Coming up with a catchy slogan, or crafting the right tagline that defines your brand and really solidifies it in the minds of your customers, is difficult to assign a true value to.
However, it’s impossible to deny that some of these most memorable brand slogans and taglines can claim responsibility for millions of dollars in comparable advertising spend (or possibly more) because of how effective they’ve been at capturing the attention of new consumers over the years.
That’s not to mention the positive impact a catchy slogan or tagline can have in terms of driving more consistent repeat business from the customers who’ve already experienced your brand.
Either way you look at it, there’s an undeniable value to be claimed if you can create a memorable slogan that people want to share, can’t forget—or that they mentally connect to a specific need in their lives.
What is a tagline?
In the context of branding, a tagline is a memorable motto or phrase that’s designed to serve as a permanent expression of your company’s greater purpose and mission. Taglines are long-lasting, instantly recognizable with your brand and have the goal of both attracting customers & remaining top of mind with your existing audience.
How is a slogan different?
Similar in form to a tagline, typically a few words or a short sentence, a slogan is most often used to represent a specific product line or individual marketing campaign. Slogans are designed to be less long-lasting than a brand’s tagline as they can adapt over time, but still serve the purpose of bringing your company to mind with consumers.
Our first brand tagline perfectly demonstrates the difference between how a slogan is used for shorter-term initiatives and just how consistent a tagline remains over time.
1. Disneyland: “The happiest place on Earth.”
This is one of the catchiest brand taglines in existence today, tracing its roots back to the very early days of when the first park opened in Anaheim, California. While the exact source of who originally coined the tagline appears to be lost to history, it’s remained a consistent part of Disneyland branding for many decades.
On the flip side, a couple examples of shorter-term campaign slogans from Disney include:
- “I’m going to Disneyland.” This slogan was used in a series of commercials throughout the 1980s in which popular sports figures and celebrities would announce that they’re going to visit Disneyland right after achieving a milestone.
- “Where dreams come true.” Launched in 2006 after the park’s 50th anniversary alongside an initiative to unify the Disney parks on a global scale, this slogan was designed to speak to all customers in a single brand voice. It also kicked off a series of creative campaigns and a visual refresh to many of the park’s assets.
2. Nike: “Just do it.”
Coined by one of the company’s advertising agencies back in 1988, this slogan is extremely action-oriented and does a great job of communicating one of the core messages of Nike’s brand—to give people the tools to be active and perform better.
3. Old Spice: “The original. If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.”
Known for their wildly creative television advertisements and marketing campaigns, this American brand of male grooming products has reinvented themselves in a big way since launching in 1937. This most recent tagline first made an appearance in 2008 on the company’s new shower gel packaging, and launched the brand down a path of edgy marketing campaigns that’d bring them back to relevance with a younger demographic.
4. De Beers: “A diamond is forever.”
According to Advertising Age, this is the single most recognized slogan of the 20th century, with an estimated 90% of American consumers still claiming to identify it, a whopping 73 years after its creation.
5. MasterCard: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
This tagline, which headlined the credit card brand’s “Priceless” campaign starting in 1997, quickly caught on through a series of television commercials and larger campaigns that’d eventually be expanded to reach more than 200 countries around the world.
6. Samsung: “Do what you can’t.”
Since 1938, this technology company has been innovating in product categories ranging from smartphones to cameras, televisions, appliances, gadgets, watches and much more. This relatively new slogan, in use since 2017 really captures the brand’s mission of helping their customers to do things that were just recently impossible. They work hard to be viewed as engineers, inventors and problem solvers.
7. Dollar Shave Club: “Our blades are f***ing great.” and “Shave time. Shave money.”
Bursting onto the scene in 2012 with an instantly viral YouTube video titled, “Our blades are f***ing great,” this direct-to-consumer, personal grooming company became an almost overnight success because of their witty slogans and catchy marketing. Their new brand slogan, “Shave time. Shave money, ” cleverly touches on their two greatest benefits—low cost and extreme convenience—while still representing the light tone and humor the brand has become known for.
8. BMW: “The ultimate driving machine.”
The famed German automaker had immediate success with this catchy slogan when it was introduced through a wide-reaching series of marketing campaigns beginning in 1973, targeted at a generation of Americans looking for a car they could feel proud of.
9. Allstate: “You’re in good hands.”
This insurance company’s slogan has been around since the 1950s, when one of the brand’s top sales executives coined the phrase based on a similar saying he used to reassure his wife when taking their children to the doctor.
10. Uber: “Move the way you want.”
The global ride-sharing behemoth that’s currently worth more than $63 Billion, has had a lot of ups and downs in the past few years when it comes to their treatment of both drivers and corporate employees. In reaction to their tumultuous public image, they recently updated their brand slogan too. What used to be, “Everyone’s private driver,” has evolved into the more inclusive message, “Move the way you want,” which aims at giving the company a more approachable, friendly and relatable tone.
