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Company slogans ‘should be short, simple & catchy’
There’s been a number of recent reports regarding big brands making significant changes to their marketing communications; the infamous shaggy sheepdog isn’t featured in Dulux’s latest TV ad and the owner of the Mr Kipling cake brand, Premier Foods, is considering dropping their ‘exceedingly good cakes’ slogan.

But before we can see the changes big brands are making let’s start with a quiz. Which brand use(d) these slogans?

• Because you’re worth it
• Vorsprung durch technik
• Finger-lickin’ good
• Just do it
• It does exactly what it says on the tin

In a recent article in the Telegraph journalist Harry Wallop cited a number of famous slogans including those above from L’Oreal and Audi and said such slogans are as quotable and recognisable as the opening lines of classic novels.

So what makes a good slogan?
According to Simon Horobin, an English Professor at the University of Oxford, businesses need to be concise when they are trying to come up with a tagline that fits their brand and the best company slogans are “short, simple and catchy.”

Moreover a strong tagline is often something that is hard to dispute. “Often they give the impression of stating truths universally acknowledged, which cannot be questioned: ‘The Real Thing’ or ‘It’s Good to Talk’,” being examples he quoted.

Rita Clifton from BrandCap also offered advice on the matter, suggesting that strong slogans need to be distinctive and specific to a company’s brand and category. Otherwise, she stated, a tagline can be bland and highly forgettable. “The best should not only be memorable, but introduce an interesting thought, which is why for British Airways ‘the world’s favourite airline’ was so clever,” she said.

Robert Opie, owner of the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, believes good slogans should be phrases that can easily be repeated in conversation. For example, he noted that back in the 1930s Player’s cigarettes were marketed with the tagline “Player’s Please.” This, he said, meant a smoker would repeat the catchphrase every time they bought the product.

Mr Opie also commented on Mr Kipling’s renowned slogan and said it fitted the brand perfectly when it was first introduced in 1967, as back then Mr Kipling was trying to bolster the view of its products as being “slightly upmarket.” However, Ms Clifton argued that due to the current popularity of home baking the brand has been “overtaken by the market.” Indeed, she said the idea of a sweet treat wrapped in cellophane and stuffed into a cardboard box no longer chimes with people’s idea of an “exceedingly good” cake.

Being bold enough to change a slogan or even a logo or an associated brand character is a must for those wanting to stay relevant and up-to-date in the marketplace. As today’s big brands know, dropping their Captain Birdseye, Dulux Dog or just changing a strapline about ‘exceedingly good’ cakes has to happen if the time is right.

We’re sure you got them – but just in case
Because you’re worth it – L’Oreal
Vorsprung durch technik – Audi
Finger-lickin’ good – KFC
Just do it – Nike
It does exactly what it says on the tin – Ronseal
The Real Thing – Coca Cola
It’s Good to Talk – BT
The world’s favourite airline – British Airways

Further Reading & References
Time to mourn Mr Kipling’s ‘exceedingly good’ slogan? The Telegraph.
The secret recipe to have Mr Kipling selling like hot cakes The Telegraph.
Birds Eye focuses on family life with £60m relaunch campaign Marketing Magazine.
Dulux launches “epic” campaign imagining a world in which colour is banned Marketing Week.