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

PDF version of this article suitable for printing
(requires AdobeAcrobat)


6. A slogan should reflect the brand's personality

How can a brand have a personality? Our dictionary says personality means 'habitual patterns and qualities of behaviour of any individual as expressed by physical and mental activities and attitudes; distinctive individual qualities of a person considered collectively.'

So think of the brand as a person. Then consider whether the line works for that person.

Here is a group of lines that suit , contrasted with lines that wouldn't:


Good things come to those who wait. YES!

Guinness: The quicker picker-upper. NO!
Volkswagen Beetle: Think small. YES!
Volkswagen Beetle: As good as it looks. NO!
McDonald's: Did somebody say McDonald's? YES!
McDonald's: A sandwich served with an east coast style and a midwest smile! NO!
American Express card: Don't leave home without it. YES!
American Express card: Money talks. NO!

E-Mail: Phone: +44 (0)208 668 8888
Basic Talk Ltd trading as AdSlogans © 2006-2007