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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16. A slogan should not be bland, generic or hackneyed

Slogans that are bland, redolent of Mom and apple-pie, clearly suffer a weakness. Almost any brand could use these lines:

Ames Rubber:

Excellence through total quality.

Currie Motors: Nice people to do business with.
CWS Ltd: People who care.
Henredon furniture: For those who value excellence.
Itel computers: Whatever it takes, wherever it is.
Omega: The sign of excellence.
Royal Bank of Scotland: Where people matter.
Singer: We make it better.
Unisys: We make it happen.
Carling Black Label: Your best bet yet.

And then there are the generic lines...

Imagine an organization that provides slogans:

They might sell slogans off the shelf - like these:

  • Tomorrow's!

  • Our customers come first.

  • Satisfaction guaranteed.

  • You can be sure with us.

  • World class.

  • The best there is.

  • We do it carefully.

Is that what you want?

Hackneyed means 'made trite and commonplace by overuse'.

A hackneyed line is dull and monotonous. Like these:

  • Put your money where your mouse is - for any internet bank.

  • The wings of [country] - for any national airline.

  • The spirit of [location] - for any national liquor.

  • [Country's] largest [industry] - for any big company.

  • Don't just [verb 1], when you can [verb 2] - verb 2 is usually a bastardization of the advertiser's name

  • Don't say [commodity], say [brand] - widely used in many areas

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