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A Look at Slogans and Taglines

A Look at Slogans and Taglines

Company slogans or taglines have a long history in advertising. Some of the first popular slogans include Ivory Soap’s “99 and 44/100ths percent pure” tagline which was used with the product’s debut in 1879. In 1886, Coca-Cola used the slogan “Drink Coca-Cola”, and since 1896, The New York Times has used the tagline “All the news that’s fit to print”, a tagline that still appears on the paper to this day.

Nike has not wavered from it’s “Just Do It” slogan since 1988.

Taglines and slogans are usually short, catchy phrases, meant to be remembered and repeated. With that goal in mind, the “Got Milk” tagline, which was first used in 1993 by the California Milk Processor Board, is probably one of the most successful taglines of all time. More than 20 years later, this catchy tagline is still copied by companies trying to piggyback on the tagline’s success.

Some companies find a slogan or tagline that works for them and stick with it. For example, Hallmark has used the slogan “When you care enough to send the very best” since 1944. Nike has not wavered from it’s “Just Do It” slogan since 1988. BMW has been using tagline “The Ultimate Driving Machine” since the 1970s.

Other companies frequently change their slogans or taglines. Coca-Cola is a prime example of this, changing their slogan or tagline every couple of years, sometimes even in back-to-back years. Some examples of past Coca-Cola slogans include: “Enjoy Thirst” which was their slogan in 1923; “Where There’s Coke There’s Hospitality”, used in 1948; “The Cold, Crisp Taste of Coke”, their slogan in 1958; “It’s the Real Thing”, used as their slogan in 1969; and recently, “Open Happiness”, which has been their tagline since 2009.

Mc Donald’s is another company that frequently changes their slogans or taglines. As of today, the fast food franchise has had eleven different slogans or taglines since 1955. Some examples are: “Let’s Eat Out”, “You Deserve a Break Today”, “Mac Tonight”, and the current slogan, which has been in use since the early 2000s, “I’m Lovin’ It”.

Visa is another company with several memorable slogans or taglines, such as “More People Go with Visa”, “Life Takes Visa”, and their current slogan, “Everywhere you want to be”. Interestingly, that slogan was recently shortened from it’s previous version of the slogan, which was “It’s everywhere you want to be”.

Slogans and taglines have been, and will continue to be, an important part of advertising and marketing. Large and small businesses alike can benefit from having a catchy slogan or tagline. If you have a favorite slogan, or if you think your small business’ slogan is particularly catchy or clever, share it in the comments section below.



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by Matt Smith // Author of Kill the Noise, and CEO of Modmacro℠ an award-winning web design and marketing firm that partners with select small businesses and non-profits.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.