Top 10 Best Advertising Slogans Ever

If good slogans are like gold records in the music industry then surely great slogans are like multi-platinum lifetime achievement awards!

They not only capture the imagination, make you sit up and think, build brand awareness and capture your loyalty but stay in your mind and can run forever!

So, needless to say, in the world of copywriting they are somewhat akin to finding the holy grail, cracking the Da Vinci code and inventing a zero point energy device all in one!

But what is it that actually makes a great slogan? Its obviously a tricky question, so lets have a look at 10 of what we at Kreatív Fordítás think are some of the greatest slogans and see what makes them so incredibly good and find out if we can spot any hidden formulas!

Note: the following are in no special order.

1. Nike — Just do it

The fact that such a simply brilliant three word slogan came from such a dark and unlikely source to our mind only gives it even more power.

That’s right; this slogan comes from the amended final last words of the murderer Gary Gilmore just before he was executed by a firing squad in 1976.

Legend has it that just over a decade or so later copywriter Dan Wieden of Wieden and Kennedy recalled the macabre event for Nike, changed the word ‘Let’s’ to ‘Just’ and the rest is copywriting history.

2. KFC — Finger lickin’ good

Sad to say this wonderful slogan was ditched a few years ago after a very successful run of over 50 years due to a healthier re-branding strategy. It was replaced with the less evocative and more sanitized; ‘So good’.

Certainly snappier but we still love the original.

Yum!

3. Yellow Pages — Let your fingers do the walking

In this day and age of internet search engines and super smartphone apps it’s difficult to imagine having to use a big heavy paper directory to find a local business or service.

But not so long ago this is exactly what we had to do!

And frankly there was no better book for the job than the Yellow Pages and no better ad slogan from the 1970’s to sum up exactly what you had to do when you found one!

4. M&Ms — Melts in your mouth not in your hand

This Ted Bates slogan for Mars is not just a classic and brilliant slogan but also has the distinction of being a) made in 1954 so is their longest running ad and b) was created by Forrest Mars himself the person who created the confectionery in the first place (and as it happens, was also son of one of the companies illustrious founding fathers).

Apparently he was inspired by seeing soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating British made Smarties (to give them instant energy yet avoid messy melting chocolate) and came up with the idea of creating something similar exclusively for US soldiers fighting in WW2.

5. Apple — Think Different

This slogan in just two words perfectly sums up the maverick nature of the ultra mega successful corporate computer giant.

It was originally created by Rob Siltanen creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day and used in their famous ‘Here’s to the Crazy ones’ commercial.

Ironically legend has it that when Steve Jobs first saw the draft script he was decidedly unimpressed so much so in fact that he allegedly called it ‘shit’.

Luckily for us they managed to successfully tweak it and it got the green light!

6. Coca Cola — It’s the real thing

Coca Cola are among the best companies ever at coming up with simply brilliant slogans that reflect not just their brand image but also the essence of the times. Their list is simply extraordinary and this one is no exception. The slogan was created in 1969 and used as part of their iconic hippy ‘Hilltop’ ad featuring the song with this seminal and beyond catchy chorus (feel free to sing along here);

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That's the real thing

When it comes to marrying clever advertising visuals, music and great copy it simply doesn’t get any better than this does it?

7. De Beers — A Diamond is forever

Some might say this is the best of the bunch, and just maybe they are right.

It’s certainly one of the oldest, original and (most highly unusually for the time — as it was in 1947) dreamed up by a woman! Frances Gerety was the second female copywriter ever to work for N.W. Ayer & Sons who were employed by De Beers to promote their diamonds in the US.

What makes her tag line even more brilliant is the fact that due to the monopoly that De Beers held over the world’s supply of diamonds they were forbidden from even naming De Beers or even showing pictures of any jewellery whatsoever.

A difficult spec superbly navigated if ever there was one!

8. Frosted Flakes (aka Frosties) — They’re G-r-r-r-eat!

Kelloggs have had more than a few absolute gems in the copywriter pantheon but we think this one is the best (although Snap, Crackle and Pop is close on its heels).

But when Tony The Tiger mouths these words in his deep tiger like growl; ‘They’re not good. They’re g-r-r-reat’ who are we to disagree?

9. Kit Kat — Have a break…Have a Kit Kat

Believe it or not this slogan dates back all the way to to 1957 and is still in use today! Created by Donald Gilles at JWT it was apparently inspired by the sound you make when you break one apart combined with the companies even older running ‘Tea Break’ motif!

10. Heineken — Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach

This bit of pure genius from copywriter Terry Lovelock at the CDP agency has become a legend in the ad world.

Under serious deadline pressure and totally lacking inspiration he jumped into a taxi and caught a plane to Marrakesh in Morocco. After spending a day desperately in vain searching for ideas (and knowing his livelihood depended on it) he went to bed and woke up at 3 am with the slogan fully formed in his mind!

Credited with revolutionising the lager industry in the UK with its exclusive champagne-like image by changing the way it was fundamentally perceived into a mass market appealing product, this slogan not only kept him his job but transformed a whole society!

Honorable Mentions

Incidentally, we also loved; McDonalds — I’m loving it, Red Bull — Red Bull gives you wings, BMW — The ultimate driving machine and Carlsberg — Probably the best beer in the world.

However, we had to draw the line somewhere so these are our worthy ‘runner up’ mentions!

Sadly, for any aspiring copywriters looking for a surefire way to make a great slogan, there is no magic formula. But if there is a unifying key to creating a great ad slogan that will stand the test of time it seems to be a) make it catchy, clever and well-crafted and b) keep in mind the brand.

After all, the brand is the star of the show so the slogan needs to reflect that and all its core values, aspirations and ideals.

No mean feat then!

I hope you love these slogans as much as we do and are as eternally grateful to the brilliant copywriters from the past who came up with them.

What slogans do you like the best? We would love to hear your thoughts !

Let us know in the comments below.​


Originally published at KreativCopywriting.com on May 17, 2016.

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