Memorable and catchy slogans are vital in any effective marketing campaign. The best brand slogans are instantly recognizable and will keep your brand front-and-center in the minds of your customers (consider the success of “got milk?”) and are instrumental in creating a great first impression.
Once you’ve taken the time to develop a unique brand name and bespoke logo, crafting the perfect company slogans should be high on your to-do list. These compact ‘mission statements’ will be one of the first things your target audience hears about you, so it’s vital that they accurately represent your brand, products, and image. It’s your business in word form.
What is a slogan?
The Oxford Languages tells us that a slogan is “a short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising,” which is a pretty accurate slogan definition. Marketing campaigns rely on these “mottos” to help provide a summary of why your brand, product, or service is so great and what makes you unique.
Is a slogan different from a tagline?
Slogans and taglines are often confused simply because they serve such similar purposes. Both are short “catchphrases” used by a brand to summarize what they’re all about.
The main difference between a slogan and tagline is that a tagline covers the brand as a whole. In contrast, a slogan is more commonly used in an advertising campaign to summarize a specific product.
An excellent example of slogans vs. taglines is Apple:
Apple’s famous tagline (relating to the company as a whole) is “Think Different.” Whereas the well-known slogan for the first generation iPhone was “This Changes Everything.”
Is a company message different from a slogan?
Brand slogans and taglines should take inspiration from your company message, values, and beliefs to create a short phrase that tells people who you are and what they’ll get when they buy your product… Think of it like a battle cry telling people what to expect from you.
A good start is to develop an ethos or company message example and try to make it as concise and catchy as possible while still providing an insight into who you are as a business.
Characteristics of good slogan
When creating your advertising campaign, you might have heard the expression “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” This is a great way to create great slogans for business. Focus on the benefits of your product rather than the features when cultivating your slogan and tagline.
Once you’ve identified the message you want your brand slogans to get across, it’s time to create some banner slogan ideas that could become your new catchy tagline.
When crafting your brand slogan, there are a few top tips you can use to make sure your brand is as memorable, creative, and informative as possible:
The best slogans are well-remembered because they’re short. With the exceptions of Mastercard, Maybelline, and maybe a few others, most of the most famous catchy slogan examples are effective because they’re concise.
Think about how successful Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners’ “Got Milk?” campaign was. Although it originally pitched to the California Milk Processor Board back in 1993, this creative slogan was so effective that it ran for nearly 20 years! Just two simple words and the entire milk-marketing landscape was changed forever.
“Got Milk?” isn’t the only example of a short and catchy slogan. Other examples of a slogan in just two/three words include:
- “Finger-Lickin’ Good”
- “I’m Lovin’ It”
- “Imagination at Work”
- “They’re GRRR-EAT”
- “Think Different”
- “Just Do It”
- “Diamonds Are Forever”
It goes without saying that the greatest slogans catch the attention and imagination of anyone who hears them. But creating catchy slogan examples can definitely be easier said than done!
There are many ways to create a catchy slogan. Throughout history, brands have experimented with all sorts of catchy slogan examples to create something unique enough to stand out yet still feels familiar.
While there are no hard and fast rules as to what makes a catchy phrase or slogan, but for inspiration, try playing around with alliteration and rhyme:
- Alliteration: Phrases that start with the same letter are pleasing to the eyes and ears, causing a positive association and stimulating the brain on a deeper level.
- Rhyme: Rhyming phrases are proven to be more memorable than phrases without this magic ingredient. Think of campaigns like “A Mars a day helps you work, rest, and play” or “A great fiber provider.” Now consider whether “A Mars a day helps you rest, play, and work” would be as effective… Probably not!
The “Got Milk?” slogan example by the California Milk Processor Board ran for over 20 years. De Beers’ “A Diamond Is Forever” was first written way back in 1947.
These slogans aren’t just great because they’re well worded or concise; they’re timeless.
On the other hand, the Verizon “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign is likely to fade into the background as pretty much every cell phone call is now crystal clear,… So, it’s no longer offering something unique.
This doesn’t just mean a tagline that nobody has used before because that (hopefully) goes without saying! What we mean by this is to focus on the unique selling point (USP) of your brand and the product you’re selling when you write your slogan.
Does your cereal “Snap, Crackle & Pop” when you pour milk in? Or, are you a dental practice that’s particularly great at catering to people with anxiety (like Crossoak Family Dentistry, do you “cater to cowards”)?
5. Target audience
Finally, give some thought to who you’re advertising to. This could be age, gender (“The Best A Man Can Get” is a useless slogan if you’re advertising to women, but highly effective for their target market of men looking for a closer shave), or geographical location.
In fact, geographical location is a vital consideration when it comes to creating timeless and effective slogans. Consider KFC’s hugely successful “Finger-Lickin’ Good” slogan… HOWEVER, when KFC launched in China, this tagline translated into the far less appealing “Eat Your Fingers Off.”
