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How to Choose a Clever Campaign Slogan

Updated on December 15, 2008

Good campaign slogans are the stuff of legends. While we remember most of them coming from national elections, it is important to remember that many more originate in local and state races. In fact the use of a good campaign slogan can be effective at any level of elected office. This is true when running for the President of the Bowling team or the President of the United States.  It is a sad reality but thanks to the short attention spans of our fellow citizens, the need to sum up your entire candidacy in a word or phrase. This could make the difference between victory and defeat. When trying to develop an effective campaign slogan it is important to take a few factors into consideration.  


Before taking on the task of choosing a clever campaign slogan make sure you know what you are trying to accomplish. In order to focus your mind and its creative abilities, ask yourself three questions...

1. First ask yourself what kind of an election is it and who is my audience?

This is important to answer because it will set the stage for everything else to come. The type of office and the people voting for it will directly impact the content. For example, if someone were running for PTA President having a slogan saying "Vote Bob, Best Dogcatcher” would not be very relevant to the voters.

2. Is there any one issue that stands out above the rest?

When a single issue dominates an election it would be behoove you to incorporate that issue into your slogan. Anytime you can get people to associate your slogan to solving a problem or getting something completed will only help you spread your message.

3. Does the campaign have a theme?

They may be associated with big time campaigns but once again a campaign theme can be used at every level. It helps voters associate the message you are trying to send to your candidacy. If your campaign already has a theme then don't reinvent the wheel. Incorporate any slogan with the theme


Rules to Keep When Creating a Clever Campaign Slogan

Just as with everything else in life there are a few key rules to follow when creating a slogan.

1. Try to limit your slogan to fewer than 10 words. The average person will not be able to remember anything longer.

2. Set your slogan to a rhythm, onomatopoeia, or rhyme. Let's keep in mind that the national anthem was set to an old English drinking song.

3. Don't be cheesy and lame! You are trying to earn these people's votes! If they can't take you seriously then they will not elect


Examples of Winning Slogans

The candidates and their effective use of campaign slogans, it could be argued, define the history of the United States.

  • The election of 1860: Abraham Lincoln became the President of the United States with a campaign slogan that stated "Vote yourself a Farm" referring to the Republican parties promise to grant free homesteads to settlers of western land
  • The election of 1904: Theodore Roosevelt was elected President under the now famous banner of "Speak Softly But Carry a Big Stick"

A campaign button from Al Smith's failed 1928 Presidential campaign.
A campaign button from Al Smith's failed 1928 Presidential campaign.

Examples of Losing, but famous, Slogans

Even when the candidates themselves lose an election, their slogan's may stand the test of time.

  • The Election of 1896: William J. Bryan declares that "You Shall Not Crucify Mankind Upon a Cross of Gold". This was a reference to the hot button issue of free coinage for silver.
  • The Election of 1928: Gov. Al Smith's campaign, in response to growing calls for ending prohibition, issues the "Liberty We Want Beer" campaign slogan.


MODERN SLOGAN -"Yes we can"


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    • profile image

      flemings 7 years ago

      boo very very boo

    • profile image

      Good Article 8 years ago

      Certainly campaign slogans are important! I used an internet slogan development service (slogansays). There are many on the internet, just google it and you'll see.

    • Masterman535 profile image

      Masterman535 9 years ago from United States

      Clever and well thought out!! You should take a look at some of my hubs.