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

According to the 1913 Webster's Dictionary, a slogan (/ˈsloʊɡən/) derives from the Gaelic "sluagh-ghairm" (an army 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 catchcopy (キャッチコピー, kyatchi kopī) or catch phrase (キャッチフレーズ, kyatchi furēzu).


Most corporate advertisements are short, memorable phrases, often between 3 and 5 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

Beecham's Pills' "Beechams Pills: Worth a guinea a Box" from August 1859, is considered to be the world's first advertising slogan.[5]


Some slogans are created for long term corporate identity process, while others are interested for 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,[6] 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 to be adopted by the public and shared.[6] 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.[6]

If a slogan is adopted by the public, it can have a notable influence in everyday social interaction. Slogans can serve as connection points between community members as individuals share pithy taglines in conversation.[6] 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.[6]

Social control

Advertising slogans as a system of social control include devices similar to watchwords, catchwords, and mottoes.[note 1][7] The use of slogans may be examined insofar as the slogans elicit unconscious and unintentional responses.[7]

The ongoing argument

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

Further information: Marketing

A marketing slogan can play a part in the interplay between rival companies.[8] A functional slogan usually:[9][10][11][12][13]

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

See also


  1. ^ The slogan comes from the Scotch and originated in the clans wars for the objective of control.
  2. ^ Including all important information.
  3. ^ Or, an externally evident aspects.
  4. ^ See also: brand recognition
  5. ^ See also: Aspirational brand
  6. ^ 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". 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, 5th August 2019.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Trade Marking Of Canned Products". By Waldon Fawcett. Canning Age, Volume 1. National Trade Journals, Incorporated, 1920. p32
  9. ^ The Effectiveness of a Slogan in Advertising. Engineering and Contracting, Volume 29. Myron C. Clark Publishing Company, 1908. p315
  10. ^ "Trade-Marks, Trade Names, Slogans and Distinctive Package Designs." Making Advertising Pay. By Harold Francis Eldridge. p62+100.
  11. ^ Building Supply News, Volume 12. Cahners Publishing Company, 1922. p104
  12. ^ The Mind of the Buyer: A Psychology of Selling. By Harry Dexter Kitson. Macmillan, New York, 1921 OCLC 2483371
  13. ^ Effective extension circular letters: how to prepare and use them. By Henry Walter Gilbertson. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1941.
  14. ^ Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned From Google. By Aaron Goldman. McGraw Hill Professional, 2010, ISBN 978-0-07-174289-4
  15. ^ "Making Better Box, Not Cheaper Boxes" Ought to be Slogan of the Day — Much Valuable Data Available. Packages, Volume 22, December Issue, p. 21, 1919

Further reading

External articles