In contrast, carmakers Audi did consider their various audiences when creating powerful slogans that vary depending on where you’re based. For example, their advertising campaign in Germany uses the words “Advancement Through Technology,” whereas American customers will be more familiar with “Truth in Engineering.”
Famous catchy slogan examples
Now you know how to write a catchy slogan that enables you to express your company’s message and benefits, here are some of the most famous slogan examples throughout advertising history to give you some inspiration:
1. De Beers “A Diamond is Forever.”
De Beers probably came up with one of the most famous and successful slogan example from history with their “A Diamond is Forever” campaign. First heard as early as 1947, AdAge named this the “best slogan of the century” in 1999. The slogan appeared in every De Beers commercial since 1948, effectively changing the entire precious gem industry forever.
2. Dunkin Donuts “America Runs on Dunkin.”
Dunkin Donuts’ “America Runs on Dunkin” slogan example was launched in April 2006 and was a highly effective slogan example as a “fun and often quirky celebration of life.” The use of real people getting on with their real lives was easy to relate to, making Dunkin Donuts feel like a part of American culture.
3. Mastercard “There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy. For Everything Else, There’s Mastercard.”
Mastercard’s unusually long slogan “There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy. For Everything Else, There’s Mastercard” was created in 1997 and ran in 98 countries in 46 different languages. It’s relatively surprising that this tagline is so effective, given that it’s comprised of 2 sentences and 12 words, no expert would recommend a company write such a long slogan… Yet it worked!
Part of the secret to this campaign’s success was the combination of the long slogan alongside TV commercials that were carefully cultivated to stimulate an emotional response from the audience. The idea of moments being “priceless” and precious was key for this campaign and set Mastercard apart as a financial company that understands it’s not all about money, enabling them to express a more caring side that sets them apart from other firms.
4. KFC “Finger-Lickin’ Good.”
KFC really did strike gold with these three little words… As soon as you hear them, chances are you instantly conjure up images of tasty fried chicken and other KFC specialties. This short and sweet (or, more accurately, savory) slogan perfectly relates to the company’s unique selling point and their desire to make tasty fast food that you eat with your fingers.
KFC did run into some troubles with this tagline, however. When they released their Chinese campaign, they discovered “Finger-Lickin’ Good” translated to “Eat Your Fingers Off”… Not quite the message they were aiming to express and a great example of why you need to take care when you write a campaign for a foreign audience!
5. Bounty “Quicker Picker Upper.”
Bounty paper towels (made by Procter & Gamble) utilized a short and simple rhyming run of words in their famous slogan “Quicker Picker Upper” and have effectively run it for almost 50 years! This tagline’s sing-song element is easy to remember and gives a positive feel to a mundane task (mopping up spills).
What’s particularly nice about this slogan is the ability to change and grow through its history, with variations including “The Quilted Picker Upper” and “The Clean Picker Upper” to correspond with the campaign of the moment… Although we still think the original version is the best.
6. Disney “Happiest Place on Earth.”
The Disney Company has always been associated with happiness and childlike wonder. Walt Disney World Resort’s slogan definitely expresses the company’s ethos of bringing joy by calling itself the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
7. Maybelline “Maybe She’s Born With It… Maybe It’s Maybelline.”
Maybelline New York’s ad agency definitely struck gold with this tagline created in the 1990s. Although it uses more words than many other successful slogans, the slogan’s song-like nature ensures its not easily forgotten.
The agency changed Maybelline’s tagline to “Make IT Happen” in February 2016. However, chances are that anyone who grew up with the original “Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe It’s Maybelline” will still sing the little tune any time they think of the well-known cosmetics company.
8. Rice Krispies “Snap, Crackle & Pop.”
Rice Krispies are one of several cereal companies that are well known for having a brilliant and catchy slogan. These three simple words highlight the benefit of conciseness when it comes to creating a quality tagline, and by relating it back to the noise the cereal actually makes in the bowl perfectly ticks the Unique Selling Point slogan requirements.
9. McDonald’s “Lovin’ It”
McDonald’s famous “bah-da-bah-da-bah… I’m Lovin’ It” is almost impossible not to sing along with and instantly conjures images of those famous McDonald’s golden arches. A slogan that people have been “lovin'” since 2003, it expresses the company’s emphasis on fast food that tastes great (even if it might not be the healthiest choice!).
10. Red Bull “Gives You Wings.”
Red Bull might not “give you wings” in a literal sense, but their powerful campaign certainly did give wings to their image and reputation as an energy source that makes drinkers feel powerful and free.
However, this particular company’s slogan did get them in hot water when a consumer sued the company for false advertising when the drink did not, in fact, give them wings (or any additional energy beyond a standard cup of coffee).
This lawsuit caused Red Bull to change their slogan slightly, so it should now read “Red Bull Gives You Wiiings” (with three “I” s). Eagle-eyed viewers might also notice a little disclaimer that now accompanies the Red Bull slogan to remind drinkers that Red Bull will not actually give you wings.
