The Art and Science of the Advertising Slogan
by Timothy R. V. Foster

Art and Science Menu
A Slogan SHOULD:
1. Be memorable
2. Recall the brand name
3. Include a key benefit
4. Differentiate the brand
5. Impart positive feelings for the brand
6. Reflect the brand's personality
7. Be strategic
8. Be campaignable
9. Be competitive
10. Be original
11. Be simple
12. Be neat
13. Be believable
14. Help in ordering the brand
A Slogan Should NOT:
15. Be in current use by others
16. Be bland, generic or hackneyed
17. Prompt a sarcastic or negative response
18. Be pretentious
19. Be negative
20. Be corporate waffle
21. Make you say "So what?" or "Ho-hum"
22. Make you say "Oh yeah??"
23. Be meaningless
24. Be complicated or clumsy
And Finally...
25. You should like it 
26. Trends in slogans
Related Links
Slogan Nomenclature

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3. A slogan should include a key benefit

'Engineered like no other car in the world' does this beautifully for Mercedes Benz. 'Britain's second largest international scheduled airline' is a 'so what?' statement for the late Air Europe. You might well say "I want a car that is engineered like no other car in the world." But it is unlikely you would say "I want two tickets to Paris on Britain's second largest international scheduled airline!"

In America they say 'sell the sizzle, not the steak.' In Britain they say 'sell the sizzle, not the sausage.' Either way, it means sell the benefits not the features.

Since the tagline is the leave-behind, the takeaway, surely the opportunity to implant a key benefit should not be missed? Here are some...

Hat Council:

If you want to get ahead, get a hat.

Polaroid: The fun develops instantly.
Swan Light: Won't make a pom tiddly.
Weight Watchers: Taste. Not waist.
Adjustamatic Beds: For the rest of your life.
Holiday Inn: Pleasing people the world over.
Philips: The best way to get music out of your system.
Radio Times: If it's on, it's in.
The Economist: Free enterprise with every issue.
Look at these lines which have no apparent benefits:
AT&T: It's all part of the I Plan from AT&T.
Equity & Law: Equity & Law. Need we say more.
RAM Enterprises: RAM is a woman-owned small disadvantaged business
Exxon: We're Exxon.
Lite Tuff: That's Lite Tuff!
Sapolio Soap: Use Sapolio.
Showerlux: No wonder we're ahead.
MFI: Take a look at us now.

The problem with the AT&T line was that at no point did they articulate what the 'I Plan' was. They might just as well have said 'It's all part of fxzlldcrk from AT&T.'

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