11. Capital One: “What’s in your wallet?”
Since the year 2000, Capital One has been promoting its credit card services with this catchy slogan, eventually using it to promote their other banking and financial services through a series of campaigns featuring Jennifer Garner.
12. Rothy’s: “Reduce your carbon footprint in style.”
For a footwear company that’s built around the philosophy of creating visually appealing, environmentally conscious products, this clever brand slogan really does a great job of communicating their mission—a zero waste production and shipping process—while also using a catchy play on words.
13. Staples: “That was easy.”
As one of the largest American retailers in the office supplies sector, Staples has consistently worked to position their brand as offering the widest selection of business products you’ll find in-person.
14. Marriott Bonvoy: “Rewards reimagined.”
Originally founded in 1927, the Marriott International brand has grown to encompass 30 different hospitality brands with locations in more than 130 countries around the world. In 2019, they relaunched their rewards program with new features and a big marketing campaign—simultaneously renaming the program Marriott Bonvoy and giving most of their corporate assets a visual refresh.
15. Kellog’s Rice Krispies: “Snap! Crackle! Pop!”
One of our oldest catchy slogans, this cereal brand’s famous tagline traces its roots back to a 1932 radio commercial that focused on the sound of their product. “Listen to the fairy song of health, the merry chorus sung by Kellogg’s Rice Krispies as they merrily snap, crackle and pop in a bowl of milk. If you’ve never heard food talking, now is your chance.”
16. Gatorade: “Is it in you?”
While it may not resonate in the same way today as it did in the past, this catchy tagline that was retired in 2013, was designed to capture the spirit of digging deep and finding an internal driving force in order to succeed—a core principle for Pepsico’s popular sport drink line. This line works well because it speaks to the mentality of Gatorade’s target audience of sports and fitness enthusiasts, while the choice of color in the word “it” ties the tagline back to the product in a visual way.
17. Kentucky Fried Chicken: “Finger lickin’ good.”
Believe it or not, this memorable slogan was reportedly created off the cuff by a restaurant manager at the then promising little fast food chain in the 1950s. As the story goes, KFC’s founder, Harland Sanders would often appear in the company’s early ads, eating a plate of fried chicken in the background of a scene. After one of the ads aired, a woman called the TV station complaining, “Mr Harman is licking his fingers!” After that, a franchisee in Arizona spontaneously replied, “Well, it’s finger lickin’ good” and the rest is history.
18. Compass: “Let us guide you home.”
This disruptive real estate technology firm only entered the scene in 2012, but has quickly made it into dozens of the top real estate markets around the US, where they employ more than 10,000 agents. With a heavy focus on how technology can make the process of buying and selling a home much easier and pain-free, their brand slogan clearly captures their mission and overall corporate tone.
19. Airbnb: “Belong anywhere.”
This brand slogan came along in 2014 after the billion-dollar, short-term rental platform realized their customers were using their service as more than just a tool to make travel easier. Before adopting this slogan, their primary tagline was, “travel like a human,” but the reimagination of the brand with their new tagline included a big visual refresh and a steady push into new
20. Verizon: “Can you hear me now? Good.”
Created in 2002 to accompany a massive television advertising campaign, this catchy phrase was used by an actor that repeats this line during a phone conversation, over and over again while walking through different settings, illustrating that he’s testing and trying to find a spot where there’s bad service—and he of course can’t find any.
21. Dunkin Donuts: “America runs on dunkin.”
In one of the more cleverly nuanced slogans on this list, the “America Runs on Dunkin’” campaign is designed to sell the idea that coffee is fuel. This is significantly different than the positioning of a top competitor, Starbucks, who focuses on selling coffee consumption as more of a lifestyle.
22. Wheaties: “Breakfast of champions.”
This cereal brand has closely associated itself with sports brands since 1927 when they began advertising with minor league baseball teams. Shortly thereafter, a Minneapolis advertising agency sketched a Wheaties box on a pad of paper for an upcoming campaign, thought for a moment, and wrote “Wheaties-The Breakfast of Champions” which has been a staple slogan for the cereal line ever since.
23. Lay’s: “Betcha can’t eat just one.”
Tracing back to the early 1960s, this advertising slogan became Lay’s best known campaign, built around the impression that once a bag is opened—before you know it—all the chips will somehow be eaten.
24. Taco Bell: “Think outside the bun.”
This fast food restaurant chain has knocked it out of the park with their catchy slogans, ranging from “The Cure for the Common Meal” to “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” and their most popular in recent decades, “Think Outside the Bun,” which was recently replaced with “Live Mas.”