11. Lay’s “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One.”
Lay’s “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One” is one of the most well-known taglines in America and is 100% accurate when it comes to potato chips of all shapes and sizes! But while eating just one chip might be crazy, regardless of the chip brand, Lay’s did well to catch the phrase before anyone else.
The challenge in the tagline is also an effective way to pull customers in. Nobody can resist a challenge, just like nobody can resist munching on “just one” chip!
The ad agency behind this compelling tagline was also responsible for Ruffle’s potato chip slogan: “Ruffles Have Ridges.” While not as successful, both Ruffles and Lay’s campaigns won BBDO New York (the agency responsible) countless new contracts and globally recognized fame.
12. Verizon “Can You Hear Me Now?”
Verizon’s “Can You Hear Me Now? Good” catchline did brilliantly when it was released in 2002.
For anyone too young to remember the early noughties, back in those days, cell phone signal was notoriously unreliable, and basically every phone call included at least one instance of a caller asking the other if they could hear.
This campaign dealt with an everyday problem with a promise to provide a reliable, clear signal for callers. The umbrella tagline “We Never Stop Working For You” further emphasized Verizon’s vision of providing better call service than its competitors (even if they may not have offered the most features).
Although this particular slogan is probably resigned to history thanks to changing technology, meaning clear cell phone signal is a given these days, it was still a powerful ad in its day.
13. State Farm Insurance “Like A Good Neighbor.”
State Farm Insurance has utilized several taglines throughout its history, including notable contributions such as “Get To a Better State” and “No-on Serves You Better.” However, their most popular slogan took the form of a jingle that went: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”
This jingle, written by Barry Manilow, was stuck in the heads of television-watching Americans since it was first released in 1971. Securing it as one of the best slogans in history.
14. Nike “Just Do It.”
Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline and world-famous “swoosh” are instantly recognizable and seem to appear everywhere. Nike did really well with this message – enabling Nike to become a state of mind as much as an athletic apparel store.
Nike’s ads’ inclusivity also encouraged a broader audience to combat the fear that you have to be athletic to get in shape or overcome an obstacle: Nike became a brand for the people.
15. L’Oréal Paris “Because You’re Worth It”
L’Oréal Paris’ “Because You’re Worth It” campaign sought to tap into women’s desire to feel beautiful and special. By advertising their cosmetics and beauty products as something women deserve rather than something they need, this slogan provided a new outlook into what the beauty industry could be.
16. Apple “Think Different.”
Apple’s “Think Different” slogan was first released in a commercial called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones: Think Different” and became synonymous with Apple products and the brand as a whole ever since. The goal behind Apple products was to change the world with new tech… And I guess we can argue they achieved this when they transformed the world of computing, then cell phones, forever.
17. General Electric “Imagination At Work.”
General Electric previously went under the tagline “We Bring Good Things To Life” until the new tagline, “Imagination at Work,” was bought out in 2001.
“Imagination at Work” was originally an internal theme in the General Electric workplace and paid homage to the history of being a company defined by innovation.
18. Burger King “Have It Your Way.”
Seeing as we’ve covered McDonald’s and KFC, it would be amiss not to include Burger King… Particularly when they have an excellent slogan example. Burger King’s “Have It Your Way” ran for an impressive 40 years before being replaced with their new tagline, emphasizing their USP as a fast-food chain that will enable you to get exactly what you want.
Burger King has a few catchy taglines in their history: “Eat Like a King. Not a Clown” was a fun and competitive slogan that referenced Ronald McDonald. The “Quality Just Tastes Better” campaign also related to the light-hearted competitiveness between the various fast food brands.
19. Carlsberg “Probably The Best Beer In The World.”
This is an advert you probably remember. Carlsberg spent 40 years telling everyone they are “Probably The Best Beer In The World” until 2019.
While this slogan was a great way to attract new customers and their variety of surrounding ads were equally amusing, Carlsberg’s new option that it’s “Probably Not the best beer in the world. So we’ve changed it” is possibly just as effective!
In their new approach to ‘honest’ marketing, Carlsberg shares negative reviews of their old beer to showcase their new beverage in a fun way that’s sure to go down in history as an ingenious strategy.
20. M&Ms “Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hand.”
M&Ms have a surprisingly fascinating history for a chocolate company. This candy’s hard outer shell was initially designed to enable soldiers to transport and eat them during the war; so they could have a sweet treat without getting melted chocolate everywhere!
The “Melts in your Mouth, Not in your Hand” slogan was coined in 1954 and paid homage to these carefully designed candies that don’t make a mess.
Best Slogan Examples Conclusion
What would Vegas be if what happened there didn’t stay there? What if New York slept?
The best slogans are more than a few words… They conjure up images, memories, tastes, and emotions.
From “America Runs on Dunkin’ Donuts” to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” the Nike “Just Do It” swoosh, or McDonald’s “Lovin’ It,” the best slogan examples are timeless, catchy words and phrases that live on in our minds, even when the television is off.