The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Where Have All The Good Ol’ Slogans Gone?
May 8, 2007, 7:30 am
Filed under: Comment

So I was driving behind this Range Rover and noticed the ‘It’s Never Over In A Rover’ line in the back window – and while it might not be the cool thing to say, I like it.

Not only does it convey the exact message Range Rover wishes to be associated with, it’s bloody simple, effective and memorable … which seems to be a dying art in adland.

A few years ago it was all the rage to stop using slogans/straplines/endlines but I was never a big supporter of this … not just because it seemed more about ‘artistic reasons’ than commercial … but because the public [the people we are paid to engage] tend to remember them far more than one off executions.

World’s Favourite Airline.

Beans Means Heinz.

The Esso Sign Means Happy Motoring.

Refreshes The Parts Other Beers Can’t Reach.

Good. Better. Bosch.

They were/are all brilliant [and please note they don’t all rhyme!] and yet now, they seem more and more the exception rather than the rule. 

Why is this? 

I appreciate advertising has evolved into more attitudinal/emotional/cultural expressions [driven in the main by the product parity that exists within categories as well as the growing cynicism of the consumer] however interms of slogans, we seem to be awash with generalistic statements that …

1 Mean nothing

2 Are only relevant to that particular execution [and have no ‘brand’ in it]

3 Are changed so often the consumer never stands a chance to associate one particular statement with one particular brand

Of course not every brand has/needs a slogan … especially those organisations who demonstrate who they are / what they stand for via everything they say / do / create … however given the plethora of bland brands out in consumerland today, a good powerful strapline – that is BRAND specific, not just execution specific – is something that should be treasured and embraced, not treated with distain or disposability.

Now I appreciate many creatives and marketing people might not like them… and there’s a whole host of reasons for this, some valid, some ego-driven … however for the masses out there, a good slogan [if used in association with imaginative, enthusiastic, relevant, bold and entertaining creativity] is a simple and effective way to remember why you should choose one brand over the multitude of others.

I have to give a big hand to the cynic boys for doing their bit with the ‘classic’ [ahem] SPAM: Like Ham But Cheaper however that is still the exception, so if anyone out there knows of any others that deserve praise, then let me know because its time to bring back the classic ad slogan and I don’t care how nasty that makes me look!

[Well, maybe I do care a little but that sort of loses the impact of the statement! Bugger!]


77 Comments

There is one.. for Nouvelle (toilet paper), that a certain planner thought up: ‘Skincare for your Derriere’.

And no, it wasn’t me.

I miss the slogan; it should return.

Comment by Will

I think Nike has stopped using “Just Do it” on a lot of their pieces, instead just relying on the logo.
Ironically, it looks like “Just Do It” has run out of legs… :/

Comment by Age

Whenever I hear the word Spam, I think ‘tastes like ham’, although I am sure this was never their slogan.

I quiet like “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”.

I am staring at a horrible billboard for a building development called Iris Bay. The slogan is “Business is where the honey is”. There is a pic of an iris shaped building and a an iris shaped honeycomb. I don’t get it. Surely they could have thought up a slogan that had something to do with an eye.

Comment by Jade

not sure i totally agree with you age because the nike tick (or fucking swoosh) is synomous with ‘just do it’ though sometimes the words would be more powerful than just using the logo. what about the viz classic slogans for sausages, ‘remember when you eat an egg you are killing a fluffy chick’ or the egg industries retort of ‘sausages contain cow lips, feet and eyes – eat eggs’, fucking marvellous. rob, can I tell our proposed air saudi arabia slogan or will hell rain down on me?

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re 100% correct about Nike, Andy. I just wanted to use that bad/ironic play on words 🙂

I’ve noticed recently (because I am a Nike fanboy) a lack of “just do it” in some print stuff in Oz of late, even a few TVC’s, so it’s made me wonder if they’ve moved away from saying it. I agree though, the “fucking swoosh” is so strong now it still works on it’s own.

Comment by Age

I’m pushed for time so a huge comment on this is not possible (or even wanted). In general if it’s a memorable brand then a memorable slogan has merit. Problem is, that if it’s for a forgettable brand and it’s going to change when the new marketing director gets in then it’s a tremendous waste of time.

