Slogans, straplines, taglines, captions – call them what you will, but a well-written advertising line can set a brand on fire, or kill it stone dead. As a copywriter, I am constantly called on to think up good slogans and this recently set me pondering on what my favourites are from the wide and wonderful world of advertising.
So, after much deliberation, here are my five top slogans of all time:
Vorsprung Durch Technik – Audi
‘Ah,’ you think when you see this legendary ad line, ‘those clever Germans, they know their way around a car!’ You don’t understand what the slogan actually means, it could mean ‘we make bangers’, but it sounds technical, so that’s good. It actually means ‘advancement through technology’ (apparently).
A Mars A Day Helps You Work, Rest And Play – Mars
Daily consumption of this artery-hardening treat is unlikely to help you do anything more than satisfy a sugar craving developed by watching too many chocolate bar commercials, but this is still a classic slogan.
Often attributed (wrongly) to F1 commentator and former adman Murray Walker, this slogan tells you that a Mars is more than just a chocolate bar, it’s a little slab of energy – so ditch the apple, throw away your banana and go and get yourself one.
Beanz Meanz Heinz – Heinz Beans
This was recently voted top slogan of all time by Creative Review magazine and with good reason – it’s brilliant.
Many a mother (or at least mine) was pressured into buying Heinz baked beans during the 70s and 80s by a whinging child opining that other beans just didn’t measure up to Heinz. I’m not sure that’s true, they all taste the same to me these days, but that is the popular understanding and this slogan plays into it perfectly. It makes you think ‘yes, my beans must be Heinz and I will not be fobbed off by an inferior product!’
Quality Food, Honestly Priced – Waitrose
This clever little slogan is a classic case of accepting and capitalising on what could be perceived as a shortcoming – in this case the fact that filling up your trolley in Waitrose will cost you a sight more than in Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, or indeed anywhere else but Fortnum & Mason.
It smartly and succinctly sums up the old maxim that if you want quality, you’ve got to pay for it and in doing so says that shopping in Waitrose will indeed cost you more than going elsewhere, but it’s worth it.
Reassuringly Expensive – Stella Artois
This is my absolute favourite slogan. Just like the Waitrose line, it’s honest about the cost of the product, but it says ‘hey, I’m delicious, I’m worth the cost – better pay a bit more than suffer that cheap muck next to me.’
And it works. I actually don’t like Stella Artois – it’s too fizzy, too strong, too expensive and tastes like it has been brewed with paint stripper, but a few years back, having seen one of those fantastic black and white adverts where a thirsty Frenchman asks for ‘une Stella Artois s’il vous plait’, I began to question my thinking. If it was ‘reassuringly expensive’ then maybe I was being too hard on Stella, perhaps I was missing something and all the love, care and attention those Belgians put into brewing it actually produced a beer better than I remembered?
Next time I was in a pub, I ordered a pint – it was disgusting. Yet that slogan had made me try it again. A slogan that can make you buy something you know you don’t like is surely genius.
What do you think? I’d love to know – please share this article or leave a comment and let’s get the great slogan debate going!
Martin Sayers is a UK copywriter and owner of copywriting agency MSCopy. You can get free marketing advice from Martin direct to your inbox by signing up to the MSCopy monthly marketing tips.