What We Can Learn From Famous Advertising Slogans

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The famous advertising slogans we all remember have several key traits in common. Each memorable ad slogan is short, easy to remember and tied to a strong product or service benefit. It clearly and succinctly spells out the value to the customer.

An ad slogan that is memorable has to make claim to a strong, overt benefit consumers haven’t heard before. For the introduction of the iPod, Apple used the slogan "1,000 songs in your pocket." This ad slogan had a clear benefit that was appealing to consumers.

After all, who wouldn't want 1,000 of their favorite songs completely accessible?

Famous Advertising Slogans of the Past

For the millions of advertisements the human brain is exposed to every year, the task of standing out is more and more challenging. Creating a commercial ad slogan is all part of making your brand the one who customers can remember. Who can forget these classics?

  • "The king of beers." - Budweiser
  • "M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand." - M&M candies
  • "Don't leave home without it." - American Express
  • "Reach out and touch someone" - AT&T
  • "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking." - Timex
  • "Hey Mikey…He Likes It!" - Life Cereal

Slogans can make your company stand out, but if not executed successfully, the wrong ad slogan can also backfire. There are many cautionary tales of famous ad slogans gone wrong. Companies of all sizes, especially global corporations, have stumbled in the past when marketing their brands abroad.

Consider this example of a slogan gone wrong. When Pepsi was marketing their slogan, "Pepsi Brings You Back to Life," in China the slogan meant "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave." Clearly, that was not what Pepsi intended, and if it had not been changed, it could have hurt the Pepsi brand severely.

10 Famous Advertising Slogans We Can Learn From

If you are tackling the challenge of creating a catchy ad slogan, take some inspiration from this list of 10 Famous by 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

As you get started creating a slogan for your small business, take a look at more famous slogans to explore why they work and how you can leverage their success. If you have trouble, take a step back and start with an exercise that helps you create a unique selling proposition (USP). Once you do this, your slogan should be easier to identify.

Edited by Alyssa Gregory