The Complete Guide To Slogans: Meanings, Examples & Tips On Creating A Slogan

Slogan
Craig Barber

Craig Barber

Founder of Logobly
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Love them or hate them, slogans are still very much part of modern brands and branding.

A great slogan can do wonders for your brand. It can stay in the mind of your customer and remind them to buy your product.

In this post, we’re going to cover all things slogan related including:

  1. Where does the word ‘slogan’ come from?
  2. What is a slogan?
  3. Where are slogans used?
  4. 101 famous slogan examples
  5. Famous political slogans
  6. Examples of bad brand slogans
  7. How to make a slogan

Let’s dive in. 

Where does the word ‘slogan’ come from?

How To Create A Slogan

According to Wikipedia, the word slogan is derived from ‘slogorn’ which was an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic and Irish sluagh-ghairm (sluagh “army”, “host” + gairm “cry”) So in a literal sense it means ‘army host cry’.

What is a slogan?

Slogan

The Oxford Dictionary of English defines a slogan as “a short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising”.

More broadly speaking and according to Wikipedia, “A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a clan, political, commercial, religious, and another context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose, to persuade members of the public or a more defined target group.”

Where are slogans used?

Nike Just Do It Slogan

The most common way slogans are used today is in marketing.

Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ is an example of a famous slogan used in the marketing of Nike.

Slogans can be found everywhere in marketing including print advertisements, television commercials, signage and on websites.

Slogans can also be found in modern political campaigns such as the Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump slogan ‘Make America Great Again’.

101 famous slogan examples

Apple Slogan

There are 100’s of famous catchy slogans that are used by companies in the marketplace today.

Here are 101 of the most famous slogans:

“Tide’s In – Dirt’s Out” – Tide

“There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” – MasterCard

“Good Food, Good Life” – Nestle)

“Because You’re Worth It” – L’Oréal Paris

“Save Money. Live Better” – Wal-Mart

“The Quicker Picker Upper” – Bounty

“I’m lovin’ it” – McDonald’s

“America Runs on Dunkin” – Dunkin’ Donuts

“Imagination at Work” – General Electric

“Finger Lickin’ Good” – KFC

“Have it your way” – Burger King

“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline” (Maybelline)

“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” – M&M’s

“The Few. The Proud. The Marines” – U.S. Marine Corps

“The Happiest Place on Earth” – Walt Disney World Resort

“Think Different” – Apple

“Taste the Feeling” – Coca-Cola

“Quality never goes out of style” – Levi’s

“The best a man can get” – Gillette

“Red Bull gives you wiiings” – Red Bull

“Betcha can’t eat just one” – Lay’s

“Tastes So Good, Cat’s Ask for It By Name” – Meow Mix

“Think outside the bun” – Taco Bell

“Snap, Crackle, Pop” – Rice Krispies

“Just Do It” – Nike

“Think Different” – Apple

“Where’s the Beef?” – Wendy’s

“Open Happiness” – Coca-Cola

“Because You’re Worth It” – L’Oreal

“Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands” – M&Ms

“A Diamond is Forever” – De Beers

“The Breakfast of Champions” – Wheaties

“America Runs on Dunkin'” – Dunkin’ Donuts

“Can You Hear Me Now?” – Verizon Wireless

“Impossible is nothing” – Adidas

“Stronger than dirt” – Ajax

“Belong anywhere” – Airbnb

“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” – Alka Seltzer

“You’re in good hands” – Allstate

“Don’t leave home without it” – American Express

“We try harder” – Avis

“The ultimate driving machine” – BMW

“The quicker picker-upper” – Bounty

“The beer of kings” – Budweiser

“Have it your way” – Burger King

“Mmm, mmm good!” – Campbell’s Soup

“What’s in your wallet?” – Capital One

“The heartbeat of America” – Chevrolet

“Does she or doesn’t she?” – Clairol

“Open happiness” – Coca-Cola

“Won’t slow you down” – Coors Light

“A diamond is forever” – De Beers

“The happiest place on earth” – Disneyland

“America runs on Dunkin’” – Dunkin’