“Move your mind” for Volvo is a recent one that sticks out for me. But that’s a sample size of one.

Comment by charlesfrith

oi jade, the spam slogan is ours but the fuckers were to chicken to run it in the us. mind you the tossers thought spam was the rolls royce of ‘food’ so no wonder they treated us like wed just laid a massive crap on their mothers faces. fucking crap meat producing cocks.

Comment by andy@cynic

i always thought the best volvo line was the one in the movie crazy people – boxy but safe. fucking miles better than the shit they ran in australia, reVOLVOlution. what absolute fucking wank. i cant tell you how much i want to kill everyone involved in that crap.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m at work and people are looking at me funny cause i’m laughing my fkn ass off at Andy’s comment… brutal! HAHA!

Comment by Age

In today’s super clever “let’s have a good long hard think about this over a cup of frothy coffee” adland wank world – slogans have been sent to the “naughty stair” where you can also find canned laughter, dunlop trainers, and electronic devices that have cables.

I love slogans. GIVE ME SLOGANS.

Comment by Marcus

someone please give marcus what he wants and while youre at it, give me what i want – namely a harem of birds with big tits, a kebab with the lot (hold the lettuce) and a big bucket of ice cold heinekens. funny how the missus will want to give me something quite different, but then thats why i worship the ground her fucking pricey shoes walk on. goodbye.

Comment by andy@cynic

jade, maybe they’re going fot that whole ‘land of milk and honey’ thang, [which no-one who has english as a second language would ever get!-idiots].
having said that, there were so many bad slogans in dubai that it’s been quite nice to not see any slogans for a couple of days. and age, you’ll be pleased to know that nike still manages to use ‘just do it’ in sharjah (a conservative muslim state), which is quite odd really and slightly out of it i think.

however, i much prefer a clever, witty slogan (empasis on the clever and witty bit) than some wanky single word that supposedly encompases the company’s ethos, but just manages to sound like they’ve only recently managed to learn how to use a dictionary – see andy’s comment. kudos andy.

and while you’re resurrection the good times, rob, any chance on some decent new jingles? i’m marvelling at the genius of “there is nothing like a crown, for picking it up and putting it down” for crown forklifts – still in use 20 years after it first came out!

Comment by lauren

hello rude lauren, you ok? you may be wondering why i am being nice to you, well its because your last post has probably just fucked rob off given he sold sony a global repositioning around one word, ‘feel’. well done lauren, put the boot in harder next time, itll be more fun to watch (yes rob, i know the idea is not the word, the word embodies the idea. hey i like the fucking thing, i just couldnt let an opp like that pass me by. where are you anyway, more fucking hols?)

Comment by andy@cynic

oh shit. sorry bout that rob…. so i guess i’m off the DD list now. well, it was nice knowing you all… 🙂

Comment by lauren

Its not just about rhyme, its about alliteration.

One of my favourites is the old country life one:

“Country Life, you’ll never put a better bit of butter on your knife.”

I think they sometimes get seen as a hard sell message rather than just part of the copy.

I think they are coming back, the two big UK ads of recent years had them (Honda – The Power of Dreams, Sony – Like.No.Other)

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Hang on.
You took that whilst driving?!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I really like the old Continental Airlines slogan “The folks who fly the planes own the airline” and Audi’s “Vorsprung durch Technik” (maybe because it’s a brilliant thing to use a German sentence as an international slogan. says a lot about it’s heritage and stuff). And the old Avis thing “When you’re number two you have to try harder” and the one Fallon did for Skoda (Skoda. No really, Skoda).

Comment by Seb

I love Vorsprung Durch Technik because it started in the 80s, and there was still some anti-german feeling left over in UK society from the 40s.

It was brave in that respect, and Audi deserve credit for going with it.

One I loved from the 70s for Murphy was about their smart tvs, it went:

“Smart people dont watch tv, this is what they dont watch it on”

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Ariston.
And on.
And on.
Ariston.
And on.
And on.

Comment by NP

Hurrah!
I love that slogan.

