Graeme Newell

How to Write a Slogan: Best Practices of the Best Slogans

Have slogans become uncool?  Some see slogans as a throwback to the Mad Men era of clever pun marketing. Use of slogans is declining as the branding movement has slowly diminished the importance of traditional advertising.

In this three-minute emotional marketing lesson video, emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell shows how to build a slogan that does double duty. Learn how to combine the memorability of a slogan with the passion of great branding.

Transcription text of the 3-Minute Emotional Marketing Lesson Video “How to Write a Slogan” by Graeme Newell, emotional marketing researcher, customer loyalty researcher, and consultant at 602 Communications.

 

What makes a great slogan? Well the first question you should ask yourself is, do I even need a slogan?

40 years ago, the slogan was the backbone of the ad business. Advertising meant

What makes a great slogan? Well the first question you should ask yourself is, do I even need a slogan?

40 years ago, the slogan was the backbone of the ad business. Advertising meant just repeating a slogan over and over.

“What a wonderful sight, when your wash is done. The cleanest clean under the sun is Tide Clean, New Tide Clean”

This “sloganeering” was the foundation of most advertising.

“Nice hair. Head and shoulders, for people who don’t worry about dandruff, but ought to.”

This old clip from 70s comedy “Bewitched” shows how advertising was done back then.

“Picture this. Uh, a pretty model, wearing your reducilator, hovering over her head is the good fairy. And underneath, the slogan…Fly now, reduce alator. I like it. You know something, it just grabbed me!”

Marketing problems all solved!  Unfortunately, this old strategy is still in use today.

Companies think that simply repeating a clever slogan is the same thing as branding.

“Joy, with natural citrus extracts. Put a little Joy in your life!”

A slogan is not a brand. A brand is a feeling, and the slogan’s job is to encapsulate that feeling.  In this ad, Right Guard brands with the feeling of daring & adventure…

“Let’s see how new right guard extreme cool spray keeps you cool under the most extreme conditions. Cool spray keeps you cool and dry, no matter what’s going down! Yea, wooooo. Get extreme, get right guard”

“Get Extreme, get Right Guard” neatly wraps up the feeling of what their brand is all about.

Home Depot’s brand is the feeling of empowerment, and their slogan showcases that feeling too.

“Let’s take a vow. You can do it, we can help”

Now contrast those two good examples with this slogan for an eye care center.

“Horizon eye care, we share your vision”

So what exactly does that slogan mean?  It’s just a pun that has nothing to do with the feeling of their brand. So remember, it’s okay to have a slogan, but make sure that slogan isn’t just a branding cop-out. Great slogans will showcase a deep emotional connection with your customers.  I’m Graeme Newell and that’s emotional marketing.

 

How to Write a Slogan

The question of “How to Write a Slogan” is one that should be on just about any marketer’s mind. The best slogans can generate incredible amounts of brand equity for any company, and finding the best slogan to fit what you offer is a core concern for any marketing department.

When considering how to write a slogan for any particular product, it is important that one first ask if a slogan is even necessary. While it may be true that 40 years ago the slogan was the backbone of any good marketing plan, it simply isn’t the case anymore.

But in the case that a slogan is the way to go, it’s important that it is approached in the right way. Many companies think the best slogans are the ones that are yelled the loudest and most often. So instead of worrying about how to write a slogan, it’s common that advertisers will just seek to put the slogan in as many times as possible in a short window. Instead, it’s better to craft a slogan that truly fits the character and feeling of the brand itself.

The best slogans are the ones that truly accurately and succinctly reflect what the brand is actually about. That means that the best slogan for any particular product may have nothing to do with the product itself.

It’s important when considering how to write a slogan that the distinction between a brand and a slogan is. A brand is a feeling that customers feel about your product, and the best slogans encapsulate that feeling.

To take an example from the people that really know how to write a slogan, look no farther than Nike and “Just Do It.” Those three words have quite literally nothing to do with running shoes, but have everything to do with what Nike stands for. Nike is all about perseverance and toughing it out, and they just happen to sell shoes.

The best slogans are always succinct. If you can’t sum up your brand in a few words, then you are complicating your brand unnecessarily.

This is not to say, however, that just because a slogan is short and snappy that it will be a good one. When considering how to write a slogan, it’s important to remember that the best slogans are always very much on message with the brand. A slogan that is snappy and attractive to the ear, but has no substance, is a failure.

Think of a slogan as a way to supplement your brand. A slogan can never be used as an alternative or replacement to good branding. If you want to know how to write a slogan, look inward. Find out what your brand is truly about. What are the hopes, the dreams, and the aspirations that your customers have? The best slogans are ones that showcase a deep emotional connection with your customers.

If you can boil your branding message down to a short, snappy catch-phrase, then you will have a great slogan.

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