“It keeps going… and going… and going” – Energizer

“Move fast and break things” – Facebook

“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” – Fed-Ex

“They’re grrrrrrreat!” – Frosted Flakes

“Is it in you?” – Gatorade

“So easy a caveman can do it” – Geico

“We bring good things to life” – General Electric

“Don’t be evil” – Google

“We go the extra mile” – Halfords

“How doers get more done” – Home Depot

“The power of dreams” – Honda

“Nothing runs like a deer” – John Deere

“Every kiss begins with Kay” – Kay Jewelers

“Finger lickin’ good” – Kentucky Fried Chicken

“Go beyond” – Land Rover

“The relentless pursuit of perfection”- Lexus – 

“Because you’re worth it” – L’Oreal

“Betcha can’t eat just one” – Lay’s Potato Chips

“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” – M&Ms

“For everything else, there’s Mastercard” – MasterCard

“Good to the last drop” – Maxwell House

“Maybe it’s Maybelline” – Maybelline

“I’m lovin’ it” – McDonald’s

“Do the Dew” – Mountain Dew

“Nationwide is on your side” – Nationwide

“All the news that’s fit to print” – The New York Times

“When it rains, it pours” – Morton Salt

“Just do it” – Nike

“The choice of a new generation” – Pepsi

“It gives you wings” – Red Bull

“Snap! Crackle! Pop!” – Rice Krispies

“Taste the rainbow” – Skittles

“Obey your thirst” – Sprite

“A cut above the rest” – Stihl

“Eat fresh” – Subway

“Expect more pay less” – Target

“Takes a licking and keeps on ticking” – Timex

“Trix are for kids” – Trix Cereal

“Fly the friendly skies” – United Airlines

“What can brown do for you?” – UPS

“Stick with Dunlop” – Dunlop Tyres

“Think small” – Volkswagen

“Anytime, anywhere” – Walmart

“Where’s the beef?” – Wendy’s

“The breakfast of champions” – Wheaties

“Shave Time. Shave Money.” – Dollar Shave Club

Famous political slogans

Make America Great Again Slogan

Politics is another area where slogans are used. They are featured everywhere in the politicians’ campaign including signs, television ads and all other related marketing materials.

Slogans in politics are great because a good one can really get people inspired and excited about the candidates.

Here are some examples of great political campaign slogans:

“Don’t change horses midstream” (1864) – Abraham Lincoln

“A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” (1928) – Herbert Hoover

“Happy Days Are Here Again” (1932) – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“I Like Ike” (1952) – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Let’s Make America Great Again” (1980) – Ronald Reagan

“Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?” (1980) – Ronald Reagan

“Morning In America” (1984) – Ronald’s Reagan

“Yes We Can” (2008) – Barack Obama

“For The People” (2020) – Kamala Harris

“Liberty, equality, fraternity” (1790) – James Vaughan.

“A fit country for heroes to live in” (1918) – David Lloyd George

“It’s time.” (1972) – Gough Whitlam

“Not flash. Just Gordon.” (2007) Gordon Brown

“Take back control.” (2016) – Vote Leave, EU referendum

Examples of bad brand slogans ( when slogans go wrong )

Slogan

Slogans can also go terribly wrong! I can’t believe some of the ones below were approved. A bad slogan can make the public turn on a brand. It can result in humiliation and the creation of memes.

Here’s some of the worst slogans of all time:

“Selling ‘Em By the Sack” – Whitecastle

“A Body for Every Body” – Victoria’s Secret

“It’s Not for Women” – Dr. Pepper Ten

“Reach Out and Touch Someone” – AT&T

“I Will” – Under Armour

“Don’t Live Life Without It” – American Express

“Probably the Best Beer in the World” – Carlsberg

“Relieves Gas Pains” – Volkswagen

“Smell Better Than Yourself” – Old Spice

“It Beats as it Sweeps as it Cleans” – Hoover

How to make a slogan

Slogan how to make

There is no formula for creating a slogan. You just have to get busy and start writing your ideas for slogans down. That said, here are 9 tips on how to design or write a slogan of your own.

9 tips on how to make a slogan:

1. Keep it short and simple

If Nike had come out with the slogan “Go out there and get active right now” as opposed to their infamous “Just do it” it might never have become one of the most popular slogans of all time. Make sure you keep your slogan under 9 or 10 words. Remember you may be using it with your logo, so that’s another reason to keep it short.

2. Focus on what makes you different

When writing your slogan, try to incorporate what makes your product or service unique. For example, M&M’s chocolates melt in your mouth and not in your hands. With Avis, they use the slogan “We try harder” as it’s well known that they are the second-best hire car company in the market.

4. Make it timeless

Slogans should be timeless. For example, you can run into trouble if you start using technology references in your slogan. Verizon used the slogan “Can you hear me now?” to great success. But that was when mobile phones used to cut out. You should also avoid using the exclusive words like ‘only’ in your slogans as you may be the only one at the time, but someone else may also come out with your product or service at a later date.

5. Try for a double meaning

It’s always lovely when a brand slogan has a double meaning. For example Gatorades “Is it in you?” or Dunlops “Stick with Dunlop”. Both of these slogans can mean two different things. They talk about the product and they also talk about the person or the brand.

6. Make your slogan broad

Your slogan should not be too specific. If your slogan is too literal and product-specific it can cease to work when you have more products. For example, Subway has the slogan “Eat fresh” which works well across their whole product range. If their slogan was “Eat fresh sandwiches” that slogan would not work as they also sell other products like cookies.

7. Consider your target market

You may be starting small, but one day your slogan may appear worldwide. This is why you have to consider your target market. Don’t go too local. For example, when KFC launched in China, their “Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan translated to the far less appetizing “Eat Your Fingers Off.”

8. Make sure it’s original

There are a lot of slogans out there in the world right now. Be sure to double-check with a quick Google search to ensure that your slogan has not been used before.

9. Get feedback

Just like when coming up with a business name, it’s always a good idea to get feedback on your slogan before you share it with the world and plaster it everywhere. You don’t have to run it by dozens of people. But it’s a great idea to pressure test it with a cross-section of people. 

The takeaway on slogans

Whilst you don’t have to have a slogan for your business, they can be a fun way to engage with your customers.

Having a slogan can bring a bit of personality to your brand.

Now you’ve read our complete guide on slogans, it’s time for you to get busy and create a catchy slogan for your business today.

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