Even though it virtually disappeared for about 10 years, I remembered the Ariston brand solely from that ad.

Hello Tosh, Gotta Toshiba?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

The car in front is a Toyota.

Nice one as well. By the way research about slogans in Germany say that by now the number of claims using the words “we” and “love” have doubled. And I am really pissed off by all those “I’m lovin’ it”, “We love to entertain you” and stuff. They mean nothing.

The most popular claim over the last years in Germany was “Geiz ist geil” (stinginess is wicked) which is used by Saturn.

Comment by Seb

I hate “I’m Loving It”.
Its like businesses who have mission statements like “We strive to provide quality”. Yeah? So what? Do your customers expect you to provide shit?

Good slogans encoumpass both the brand and the communication. Adidas’ “Impossible is Nothing” is a good modern example.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I absolutely fucking hated “the car in front is a Toyota” Seb. I like you. Hate that slogan.

[really in a rubbish mood. sorry everyone.]

But I loved “Tetley makes teabags – makes tea”.

Oh and “it’s a bit of an animal” is probably the best way to describe a sausage.

Comment by Marcus

“Skegness is shit (Brought to you by the Mablethorpe tourist authority)” If Viz stopped doing comics & started doing ads, they’d make Crispins look like a bunch of sad amateurs (sorry Pete & Colin 🙂

Comment by Billy Whizz

How fucking close are you to that Range Rover? You can tell you are half Iti, drive like Stevie Wonder

Comment by Billy Whizz

I recall Viz doing a small comic which was something like:

In your overdraft?
Need help?
Need a loan?
Then Fuck Off.

Shatwest Bank.

So accurate…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Sorry, Rob. I don’t like “Impossible is nothing”. It’s just another way to say “Just do it”. And by the way it’s Toyota’s slogan on German market. Okay, they say “Nothing in impossible”. That’s different. But adidas should have come up with something better. Something with more heritage. Something that is not so fucking close to Nike.

And Marcus…well, yeah.

Comment by Seb

While thinking about it…I HATE ADIDAS FOR USING THIS SLOGAN!
Goddamn sissies. Yeah, look it works with Nike and we’re in the same business so just let’s find another way to say this “Just do it”. Oh, look Toyota is using “Nothing is impossible”. Let’s just swap it and put “Impossible is nothing” on every fucking ad.
I really loved the +10 campaign but this…I really dislike it. From the core of my heart.

Comment by Seb

That Toyota campaign doesnt run here, so i’ve never seen it.

It is similar to Nike, but then again they are pretty much direct competitors; I think its different enough.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I totally agree with you, Rob, that it’s okay to use this and it’s slightly different to Nike. I just think that they could have done something better, couldn’t they?
But maybe this would be a nice task for APSotW: Develope a slogan for adidas. A slogan that is opposite to Nike.

Comment by Seb

Marcus, got to disagree. The car in front is a Toyota is probably up there in my top 3 ad agency lines ever.

I’ve met the account man who sold ‘hello tosh’. Said it was an easy sell, unsurprisingly.

I understand why it was dropped, but No FT, No Comment is one of my favourite lines as well.

Not a fan of ‘Impossible Is Nothing’, nor one word ‘lines’; have to be honest.

Comment by Will

Well this has caused far more debate than I thought – YAY!!!

I actually like the ADIDAS line even though – as people quite rightly said – it is basically the same as NIKE’s ‘Just Do It’ . To be fair though [and this is not because they pay some of our bills], this hasn’t meant people see ADIDAS as some NIKE clone, infact the brands have distinct personalities, so they’ve handled the situation pretty well.

I too am not a fan of one word ‘slogans’ [despite my FEEL for SONY] however it all comes down to whether the line is part of a core brand idea – a core brand idea developed with real consumer insight and brand truth – rather than some corporate ego bollocks which is appearing far too often for my liking.

As for the Toyota line … I get why they say it [and again, to be fair it was very effective when they were really taking on the US market] but to me, it just smacks of a brand that thinks it is cooler/better than it really is.

I appreciate car makers want to make their products seem exciting to potential/existing consumers [hence the outragous investment in motorsports etc] but if the actual product doesn’t live up to the claims [even if we are just talking interms of car design], it all seems to fall into a big pile of poo.

