Advertising slogan

Advertising slogans are short phrases used in advertising campaigns to generate publicity and unify a company's marketing strategy.[1] The phrases may be used to attract attention to a distinctive product feature or reinforce a company's brand.[2]

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.[3] 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.[1] Slogans often unify diverse corporate advertising pieces across different mediums.[2] Slogans may be accompanied by logos, brand names, or musical jingles.[4]


Some slogans are created for specific limited-time campaigns; others are intended as long-term corporate slogans. Various slogans start out as the former and are, over time, converted into the latter as ideas take hold with the public. Some 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.[5]

Slogans that associate emotional responses or evoke recollections of past memories increase their likelihood to be adopted by the public and shared.[5] 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.[5]

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.[5] 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.[5]

Social control

Advertising slogans as a system of social control include devices similar to watchwords, catchwords, and mottoes.[note 1][6] The use of slogans may be examined insofar as the slogans elicit unconscious and unintentional responses.[6]

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

A marketing slogan can play a part in the interplay between rival companies.[7] A functional slogan usually:[8][9][10][11][12]

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. "Creating and Using Taglines as Marketing Tools". The Balance. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  2. 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. "The Art and Science of the Advertising Slogan". Archived from the original on 24 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
  4. Yalch, R. F (1991). "Memory in a jingle-jungle: music as a mnemonic device in communicating advertising slogans". Journal of Applied Psychology. 76: 268–275 via EBSCOhost.
  5. Mitchell, Vince (2007). "Social Uses of Advertising". International Journal of Advertising: 199–222 via EBSCOhost.
  6. "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.
  7. "Trade Marking Of Canned Products". By Waldon Fawcett. Canning Age, Volume 1. National Trade Journals, Incorporated, 1920. p32
  8. The Effectiveness of a Slogan in Advertising. Engineering and Contracting, Volume 29. Myron C. Clark Publishing Company, 1908. p315
  9. "Trade-Marks, Trade Names, Slogans and Distinctive Package Designs." Making Advertising Pay. By Harold Francis Eldridge. p62+100.
  10. Building Supply News, Volume 12. Cahners Publishing Company, 1922. p104
  11. The Mind of the Buyer: A Psychology of Selling. By Harry Dexter Kitson. Macmillan, New York, 1921 OCLC 2483371
  12. Effective extension circular letters: how to prepare and use them. By Henry Walter Gilbertson. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1941.
  13. Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned From Google. By Aaron Goldman. McGraw Hill Professional, 2010, ISBN 978-0-07-174289-4
  14. "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

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