Jump to content

Advertising slogan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Advertising slogans are short phrases used in advertising campaigns to generate publicity and unify a company's marketing strategy. The phrases may be used to attract attention to a distinctive product feature or reinforce a company's brand.

Etymology and nomenclature[edit]

According to the 1913 Webster's Dictionary, a slogan (/ˈsloʊɡən/) derives from the Scottish Gaelic "sluagh-ghairm", a battle cry. Its contemporary definition denotes a distinctive advertising motto or advertising phrase used by any entity to convey a purpose or ideal. This is also known as a catchphrase. Taglines, or tags, are American terms describing brief public communications to promote certain products and services. In the UK, they are called end lines or straplines.[1] In Japan, advertising slogans are called catch copy (キャッチコピー, kyatchi kopī) or catchphrase (キャッチフレーズ, kyatchi furēzu).


Most corporate advertisements are short, memorable phrases, often between three and five words.[2] Slogans adopt different tones to convey different meanings. For example, funny slogans can enliven conversation and increase memorability.[3] Slogans often unify diverse corporate advertising pieces across different mediums.[2] Slogans may be accompanied by logos, brand names, or musical jingles.[4]


"Beechams Pills: Worth a guinea a box" slogan from August 1859

In August 1859, Thomas Beecham, founder of the British firm Beechams, created a slogan for Beecham's Pills: "Beechams Pills: Worth a guinea a box", which is considered to be the world's first advertising slogan, helping the company become a global brand.[5] The phrase, which first appeared in a Beechams advertisement in the St Helens Intelligencer, was first said to be uttered by a satisfied lady purchaser from St Helens, Lancashire, the founder's home town.[6][7]


Some slogans are created for long term corporate identity processes, while others are interested in specific limited-time campaigns. However, since some ideas resonate with the public with persistence, many advertising slogans retain their influence even after general use is discontinued. If an advertising slogan enters into the public vernacular, word-of-mouth communication may increase consumer awareness of the product and extend an ad campaign's lifespan,[8] or cause a company to adopt it for long term advertising and identity.

Slogans that associate emotional responses or evoke recollections of memories increase their likelihood of being adopted by the public and shared.[8] Additionally, by linking a slogan to a commonplace discussion topic (e.g. stress, food, traffic), consumers will recall the slogan more often and associate the corporation with their personal experiences.[8]

If a slogan is adopted by the public, it can have a notable influence on everyday social interaction. Slogans can serve as connection points between community members as individuals share pithy taglines in conversation.[8] In contrast, if an individual is unaware of a popular slogan or tagline, they can be socially excluded from conversation and disengage from the discussion.[8]

Social control[edit]

Advertising slogans as a system of social control include devices similar to watchwords, catchwords, and mottoes.[9] The use of slogans may be examined insofar as the slogans elicit unconscious and unintentional responses.[9]

The ongoing argument[edit]

Quantifying the effects of an effective, or ineffective, ad campaign can prove challenging to scholars. Critics argue taglines are a self-gratifying, unnecessary form of corporate branding that is neither memorable nor pithy.[2] However, proponents argue if taglines enter everyday public discourse, the company's market influence could exponentially increase.[2]

Functional slogans[edit]

A marketing slogan can play a part in the interplay between rival companies.[10] A functional slogan usually:[11][12][13][14][15]

The business sloganeering process communicates the value of a product or service to customers, to sell the product or service. It is a business function for attracting customers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Including all important information.
  2. ^ Or, an externally evident aspect.
  3. ^ See also: Brand recognition.
  4. ^ See also: Aspirational brand.
  5. ^ Whether one likes it or not; especially if accompanied by mnemonic devices (such as jingles, ditties, pictures or film).


  1. ^ "The Art and Science of the Advertising Slogan". Adslogans.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
  2. ^ a b c d Dowling, Grahame R.; Kabanoff, Boris (1996-01-01). "Computer-aided content analysis: What do 240 advertising slogans have in common?". Marketing Letters. 7 (1): 63–75. doi:10.1007/BF00557312. ISSN 0923-0645.
  3. ^ "Creating and Using Taglines as Marketing Tools". The Balance. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  4. ^ Yalch, R. F (1991). "Memory in a jingle-jungle: music as a mnemonic device in communicating advertising slogans". Journal of Applied Psychology. 76 (2): 268–275. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.76.2.268.
  5. ^ "Anniversary of the first ad slogan". The Herald. 5 August 2019.
  6. ^ "When Beecham put St Helens on the map". St Helen's Star. Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  7. ^ Ratcliffe, Susan (2011). Oxford Treasury of Sayings and Quotations. Oxford University Press. p. 478.
  8. ^ a b c d e Mitchell, Vince (2007). "Social Uses of Advertising". International Journal of Advertising. 26 (2): 199–222. doi:10.1080/10803548.2007.11073007.
  9. ^ a b "Slogans As A Means Of Social Control". By Frederick E. Lumley. Papers and Proceedings of the American Sociological Society, Volume 16, 1921. p. 121–134.
  10. ^ "Trade Marking Of Canned Products". By Waldon Fawcett. Canning Age, Volume 1. National Trade Journals, Incorporated, 1920. p.32.
  11. ^ The Effectiveness of a Slogan in Advertising. Engineering and Contracting, Volume 29. Myron C. Clark Publishing Company, 1908. p.315.
  12. ^ "Trade-Marks, Trade Names, Slogans and Distinctive Package Designs." Making Advertising Pay. By Harold Francis Eldridge. p.62.
  13. ^ Building Supply News, Volume 12. Cahners Publishing Company, 1922. p.104.
  14. ^ The Mind of the Buyer: A Psychology of Selling. By Harry Dexter Kitson. Macmillan, New York, 1921, OCLC 2483371.
  15. ^ Effective extension circular letters: how to prepare and use them. By Henry Walter Gilbertson. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1941.
  16. ^ Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned From Google. By Aaron Goldman. McGraw Hill Professional, 2010, ISBN 978-0-07-174289-4.
  17. ^ "Making Better Box, Not Cheaper Boxes" Ought to be Slogan of the Day — Much Valuable Data Available. Packages, Volume 22, December Issue, 1919, p.21.

Further reading[edit]

External articles[edit]