People often use them as interchangeable synonyms but they don’t mean the same.
Larger companies will usually have one tagline e.g. Disney’s tagline is “The happiest place on earth”; and many slogans e.g. Disney’s slogans are “Where dreams come true”, “I’m going to Disneyland”, “Where the magic began” and more.
A tagline is about the business itself, and should stand the test of time (it doesn’t change).
Taglines represent the tone and feeling you want for your products or services.
It is often part of your company graphics ant it stays with you all the time.
Slogans are intended to be less long lasting and more flexible.
They’re often used in advertising campaigns. (they changes over time).
Slogans are often used only for one product, or one campaign.
In this article let’s focus on slogans, or advertising taglines if you wish.
It works because it’s motivates people. Nike is about sports and working out. “Just do it” sounds like a personal trainer, pushing you to get up from that couch and do the work to get results.
The slogan is universal and intensely personal which leads to customers associating their purchases with the prospect of achieving greatness.
It’s everywhere – that’s why it works. Nike is a powerful brand with enormous advertising potential.
2. Apple - "Think Different"
When IBM announced a “Think” slogan, so Apple announced their new campaign in 1997 with its slogan “Think Different” created by advertising agency TBWA.
Craig Tanimoto, art director of TBWA said:
IBM’s campaign says “Think IBM” and Apple is very different from IBM, so “Think Different” was an interesting concept and the idea that these words can be attached to some of the world’s most different-thinking people.
The “Think different” campaign was perhaps the most successful advertising campaign of all time.
Apple went so audacious and perhaps preposterous by placing great minds and achievers next to the Apple logo: Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali, Gandhi, Bob Dylan, and Amelia Earheart.
When the “Think Different” campaign launched, Apple immediately felt the boost despite having no significant new products, and changed people’s perception of Apple products just being some “toys”.
Here are couple great things about the slogan:
It’s minimalistic, elegant, and effective. It’s everything that Apple was striving to be.
It’s made of just two words, but it tells the brand’s story. Apple is all about innovation and changing the world. It’s all about thinking differently.
Once you hear this slogan, it’s impossible for you to forget it.
If you associate with higher qualities (courage, imagination, creations), your ads will be far more evergreen.
People will attack you for your audacity, but at least you’re promoting great role models.
The tagline was so good that Apple found different ways to revive it throughout its marketing campaigns over the years.
3. L’Oreal - “Because You’re Worth It”
Makeup is a controversial issue because women who wear makeup are criticized for being fake and not respecting their natural beauty.
Society criticizes them when they spend more money on high-quality makeup.
“Because I’m Worth It” was on message in 1973, and today we know that an astonishing 80% of women recognize and respond to this positive phrase and powerful sentiment.
L’Oreal found a simple way to convince women they are not doing anything wrong when buying and applying makeup.
Written in 1973 when a social revolution and a new spirit of feminism was in full swing, it seems clear that the phrase could only have been written by a woman.
In its essence, this is actually a feminist phrase.
Ilon Specht was a copywriter with McCann Erickson back in 1973. She was thought of as original, unconventional, creative and independent. Fortunately, she worked on the L’Oréal account!
No one has the right to criticize a woman for something she wants and loves to do.
This became a legendary phrase through a campaign that involved powerful women as brand ambassadors. Jane Fonda and Freida Pinto – enough said.
4. KFC - “Finger Lickin’ Good”
This slogan is so good that it managed to stick around since the 1950s. It just shows that when a slogan is really good, trends can do nothing against it.
The philosophy behind slogans hasn’t changed. Just make it simple and catchy, and you’ll be good for decades.
Why does “Finger Lickin’ Good” work?
It describes people’s feelings about KFC food. The slogan itself makes you think of tasty food, and that’s exactly what the creator was striving for.
The lickin’ part is so casual that it makes the brand feel like home. It’s how people talk in a conversational, casual tone. A single word shows that this is not a pretentious restaurant. It simply serves the comfort meals you want to keep eating every day.
5. Coca-Cola - "Open Happiness"
Coca-Cola is fortunate to have had some of the greatest creative talent in advertising work on their marketing and “Open Happiness” (2009) campaigns featured some of the best slogans the company has ever produced.
During a time of economic downturn, Coca-Cola wanted America to “Open Happiness” with its new tagline.
When defining happiness, Coca-Cola believes the quest for true happiness is not a quest, but a choice.
Open Happiness was the longest used slogan in the history of the company.
Marketing for The Coca-Cola Company based on the Open Happiness theme also appeared in the United States as print ads in newspapers, in television commercials, in outdoor advertising, and in in-store advertising, source: Wikipedia.
What’s good about “Open Happiness” slogan?
You can’t deny it – it’s catchy. Slogans succeed when they’re memorable.
Instead of talking about the product, they talk about how the product makes people feel.