Personally I think VW’s “Reliability” was genius – it was a real idea, based on a real consumer need/insight, taking a nice viewpoint on what German engineering offers consumers without falling into the BMW/Mercedes trap.

If anything, this would have been a better area for Toyota but hey, how can I take the piss when they are the most powerful car manufacturer in the World – making FORD and GM look amateurs. Mind you, while no one would say ‘no’ to a free Toyota, I wonder how many people would actually ‘aspire’ to having one. To me, that’s the difference between a hugely successful company and a hugely successful brand – as demonstrated in my near constant argument with Coca-Cola for 2 years, ha!

I’m doing APSOTW [or whatever the thing is actually called] and while it won’t be developing a new line for ADIDAS [sorry Seb] I do think that is a good assignment for a later day.

Comment by Rob

I’ve just thought of a line that has been giving me the shits recently…

BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” has been getting a new creative angle in Oz as “Masterpiece” which is wanky enough, but whatever.

What really gets me is their ads which are straight offensive. There is one running here that asks… “What if you saw a new painting by Picasso? What if you heard a new symphony from Mozart? What if you drove the new BMW?”

OMG… PUUHLLLEAAAASE!

I wouldn’t mind a drive (Beemas are quite nice), but this stupid ad makes me want to buy one just so I can use it to run someone in their brand department over.

Comment by Age

Hate!

Comment by Age

Thanks Billy for the business advice, I’ll get Alex to buy Viz immediately. Age, I couldn’t agree with you more, that BMW ad is awfully patronising. Personally it would stop me wanting one of those cars forever but I understand there’s a lot of you Aussies that still think it’s the 80’s. Nice anger by the way, Rob would be proud.

Comment by Colin

You better hope Viz don’t become an agency Billy, or you won’t be able to rip them off in your ads anymore.

Comment by Pete

The car in front is a Taxi – Toyota.

Comment by Marcus

Sorry Rob, but I think Adidas is a really sad brand now. Their TV commercials all look like rejected Nike boards. And as for their success, any category where there are only two big brands it’s not really difficult to have some traction, as there’s always people buying the second brand because they don’t want to buy the leader, as opposed to be being desired, as you so rightly defined a great brand.
And apart from all this, the campaign has actually coincided with a slide in marketshare for the brand, in 2000 Adidas had 19.5% of the US market, and in 2006 after the Reebok buyout, their combined share is only 21%
While this whole post was about slogans, I think that if Adidas had a slogan that said something about their heritage it would have possibly made a far more significant impact instead of spulrging money on special effects in TV ads.
I don’t think ‘Impossible is Nothing’ is born out of a core brand idea or any strong consumer insight, which you have rightly described as being the basic ingredients for a memorable and engaging slogan.

Comment by Hari

The problem I have with Adidas is that it seems to be split into two parts, sports and fashion (originals brand).

The divide is so great that the brand comes across like two seperate companies with no clear defined message. The Originals stuff seems like an effort to cash in on the whole retro rage at the moment, whilst the sports range acts like it’s constantly in Nike’s shadow – lacking any innovation or inspiration.

I don’t know what Adidas stand for becuase it’s all mixed messages, meaning I don’t understand them, which means their communication fails, which results in me not being inspired to wear their products. When I run in my Nike Drift shirt, THAT says something about me, something I’m proud to share.

Comment by Age

normally I would be prepared to get into a scrap of Adidas. But I’m ill and grumpy and tired. Needless to say I don’t own a single Nike product and there are three strips on the shoes I’m wearing.

Comment by Marcus

Poor Hari … I come in after a hell 2 days and he casually tells me what he has written about ADIDAS.

Now while he is entitled to his opinion, I don’t agree with what he is saying [people only buy ADIDAS as a statement against NIKE] and his figures – while true in America – are not representative of Europe, so I have asked him to get me undeniable evidence to prove his point to which I will then present it to ADIDAS at our next meeting with them.

That’ll teach him, hahaha.

[I should point out my loyalty towards the 3 stripes is not because of them paying some of our wages, but then I think everyone knows I’m not that sort of person! Hope so anyway!]

