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Best Advertising Slogans of all Time

Updated on May 16, 2012

There are some ad slogans just seem to hit the right note in the human psyche - they stick in the mind, sometimes over a long period of time. Some slogans have been so successful that they have crossed cultural differences and scored a hit internationally.

Those in the advertising industry know that a successful slogan is better than a hundred good visuals because it's those few little words that stay in the consumers mind and form an indelible association with the product.

So what makes a good ad slogan? Well it has to be pithy, catchy and above all, it has to be memorable but there's also that indefinable X factor. It's like a hit song: no-one really knows the magic ingredient, if they did, everyone would do it. Here's a few which have really hit the mark and have, in their time become so successful, they have earned a spot amid the best advertising slogans of all time...

A Little Dab 'll do Ya

For much of the 20th century, up until the late 60s, men used to slather their hair with a greasy compound, in order to keep it smooth and patted down. The wild-child hippy hair of the 60s took a while to seep through to the mainstream.

Brylcreem was a British company which began in 1928, successfully selling 'pomade' to men for several decades. When TV emerged as the rime medium for advertising, the Little Dab 'll do Ya jingle was created and was so successful it made mens styling product almost synonymous with the word Brylcreem, at least in those countries where it was shown.

Unfortunately for the manufacturers, the 'dry look' came in in the 1970s, making the product largely redundant, apart from a few old stayers who refused to change with the times and their revised slogan; They'll love the natural look it gives your hair, failed to inspire as the old one had. The company made a comeback when hair product returned with a vengeance in the 80', 90s and 2000s but by that time there were a host of funkier companies out there selling hair goo. The dream run Brylcreem had enjoyed for so many years was over.

For a long while Brylcreem was the most successful male hair product on the market
For a long while Brylcreem was the most successful male hair product on the market

Things go Better with Coke

Coca Cola is one of the most successfully companies in the world, not least because of its incredibly successful advertising campaigns. Coke ads have always changed with the times, forming a perpetual link between the product and the youth market, who, once having been ensnared into becoming coke buyers, tend to retain retain brand loyalty throughout their lives

One of Coca Cola's most successful advertising campaigns was in 1963, when the new teenage market was opening up - Things go Better with Coke was a terrifically simple concept and implied that drinking coke could enhance every aspect of one's life. The image the marketing gurus wanted to convey was,' where there's young people having fun, there's Coke'. The 60s also saw some other great Coke slogans , including Coke...after Coke...after Coke and The Real Thing.

Almost since its inception Coke has been bringing slogans out every year, beginning with the simple directive to Drink Coca Cola in 1886 and moving on through the years with such gems as Good til the Last Drop (1908), Pure as Sunlight (1927) and the strangely oxymoronic Coca Cola is Coke! (1941) but few have have been as easy to recall and to the point as Things go Better with Coke.

Coca Cola is found all over the world
Coca Cola is found all over the world | Source
Kentucky Fried Chicken began as Harlan Sanders Cafe in Corbin, Kentucky.
Kentucky Fried Chicken began as Harlan Sanders Cafe in Corbin, Kentucky.

Finger Lickin' Good

Founded by colonel Harland Sanders in 1952(although he had been serving up chicken since the 1930s) Kentucky Fried Chicken (shortened to KFC in 1991) really hit the marketing slogan jackpot wit the very catchy Finger Lickin' Good. The tagline had all the right ingredients for a chicken restaurant - it was simple, and had a homely twang, suggestive of good old traditional Southern food, cooked by someone who really cares. What more could a consumer want in a takeaway meal...? Although Colonel Sanders sold the KFC franchise for a large sum in 1964, his image was indispensable to the company and was retained in all advertising.

So where did the slogan come from? Well it was back in the 1950s, when franchisee Dave Harman was featured in the background of a TV commercial eating a piece of chicken and licking his fingers. A viewer rang KFC manager, Ken Harbough to complain and he responded with "well Ma'am,. it's finger lickin' good".

In 2011, KFC announced it would be abandoning the finger lickin' tagline that has served it so well for over 50 years, in favour of the succinct So Good. It remains to be seen whether or not the new slogan will live up to its predecessor.

Just do it

Based in Oregon, USA, Nike Inc is a very large corporation and a major suppiler of the worlds's athletic footwear, clothing and sports equipment. It was founded in 1964 but didn't become 'Nike" until 1978.

The company's ubiquitous Just do it campaign was one of those rare inspirational taglines that just went totally viral all over the place and is still going strong. The philosophy behind the slogan resonated with consumers everywhere.

According to legend the Just do it line was created during a meeting with Nike execs and representatives of the advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy, when Weiden suddenlyblurted out, "You Nike just do it". The rest is ad history.

The Greek goddess of victory, Nike, whom the athletic shoe company is named after.
The Greek goddess of victory, Nike, whom the athletic shoe company is named after.


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