25. Tag Heuer: “Don’t crack under pressure.”
This luxury watchmaker has been in the business since 1860, with many of their timepieces sporting price tags well over $50,000 for much of the brand’s history. Over the past few years though, they’ve been working hard to evolve their brand in an effort to appeal to a younger demographic, including this new slogan which signals a dramatic new direction for the company—which has proven to be a precursor of lower-priced watches.
26. Walmart: “Save money. Live better.”
The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, introduced this new slogan (replacing “Always low prices) in 2007, which seeks to promote the benefits of low prices, rather than simply touting the fact that their prices are low. This is a great example of shifting your emphasis from selling features to selling benefits.
27. Toyota: “Let’s go places.”
Toyota unveiled this slogan in 2012, with the positioning that they believe it speaks to the evolution of Toyota as a brand, and their commitment to leading through innovation, enriching lives and connecting with customers in new ways.
28. Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum: “Double your pleasure, double your fun.”
When Wrigley’s first launched their new Doublemint line of gum in 1914, they described the product as “double strength,” “double good,” and “double distilled.” It wasn’t until 1939 that they began advertising the product with sets of twins—and this version of their slogan was adopted in 1959.
29. Burger King: “Have it your way.”
Another delightfully creative dig at the competition, Burger King unveiled this catchy slogan in the early 1970s, based around the fast food chain’s willingness to customize orders to your unique tastes and preferences, in contrast to the inflexibility of McDonald’s.
30. American Express: “Don’t live life without it.”
With a markedly more adventurous tone and fresh appeal to a younger audience, Amex’s new brand slogan plays on one of the company’s previous classic taglines, “Don’t leave home without it,” but with a fresh spin that still captures the essence of their overall mission, geared more towards who their customers are becoming today.
How to Write Your Own Catchy Slogans & Taglines
If you want to craft a memorable slogan for your upcoming campaign—or connect a new tagline to your greater brand, you’ll want to start by first digging deep into your company’s values and overall mission. Through that vehicle, strive to incorporate these four characteristics into your work.
Make it memorable.
If your tagline or slogan doesn’t have at least a somewhat catchy ring to it, then you’re already starting off on the wrong foot. Seek to answer these questions:
- Is your slogan quickly recognizable?
- Will people be able to easily comprehend what it means?
- Is there an obvious connection to your brand that can forge a link between the two?
Even just a few strong words that your target customers will identify with and learn to associate with your brand, can dramatically help in their recall of your advertisements, social content and products at large.
Communicate clear benefits.
Ever notice that the most successful weight loss programs focus on selling the future results you’ll experience as a result of choosing their system to shed some unwanted pounds?
They don’t spend nearly as much time selling the individual details of how their programs work—compared to how much effort they invest into communicating the benefits you stand to gain. This is a textbook example of selling the benefits, not the features.
This same advice applies directly to creating your tagline or slogans. A great one can make your company (or product) benefits extremely clear to consumers.
Differentiate your brand.
What exactly makes your product different from competitors?
Using your slogan to signal a strong, differentiating message about your brand is a key objective as you go about structuring a catchy slogan for an upcoming campaign. Seek to use persuasive emotion words that convey a greater message about your products.
If you hand make men’s watches for a high net worth audience with luxurious taste, then you’ll likely want to lean heavily on words that differentiate your brand as being the absolute highest quality, coveted by successful business people and a status symbol.
On the other hand, if your competitive advantage is a quality product at an affordable price and a level of customer service that goes far beyond the industry standard, then consider choosing words that humanize your brand, make your products feel very approachable and give customers the reassurance that they’ll be taken care of for years to come.
Design your slogan and logo together
It’s important to think about how your slogan and logo will work together across your marketing collateral. Does it work for on the ads, flyers, and other marketing materials you need to create? It can be helpful to see your slogan and logo together to help you make decisions.
Quickly test drive slogans and logos with Adobe Spark! You can easily design multiple options to see how your slogan looks on marketing collateral. Try it out using Adobe Spark’s free logo maker or see how your slogans work on poster and flyer designs.
Leave a positive feeling about your brand.
While some marketers will advocate for the use of urgency or stoking fear within their ad campaigns, research suggests that the best slogans use words that are positive and leave people feeling upbeat.
For example, the tagline by haircare brand L’Oréal Paris, “Because you’re worth it,” gives you an uplifting feeling about the product—whereas a 2015 slogan by Dr. Pepper, “It’s not for women,” is intentionally divisive and uses a slightly negative tone.
Which slogan leaves you with a better impression of the brand?
If you take these four components into account when crafting your brand’s new tagline or campaign slogan—and add a healthy dose of creativity, you’ll be headed in the right direction. Just be sure to solicit feedback from your customers and learn as you go.
Ryan Robinson is a blogger, podcaster and side project aficionado that teaches 500,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at ryrob.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ryan Robinson’s article was published in Adobe.com on 02/05/2020.
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Published: 20th October 2021.
Updated: 4th December 2021.
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