Ironically, I do think ADIDAS were focused on being identical to NIKE in the 80’s … which led to the brand almost dying in some markets, but now they are a strong brand in generally great health and contrary to what some people on this site say, I believe ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ can come from the essence of their brand [even if it is like Just Do It and a few other things] and anyone who has worked or read about the heritage of the brand will know why.

See … Marcus HASN’T got the monopoly on grumpiness.

Comment by Rob

I BLOODY WELL DO.

Comment by Marcus

FUCK YOU AND EVERYONE LIKE YOU. [see!]

Comment by Rob

FUCK YOU TOO YOU…YOU…PLANNER! [aiming for some Andy support there]

Comment by Marcus

Good strategy – you’re more of a planner than you thought! Ha

Comment by Rob

good morning. ooh – nike vs adidas! i like it! way to go on getting everyone fired up again, rob! and the way you set hari to work.. sounds like you’re perfect for that little advertising school you’ll have going here. poor buggers.

no prizes for guessing which side i plonk myself down on, although when all is said and done, both of them ultimately make sportswear. not all that revolutionary (and don’t give me any w+k just do it revolutionary crap, i’ve heard it). even though i’ve got a nike rant waiting in the wings, i do think adidas’ ‘impossible is nothing’ is a waste of time and has only been successfully in repositioning themselves as opposition to nike, rather than a brand with anything to say.
but i am glad adidas originals are still riding the retro thang right ‘cos it means we can all still get some decently designed clothes, rather than stuff used as a vehicle for a logo. am i all over the place? maybe. i haven’t had breakfast yet.

marcus – fuck you.
[not that i really mean it, but thought it might give you something to knaw on for a while.]

Comment by lauren

im just going to sit back and watch you two tarts throw handbags at eachother. please note the time rob, i am the most cost effective man in the company so fuck you, george, ian and fen. 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

FUCK YOU ALL.

Comment by Marcus

😉

Comment by Marcus

Being awake doesn’t count as working – and besides, you probably are only up for a piss!

Love you though … haha!

Comment by Rob

Hello and welcome to Rob Campbell’s blog. If you are new here, and expecting to find an online school of planning – you’ve found it. Don’t be afraid, come in, sit down make yourself at home. Cup of coffee? Why not. That’s right.

NOW FUCK OFF!

Comment by Marcus

I do agree that Adidas appears to be split into two seperate brands.

And Marcus, the only grumpy one? Doubtful!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’m not grumpy any more. I’m livid.

Comment by Marcus

i fucking wish you werent right about me only being up cause i need a piss.
you are a bloody witch you are campbell.

Comment by and@cynic

burn the witch. burn the witch.

Comment by Marcus

Achtung! Achtung! Marcus Mad! Marcus Mad!

😉

Comment by Rob Mortimer

both, adidas and NIKE, have areas where one of them is best in. as age said I would run some miles with my NIKE+ thing (if I had one). because NIKE is all about beating your lazy inner bloke and do stuff you probably never thought you could. wouldn’t choose adidas here (maybe because all their running stuff looks crap).
but I love the adidas originals stuff. my micropacers, my SL72, my forest hills. and that’s where adidas I think is better. when it comes to streetwear they are way in front of NIKE. okay, NIKE as the dunk and the blazer but what else? not so much.

and maybe that proofs the point that they should focus on their heritage. and maybe should tell their designers to not only think about the originals collection.

and now, FUCK OFF.

Comment by Seb

It’s normally about now that Campbell comes in and tells me to calm down.

Comment by Marcus

Rob’s mum must be so ashamed of you right now Marcus…

I agree there Seb. I think they are both better in different areas; and the impossible is nothing works well to give Adidas a position in their weaker area. However they should have something different for their area of strength.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I think Rob’s mum is ALWAYS ashamed of me.

Comment by Marcus

marcus dear, why don’t you take a break – have a cry, cup of tea and a cold shower. in that order.

Comment by lauren

Marcus … calm down and you can only swear if you put a 🙂 after it. You know the rules – especially with my Mum watching/reading.

