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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4. A slogan should differentiate the brand

'Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach' does this brilliantly. When the line needed refreshing, it was extended in later executions to show seemingly impossible situations, such as a deserted motorway in the rush hour, with the line 'Only Heineken can do this', and lately showing unlikely but admirable situations, such as a group of sanitation engineers trying to keep the noise down to the comment: 'How refreshing! How Heineken!'

The distinction here is that the line should depict a characteristic about the brand that sets it apart from its competitors. In the above examples, we see Swan Light, an Australian low-alcohol beer. 'Won't make a pom tiddly' is brilliant. It plays on the expression 'tiddly pom', the sort of noise a stiff-upper-lip Brit would say in the colonies when reviewing the troops as they march past, and, of course, a Brit to an Oz is a pom. And what could be worse than a tiddly (tipsy) pom? This line gets my vote as one of the all-time greats. And it runs on double-decker bus 'super sides'.

Here is a selection of lines that deliver differentiation:

British Rail:

Let the train take the strain.

Cheese Council: Anyway you please it, cheese it.
Pilkington K Glass: Amazingly pays in your glazing.
Mail on Sunday: A newspaper, not a snoozepaper.
Timex watch: Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
Metropolitan Home: Mode for your abode.
Natrena: Why have low calories when you can have no calories.
Safeway: Everything you want from a store, and a little bit more.
Tesco: The price is dropping on your weekly shopping.
Ariel Ultra: Not just nearly clean, but really clean.

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