Copy is one of the most important features of a strong brand. Although there are many creative slogans, here are presented 15 all-time favourites that did not only boost brand awareness and sales but turned into philosophy and a way of life. The simplicity behind those slogans combined with an extremely adequate brand representation made them last through the years and become catchphrases in everyday speech. These have gone past advertising slogans and have become icons.
1. ”Got Milk?” by Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Got milk? is an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of cow’s milk created for the California Milk Processor Board in 1993 and later licensed for use by milk processors and dairy farmers. Got Milk? is one of the most famous commodity brand campaigns in the United States. The first Got Milk? advert ran on October 29, 1993, directed by Michael Bay, and was at the top of the advertising industry’s award circuit in 1994. From 1994 to 1995 fluid milk sales in the 12 regions totaled 23.3 billion pounds, and increased advertising expenditures amounted to $37.9 million. In 2002 the ad was named one of the ten best commercials of all time by USA Today poll, and was run again nationwide the same year.
2. “Think Small”, Volkswagen by DDB
A signature ad campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle from 1959, created by Helmut Krone with the copy written by Julian Koenig at the DDB. It was ranked as the best advertising campaign of the twentieth century by Ad Age, in a survey of North American advertisements. The campaign has been considered so successful that it “did much more than boost sales and build a lifetime of brand loyalty [...]
One of the most effective marketing strategies has been the marketing of diamonds as a symbol of love and commitment. A young copywriter working for N. W. Ayer & Son, Frances Gerety, coined the famous advertising line “A Diamond is Forever” in 1947. In 2000, Advertising Age magazine named “A Diamond Is Forever” the best advertising slogan of the twentieth century. Other successful campaigns include the “eternity ring” (as a symbol of continuing affection and appreciation), the “trilogy” ring (representing the past, present and future of a relationship) and the “right hand ring” (bought and worn by women as a symbol of independence).
4. “I Love NY” by Wells Rich Greene
In 1977, William S. Doyle, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Commerce hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene to develop a marketing campaign for New York State. Doyle also recruited Milton Glaser, a productive graphic designer to work on the campaign, and created the design based on Wells Rich Greene’s advertising campaign. Strange as it may seem, Glaser expected the campaign to last only a couple months and did the work pro bono. Yet, the innovative pop-style icon became a major success and has continued to be sold for years.
5. “We try harder”, Avis by DDB
The slogan was adopted in 1962 to make a more positive reference of Avis’ status as the second largest car rental company in the US, at the expense of its larger competitor The Hertz Corporation. In 1972, Avis introduced Wizard, the first computer-based information and reservations system to be used in a US car rental business; to this day, almost all frequent Avis customers are identified by their unique “Wizard number”. In 1981, the company instituted its system of vehicle tracking, that was not coincidentally named Advanced Vehicle Identification System (AVIS).
6. “Reach out and touch someone”, AT&T by N.W. Ayer
The slogan was created in 1979 by Anthony (Tony) P. Galli and Stanley Lomas. Composed by David Lucas. The original slogan created by Galli was, “To communicate is the beginning of understanding. Reach out and touch someone.” AT&Ts slogans also inlcude the witty “We may be the only phone company in town, but we try not to act like it”.
7. “Where’s the beef ?” Wendy’s
The commercial promoting the slogan was directed by Joe Sedelmaier as part of a campaign by the advertising agency Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in 1984. It was written by Cliff Freeman. The public relations and promotion campaign were created by Alan Hilburg and the Burson-Marsteller team under the direction of Denny Lynch, the vice president of corporate communications at Wendy’s. Although it originated as a slogan for the fast food chain, it has become a catchphrase in the USA, an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event, or product.
8. “The ultimate driving machine” BMW by Ammirati & Puris
One of the best advertising slogans in the automobile industry ever. The slogan was coined in 1975 by ad agency Ammirati & Puris and is famous for its boldness and attitude that defy the whole BMW brand.
9. ”Does She … or Doesn’t She?” Clairol by Foote, Cone & Belding
The slogan was part of a Clariol’s 1957 promotional campaign for more natural colors hair dye, the answer being : “Hair color so natural, only her hairdresser knows for sure.”). The slogan was coined by Shirley Polykoff in 1956. She was her company’s only woman copy writer and she became an advertising legend.
10. “Think Different” Apple by TBWA\Chiat\Day
The world famous slogan was created for Apple Computer (Apple Inc. as of 2007) in 1997, structured and rolled out by Peter Economides at the Los Angeles office of advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day.
It was used in a television commercial, several print advertisements and a number of TV promos for Apple products. Apple’s use of the slogan was discontinued with the start of the Apple Switch ad campaign in 2002.
11. „Good Things come to those who wait” Guinness by BBDO
An advertising slogan used by Diageo in television, cinema, and print advertising campaigns promoting the Guinness-brand in the United Kingdom. The slogan formed the cornerstone of advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s successful pitch to secure the Guinness account in 1996. Their proposal was to turn around the negative consumer opinion of the length of time required to correctly pour a pint of Guinness from the tap, usually quoted as 119.5 seconds, as well as to encourage bartenders to take the time to do so.
12. “Real Beauty” campaign, Dove by Ogilvy & Mather, Edelman Public Relations, and Harbinger Communications.
Dove launched its global Real Beauty campaign in 2004 with the aim to highlight body images issues, “The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty started a global conversation about the need for a wider definition
of beauty more than six years ago. The sentiment of the whole campaign is articulated quite strongly through their slogan “Real women have curves”.
13. “Just Do It” Nike by Wieden and Kennedy
The slogan was coined in 1988 at a meeting of Nike’s ad agency Wieden and Kennedy and a group of Nike employees. Dan Weiden, speaking admiringly of Nike’s can-do attitude, reportedly said, “You Nike guys, you just do it.” The rest, as they say, is (advertising) history. The “Just do it” slogan has become and still is considered to be one of the most influential and inspirational in the history of branding.
14. “Probably the best lager in the world”, Carlsberg by Saatchi and Saatchi
Carlsberg’s tagline “Probably the best beer in the world” was created in 1973 by Saatchi and Saatchi for the UK market. It began to appear in company corporate ads around the world from the 1980s onwards. The voice over for the original ad in 1975 was voiced by actor Orson Welles, his voice has been used repeatedly over the years.
15. “Imagination at work” General Electric by BBDO
With the installation of a new chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, who replaced the legendary Jack Welch, the company decided to rethink its branding in order to better position GE as an innovative and forward-looking company. The result was a new slogan, ‘‘Imagination at work,’’ which became the focus of a campaign aimed at consumers, business partners, and investors as well as GE employees. The $100 million ‘‘Imagination at Work’’ campaign, developed by BBDO Worldwide Inc., began in January 2003 and is still in use.