Great ad slogans of recent times

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Most of us would remember ‘Just do it’, ‘Think Different’, ‘Impossible is nothing‘ or ‘Don’t leave home without it‘. And would also be able to ascribe the correct brand names with those famous ad slogans. Closer home, ‘Fill it, Shut it, Forget it’, ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’, ‘Tast the thunder’ and ‘Neighbours envy, owners pride‘ come to mind. Most of these are pretty old, created decades ago.

What about ad slogans of the recent past? Do we recall any instantly, with fondness? Is the focus largely on visual story telling and therefore the punch line is not as memorable? I used to try and sum up a brand’s proposition in a single line which could become a trigger or direction for the creative team. Ad slogans do exist nowadays and come the attempt is to sum up a brand’s proposition or the ad’s message in a pithy, catchy line.

Some of the recent ones I liked include:

Smell like a man, man‘: need I say more?

The last place you want to go‘: in the context of the advertising strategy and the creative execution for the UK retailer Dixons, this is brilliant.

Gets you back to you: a perfect summation of the brand proposition and the story telling on TV for Twinings, UK.

Smash it to pieces, love it to bits: fantastic word play that goes well with the product form

Even angels will fall: a literal take on the creative idea for Axe.

While on the subject, what makes a great, memorable slogan?

Alliterations, rhyming words or just a play of words aids memorability. Of course it has to be relevant to the product and the proposition. Some of these puns are clever and ‘deep’. Another aspect of great tag lines is their unmistakable association with the brand. The brand name is embedded in the slogan or has a distinct reference to it (slogan for The Independent: ‘It is. Are you?’ would not make sense with a newspaper with any other brand name. Here are a few:

‘The best 4×4 by far’: Land Rover
“Capitalist tool.”: Forbes
“It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.”: Purdue Chicken
‘It’s Miller time!’
“I’d walk a mile for a Camel.”
“No FT, no comment.”
“Let your fingers do the walking.” (linked to the Yellow Pages logo)
“Beanz Meanz Heinz”
“Cats like Felix like Felix.”
“My goodness, my Guinness!”
“Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet.”
“Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.”
“It is. Are you?” (Slogan for The Independent)
“Have a break. Have a Kit-Kat.”
“Beans means Heinz”
“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline”
Yella OK, cool drink yaake?” (for Kingfisher beer, literally translated from Kannada as ‘All is OK. Why drink a cool drink?’)

In some cases, the base line gets popular or becomes part of everyday parlance by the sheer media weight. Sometimes you cannot attribute any reason for a slogan’s popularity. How do you explain ‘Haq se maango!’ for Priya biscuits? Or ‘Gold Winner-na, Gold Winner dhaan‘ (in Tamil it literally translates to ‘Gold Winner is Gold Winner only’). In fact Tamil Nadu has a penchant for meaningless slogans that simply act as audio mnemonics. I remember seeing an advert for a Tamil daily and the base line was ‘sooooper!’.

So what are the baselines of recent times (from Indian and international adverts) that you liked? Do comment in.

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  1. No copywriter today wants to be called a headline writer. Which means it is incumbent on writers and creatives to come with 'properties', 'ideas', 'concepts', 'isms' and 'empowerment tools.'
    And the first casualty of this 'evolution' is the slogan.

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