&Ms has since changed product taglines, and it's now creepy to think of the humanized M&M characters melting in people's mouths, audiences still easily recognize and identify this one.
8 "Does She... or Doesn't She?" Image copyright of Clairol Clairol first used this mysterious tagline in 1957. In addition from working to liberate women from traditional ideas of beauty (because wearing a hat all the time just produces hat head), it ended up being one of the most successful slogans of all time. Clairol aimed to remove the stigma of hair coloring by introducing a new line of more natural-looking color. The answer to the slogan's question, as written by Foote, Cone & Belding, was: "Hair color so natural, only her hairdresser knows for sure." Rarely do companies want their products to be unnoticeable. With this tagline, Clairol embraced the mystique.
9 "You're in Good Hands with Allstate" Image copyright of Allstate Corporation Sometimes, employees better understand how to present a company than any marketer could. This simple yet firm slogan, written by an Allstate Insurance Company salesperson in 1956, was intended to depict a strong and trustworthy institution committed to its customers. Needless to say, the company tagline was a success-Allstate still uses it in their commercials and advertisements, and people still associate it with its original source.
10 "We Try Harder" Image copyright of Avis Rent-a-Car System, LLC Avis Rent-A-Car launched a new advertising campaign in 1963 that featured this tagline written by Bill Bernbach of DDB. Bernbach suggested that Avis shift its focus to customer service, a monumental decision, and a slogan like "We Try Harder" reinforced that focus. The idea that a company would focus not on sounding established and successful but on searching for ways to improve-go figure, but it took guts to be modest, especially for a company that had been considered second place to car-rental giant Hertz. That approach not only made Avis successful and established them as worthy competitors, but it still drives them, even today.

Article By Jill Tooley
Jill Tooley

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. In addition to managing the QLP blog, Jill also manages the content development team, assists with the company’s social media accounts, and writes like a fiend whenever given the chance. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

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