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JUST DO IT! (I did. It worked.)
Norbert J. Hobrath
Slogans. Catchphrases. Themes. Advertising jingles. Whatever you call them, they just snare your attention. Everyone can name dozens off the top of their head without even blinking. Do they work? Let’s see. I’m going to throw in my thoughts on slogans and when to use them. When I think back to my marketing classes in college, the professors drooled over topics like this.
JUST DO IT! (I did. It worked.)
Let start with Nike and its trademarked slogan, ‘Just do it.’ Was there ever a slogan that epitomized the fire of a company better than this? That made Nike-branded shoes, apparel and equipment seem like the ones you wanted to wear and perform with as you chased your athletic and life goals? But has this slogan been a winner?
Research says yes. The slogan was the brainchild of Dan Wieden who said it during a meeting from his advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. At the time, the ‘Just Do It’ campaign allowed Nike to increase its share of the domestic sport-shoe business from 18% to 43%. And that was just the start. The campaign went viral and appeared alongside Nike’s famous Swoosh logo. I guess it did not hurt either that Nike enlisted leading athletes in numerous print and TV ads, outdoor billboards, and social media to further pump the slogan. Hey, it takes money to make LOTS more money and the slogan was a hit. Customers thought that by associating with Nike and its products, they could achieve greatness.
Today, you see slogan branding all over in consumer products, but also in the business-to-business sector. Look at this ATHLETA fitness-wear catalog cover. Guess what? There’s a slogan there too on the cover. 'Power to the She.' Another good one.
Here are some other good ones….
McDonalds – 'I’m loving it.' During my travels throughout the world, I’ve seen this international slogan translated in many languages, mostly recently in Chinese at a restaurant in Shanghai, China (我就喜歡), then in Hamburg, Germany (ich liebe es), and then in Paris, France (c’est tout ce sue j’aime).
Apple – 'Think Different'
Subway – 'Eat Fresh'
Intel – 'Intel Inside'
Kellogg’s Frosties – 'They’re Great'
Coke – 'It’s the Real Thing'
KFC – 'Finger lickin’ good'
Burger King – 'Have it Your Way'
Energizer Batteries – 'It keeps going, and going, and going…'
Wheaties – 'The Breakfast of Champions'
United – 'Fly the Friendly Skies'
How about Your Company?
Consider a few things when developing a slogan.
1) Will it be an overarching theme for your whole company? Would you want to use it on everything you do? Websites, social media, literature, advertising, business cards, trade shows, etc.?
2) Does it encompass who you are? Your company philosophy? Your mission?
3) Do you want a slogan only for a particular brand or product line in your offering to bolster what the product does? Or maybe for just a particular advertising program? Remember Wendy’s 'Where’s the beef' slogan? This was just an ad slogan that took off to encompass the whole brand.
4) How long do you plan to use the slogan?
5) How will you tie the slogan into your logo and other identity?
You can see there are many considerations in introducing a new slogan. Over the years, I have developed many slogans and themes. It has always been a fun process working through various options, getting feedback and input from multiple sources, and then bringing the eventual winner to the market.
I would be happy to talk to you on how a slogan or theme can help your company. Send me an email and we'll talk.
Norbert Hobrath believes in the power of content marketing, both in words and images, and the powerful combination of these two. For more than 30 years, he has developed interesting, informative and influential strategy and content for both industrial and service-based B2B clientele. He has also directed marketing and communications programs as Director of Marketing Communications for a worldwide manufacturing company, and as Communications Manager for the Fortune 500 American Greetings Corporation, and for a BASF chemicals company. He enjoys promoting corporate and product brands through effective storytelling. He is President & Chief Content Officer of Hobrath Group, LLC in Cleveland, Ohio. www.hobrath.com