Those 3 words differentiate the brand – a great tagline sets a flag in the ground but making a claim about the brand.
It Instills positive feelings about the brand – assiociating happiness with the brand? – Great move Coca-Cola.
This slogan doesn’t talk about how Coke taste, looks or smells – but it does leave an impression!
Dunkin’ Donuts launched, in April 2006, the most significant repositioning effort in the company’s history by unveiling a brand new, multi-million dollar advertising campaign under the tagline “America Runs on Dunkin.”
The “America Runs on Dunkin'” is a fun and quirky celebration of life, showing Americans embracing their work.
The campaign revolves around Dunkin’ Donuts coffee keeping busy Americans fueled while they are on the go.
This slogan connect emotionally with the hard-working cross-section of Americans who keep this country running every day; from the construction worker, to the lawyer and so forth.
The slogan appears on all products form coffee cups to napkins.
Referring to Dunkin Donuts as just “Dunkin” is manifested in 2018 rebrand in which “Dunkin'” drops the “Donut” part of it’s name.
Dunkin’ Donuts has been on a first-name basis with its fans long before the introduction of its iconic tagline, “America Runs on Dunkin”.
In 2003, Justin Timberlake helped launch the new McDonald’s marketing campaign tied around the slogan “I’m Lovin’ It”.
The slogan has gone on to become by far the longest-running McDonald’s slogan in history and still stands strong today being a great example of a tagline that resonates with the brand’s target audience.
McDonald’s food might not be your healthiest choice, but being healthy isn’t the benefit McDonald’s is promising – it’s that you’ll love the taste of it.
”The phrase ‘I’m lovin’ it’ is becoming part of the language,” said Larry Light, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer at McDonald’s, according to The New York Times.
McDonald’s debuted its campaign in Germany in recognition of the agency’s role and then rolled out english version in the US, UK and Australia.
McDonald’s continues to have the “I’m lovin’ it” slogan appear on most all of its product packaging; and has made no major announcement that the company will use any other slogan exclusively in place of this one any time in the near future according to Wikipedia.
When you go through my the top 7 brand slogans I listed above, you’ll notice few elements they have together.
They are all good in their unique ways, but there are mutual characteristics that helped me come up with tips that really work.
1.Keep it short and on point
Slogans should never be longer than a sentence, anything longer will become jumbled and ultimately forgettable.
It’s best to stick to a brief, catchy line.
When you check the list above, you’ll notice that most slogans stick to that pattern.
2. Set yourself apart
Apple’s “Think different” was similar to IBM’s “Think,” but the slogan was created with one goal to mind: to set this brand apart from the main and all other competitors.
The main purpose of a good slogan is to make your brand memorable.
When people see it or hear it, they should think of your products and the company itself. It’s the effect that Nike’s “Just Do It” has.
3. Highlight a key benefit
If you have an advantage over your competitors, or if your product or service has a unique benefit, you need to use it e.g. like McDonald's did with the "I'm lovin' it" slogan - it's not the most healthy choice, but it's so tasty!
Isolate one key area of your business, and find a way to integrate it into the slogan.
Slogans are the first impressions for many potential consumers, so it absolutely needs to stress the company's worth. Another great examples is the KFC - "It's finger lickin' good" slogan.
4. Explain your commitment
Often times, winning slogans will explain a company's dedication to its customers or a higher purpose like Dunkin' Donut's did with the "America runs on Dunkin'" slogan.
If don't have a unique product, sell the public on trust and customer care.
Slogans devoted to customer service, especially ones that guarantee quality and satisfaction even if it's at the company's expense, play extremely well with the public.
5. Evokes an emotional response
Think about your target audience and the problems they face.A perfect examples is the L'Oréal - "Because you're worth it" slogan that connects with the products users (women) and make them feel good about themselves.
Connect with the target audience on an emotional level.
Make it about them (not you), think about what do they feel and how can you're product make them feel appreciated.
6. No negative connotations
You have to always think positive and focus your slogan on something positive. Think about what do all people want? - They want to be happy!
Paint the bright side of life in a customer's mind.
Coca-Cola is not healthy and none of the sodas are, but they don't combat that fact. They rather focus on positive emotions, happiness, smiles, laugh and connect it to the brand.
7. Use the Right Resources
If you and your team go through a brainstorming session and don’t come up with a good slogan, this is the first thing you should do: repeat it tomorrow.If you still can’t make it work, maybe it’s time to hire a branding consultant.
Branding experts are the least risky option.
The best part is that branding experts are a very affordable option if you run a startup or a small company.
Do You Really Need a Slogan?
Many brands don’t have a slogan.
But if you’re just launching your startup or a new marketing campaign slogan can only do you well, but it has to be great!
The brand design is important, but it's equally important to give the brand a voice.