A Brief History of Brand Slogans™

(via Know Your Meme)

Without much thought, most of us can probably rattle off a handful of catchphrases from old TV commercials. Slogans, tag lines, catchphrases – whatever your vernacular preference, although some might argue their differences – are the caboose on the advertising gravy train. (Or maybe not; does that even make sense?) However, only a few are transcendent enough to be remembered beyond the lifespan of their initial campaign. Others, if you think a little harder, can be recalled from their sheer power for annoying the shit out of us.

Let us reminisce on (or, in other cases, prod at the comfortably repressed) notable slogans of the branding world.

“Just Do It.” Nike. One of the greatest lines ever is rendered virtually unnecessary by one of the world’s most recognizable logos. But… it is nice to own both.

“I Can.” Nike. The Swoosh tried introducing this snoozer in the late 90s. Definitely unnecessary.

“A diamond is forever.” DeBeers. It’s hard to imagine someone actually came up with this for a company. In 1948. It sounds like a piece of advice an old man once gave an unfaithful husband. “Sorry is but a moment. A diamond is forever.” Wait, is that the full version?!

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” UNCF. Another one that strikes us as a sage, classic statement whose source would have been Confucius. Timeless, yet barely over 40. Well done, United Negro College Fund and Young & Rubicam.

“You’re in good hands with Allstate.” Allstate. A comforting sentiment and *BONUS* perfect opportunity to place your logo in the netting behind field goal posts.

“Got milk?” California Milk Processor Board. Yeah, there was a very specific client behind this campaign (Not just a bunch of cows. Hmph.) and it’s still going strong thanks to that ubiquitous tagline.

“If it doesn’t say Jiffy Lube, it just isn’t Jiffy Lube.” Meineke (heh). Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?

“Leggo my Eggo.” Eggo Waffles. As a child, I never realized this meant, “let go of my of my Eggo waffle.” (Also, I was/am not in Mensa.) The phrase’s amiability derived from two activities revered by a simple, young mind: playing with Legos & rhyming.

“A good place to sit and eat.” Denny’s. Finally! Somewhere to do both of those things. Aside from a mall food court or the dumpster behind a Red Lobster + a couple lawn chairs, every place with seats and decent food is a nice option for sitting and also eating. Seal the deal, Denny’s; make the last part of that line, “…and then die.”

“What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” Klondike. The line between catchy and annoying can be treacherous for many jingles. For the nearly century-old Klondike Bar, that border might as well be on Mars – where they don’t even have ice cream! This straightforward, welcoming query becomes a hall-of-fame-worthy ditty with a simple (sing it with me), “ooowoooo!

“…Have your pets spayed or neutered.” The Price is Right. When you think of The Price is Right, what comes to mind? Probably “come on down!”, Rod Roddy’s jackets, something about Bob Barker and this, his signature sign off. Completely unrelated to the show, yet meaningful and memorable.

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