Everyone else … I would like to point out that the ADIDAS originals came out of a paper the quite wonderfully brilliant George wrote for them years ago entitled ‘Be True To Yourself’

Hence, even though some of us don’t agree on where the brand is at now, we can all agree George [and as a byproduct, cynic … despite not even working for us when he wrote it] are brilliant.

Thank you.

Comment by Rob

What about a cold tea, a cup of shower water and then a cry? If that helps??

Comment by Rob Mortimer

fuck 🙂 bugger 😉 shitty 🙂 wank 😉 bottoms 🙂

Better?

Comment by Marcus

Is it bad that those consecutive swear words make one horrible sentence?… ew

Comment by Rob Mortimer

okay. because you are absofuckingutely the fucking greatest inventor of the goddamn brilliant originals stuff, George, I can say that I deeply love you. honest. just in a way a naked man on the toilette loves to be shot for a crappy thai-porn-magazine. honest.
brilliant work. love that originals.

and by the way: 😀 😉 😯 😳 🙂 (hope that’s enough of them, Rob’s mum.)

Comment by Seb

I’ve said some pretty wierd shit 😉 on this blog before Seb, but that fucking 🙂 well tops everything. You are a very sick young man.

Anybody got a slogan?

Comment by Marcus

Sprite – Obey Your Thirst

Dr Pepper – Whats the Worst That Could Happen

Loreal – Because We Only Know How to Make One Ad Ever..no wait…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Well done Marcus, much … much better.

Seb … as I can’t let George get a big head [it would upset Andy too much] … let me clarify.

George did not INVENT the ‘originals’, he simply indicated it would be a natural area for them to innovate [if that’s not an oxymoron] if they were to use his strategy of being true to themselves and not being a European NIKE.

Finally, the man on the shitbox is in a mag in Singapore, not Thailand. In all honesty, you can see far worse walking down the street in Bangkok so I wouldn’t of brought it to anyones attention.

Comment by Robert

Much better Marcus. Thank you.

And to stop George getting a big head [and upset Andy] can I point out that he did NOT invent the originals, he simply indicated to ADIDAS that it would be a great thing for them to do – especially if they were to follow his strategy of getting back to what they were all about rather than continue trying to be a European NIKE.

Finally, the ‘nude man on the shitter’ photo was from a mag in SINGAPORE, not Thailand. Hell, you can see far worse than that just walking down the street of Bangkok so there’s no way I would of brought it to your attention otherwise.

Comment by Robert

Much better Marcus. Thank you.

And to stop George getting a big head [and upset Andy] can I point out that he did NOT invent the originals, he simply indicated to ADIDAS that it would be a great thing for them to do – especially if they were to follow his strategy of getting back to what they were all about rather than continue trying to be a European NIKE.

Finally, the ‘nude man on the shitter’ photo was from a mag in SINGAPORE, not Thailand. Hell, you can see far worse than that just walking down the street of Bangkok so there’s no way I would of brought it to your attention otherwise.

Comment by Rob

oh Marcus, you know I hate fucking shitfaced-wanking-emoticons. and I am really enjoying to just fucking swear around a lot to use this bloody assfaced and dickheaded little things.
🙂 😮 😀 😯 😛 😉 😆 😳 🙄 :mrgreen:

and I take back all the adorable things I said about George. though he might has been the Moses who took adidas through the desert to make them invent originals, make them successful again, made them think they could use a new NIKE-ish slogan…well, fuck them 😈 .

oh, just one again: shit…oops…:|

Comment by Seb

Alright Seb … alright … calm down, calm down, ha!

Comment by Rob.

This blog, driven by the comments in this thread, keeps going from strength to strength.

Comment by Age

I love Adidas. The Gerd Muller retro trainers I own are the best ever.

It certainly needs a reposition, but as the group owns Taylor Made (golf brand), it is kicking arse there.

Seems to be a high churn on all of their products, which is a bit disappointing. Here’s hoping they produce more (sort of) luxury trainers et al.

Comment by Will

All day I dream about straplines ?

I”m bored…

Comment by charlesfrith

Just remembered!

Fring – It’s Fringing Free

http://www.fring.com/

Comment by charlesfrith




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