7 of the Best Advertising Slogans (And Why They Worked)

Posted by Morgan Sims on December 20th, 2013 at 10:37 am

Ad agencies work hard to come up with slogans to sell products and increase brand awareness for businesses, but it’s not an easy job. Only some slogans really take off. Advertising slogans have to be catchy and really stick in consumer’s minds to be successful. However, lots of businesses have done it well. Take a look at these seven best advertising slogans and why they worked.

Nike: Just Do It

Image via Flickr by jaggerhaze

In the late 1980s before Nike created its “Just Do It" slogan, the company didn’t have more than a small line of marathon shoes. Nike saw how well its competitors were doing and wanted in on the action, too. Nike created a whole new line of shoes that would appeal to all demographics. Its new slogan, combined with a stylish logo, really helped the company increase sales and broaden brand awareness.
Nike executives came up with the “Just Do It” slogan during a meeting. It was supposed to be a direct reflection of Nike’s company culture. It certainly worked since Nike’s market share grew from 18 percent to nearly 50 percent. Nike has also ran other successful advertising campaigns, such as using Michael Jordan to endorse its products. Today, Nike is still one of the most popular selling shoe brands

McDonald's: I’m Lovin’ It Da-da-da-da-dah!

Image via Flickr by MIKI Yoshihito

After years of success around the world, McDonald’s started facing bad publicity targeted at the quality of its food and service. This was mainly because competitors were slamming the ingredients as unhealthy. Of course, the “Super Size Me” video didn’t help, either. McDonald's needed to do something to turn things around.

McDonald’s created its “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan to show that its food tastes good, and everybody likes it. Several commercials were created with this slogan, and it helped change people’s attitude toward McDonald’s food. Additionally, McDonald’s started promoting healthier food choices and showing the world that its food was just as good, if not better than its competitors in terms of taste, quality, and health.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Image via Flickr by Christopher Koppes

Back in the 1950s, most of the cars in the U.S. were enormous and American-made. Plus, only 15 years had passed since the war with Germany had ended. That’s why it was a crazy idea for Volkswagen, a company created in Nazi Germany, to promote its tiny Volkswagen Beetle. However, Volkswagen pursued the idea anyway with its “Think Small” slogan. The resulting advertising campaign changed the way that Americans looked at automobiles.

The “Think Small” campaign was successful because it connected with consumers on a personal level. Competitor advertising was all about pushing as many benefits as possible to consumers. Volkswagen simply emphasized one thing — its car was small. Surprisingly, the slogan worked and the Beetle is still an iconic car today, 65 years later. The shape and design haven't changed much, either.

DeBeers: A Diamond Is Forever

Image via Flickr by Jeffrey Beall

Diamond rings weren’t always a necessity when proposing marriage. It wasn’t until DeBeers created its “A Diamond Is Forever” slogan in 1938 that this tradition took off. Diamond mines started popping up all over the place and DeBeers, a major owner and influencer in the diamond trade, was concerned that the demand for diamonds would not meet the production levels. So the company decided to make diamonds a “must-have” item.

DeBeer’s advertising campaign emphasized that women want more than to spend time with their husband — they want something that is a constant reminder of their love for each other. The diamond was brought in as the perfect solution. People still relate to the notion that “a diamond is forever.”

Visa: It’s Everywhere You Want to Be

Image via Flickr by John Lambert Pearson

Most consumers rely on credit cards for purchases, whether at home or while traveling, and most own Visa cards. This is because the Visa card is recognized around the world and makes transactions hassle free for consumers. That’s what Visa wanted to emphasize with its “It’s Everywhere You Want to Be” slogan. Visa still remains the most popular credit card service in the U.S. and most parts of the world because it is accepted everywhere. Visa also competes well in terms of consumer rewards and interest rates.

Coca-Cola: The Pause that Refreshes

Image via Flickr by Martin Abegglen

In the 1920s, Coca-Cola didn’t have a problem selling Coke when the weather was warm outside, but the company had trouble during the winter months. In an attempt to improve profits, Coca-Cola wanted to make Coke an item people wanted all year long and needed as part of their daily lives. That was the company’s inspiration for “The Pause that Refreshes” slogan.

Coca-Cola has seen many successful slogans and advertising campaigns in its history. Because of this, Coke remains a popular beverage today, in all of its varieties — Coke Zero, Cherry Coke, Diet Coke, etc.

Verizon: Can You Hear Me Now? Good!

Image via Flickr by gbernstein

In the early years of cellphones, poor reception was something that drove consumers crazy (yes, that’s still the case for some today). Verizon wanted to advertise the fact that its service was the best and most far reaching, so it came up with its “Can You Hear Me Now?” slogan.

This advertising campaign did well for two reasons: the “Can you hear me now?” slogan was easy to remember and most cellphone owners could relate to the experience of not being able to hear the person on the other end of the line. You probably remember hearing the slogan everywhere you went.

Creating catchy slogans is difficult, but you can learn from the successes of these seven companies with awesome advertising slogans. Of course, slogans are no good if they aren't combined with good advertising. Consider combining commercials, print ads, billboards, personalized pens, and other swag in your advertising campaign to reach a large enough audience to turn your slogan into something consumers won’t forget.

What are some of your favorite slogans from history? Leave a comment below.

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