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10 surprising origins of popular brand slogans

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A SLOGAN, or a tagline, is most likely the best way to let consumers know what benefits they can get by choosing products and services. Here are ten of the most surprising origins of slogans of some of the world’s most popular brands:

10. “The Ultimate Driving Machine” – BMW

This slogan was created by a relatively unknown ad agency named Ammirati & Puris in the 1970s. When shopping for a car it is definitely hard to ignore a bold but fitting claim for a car that is “The Ultimate Driving Machine”.

9. “Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hand” – M&Ms

During the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, the son of the founder of Mars, Inc., Forrest Mars Sr. noticed that soldiers ate chocolate pellets encased in a hard candy shell. He decided to patent the idea for M&M chocolates. Believe it or not, M&M candies were sold exclusively to soldiers for 17 years! The slogan was created by Forrest Mars himself to show the distinguishing factor of his candy.

T8. “Impossible Is Nothing” – Adidas

The Adidas slogan came about in 1974, which was actually taken from a quote from one of the greatest boxers of all time, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Erich Stamminger, a former Adidas Senior Vice President, says the slogan stands for the brand’s aim is to help athletes “break new ground and surpass their limits”.

7. Snap! Crackle! Pop! – Kellogg’s Rice Krispies

With its simple delicious taste, it became a popular cereal not just in America, but in many countries as well. When it first entered the market, everyone noticed the distinctive noise the cereal made when milk was poured on it. The slogan first hit the front of the cereal boxes in the 1930s and is still the slogan used ever since.

6. “Have A Break, Have A Kit Kat” – Kit Kat

In the 1950’s, a British ad man by the name of with J. Walter Thompson developed this slogan, who combined the “breaking” sound with the company’s long-running “tea break” theme. It was first used in a television ad in 1958.

5. “We Try Harder”- Avis

No company wants to admit that they’re number two to a competitor. Well, not quite. Avis, the car rental agency, decided to embrace it and even used their underdog status in the industry with the tagline “We Try Harder”. After using this slogan in 1962, Avis went from losing $3.6 million to earning $1.2 million- the first time it earned in more than a decade, although it failed to dislodge Hertz, its fierce competitor, to the number one spot.

4. “Let Your Fingers Do The Walking”- Yellow Pages

To the over -40 crowd, the Yellow Pages were considered “the original search engine”, since it is there where we can find the contact numbers of various companies. The symbol of the “Walking fingers” and the slogan “Let your fingers do the walking” were popular during the 70s and the 80s. The “Walking fingers” symbol was created in 1962 by a New England artist named Henry Alexander. A few years later, Stephen Baker created the slogan “Let your fingers do the walking” for AT&T.

The symbol and the slogan though were not considered as trademarks so
they even allowed their competitors to use the symbol and the slogan.
It is no wonder that even the Philippine telecommunications giant PLDT
used the popular “Walking fingers” symbol and slogan.

3. “I’m Lovin’ It” -McDonald’s

Although McDonald’s is an American brand, the popular slogan “I’m Lovin It” is not. It was developed by the German agency Heye and Partner in 2003. It actually premiered in Munich as “Ich Liebe Es.” The tagline has appeared in 120 countries in more than 20 languages, though to varying effect (For example, in Azerbaijan, it is “Bax, Budur Sevdiyim”, which translates to “See, this is the love.” In the Philippines, as everybody knows, it’s Taglish, “Love ko ‘to”).

2.. “They Keep Going, And Going, And Going…”- Energizer Battery

It was actually Duracell, Energizer’s competitor, that came up with the idea of a battery-powered pink bunny as a mascot – in 1973. Duracell had an ad showing the bunny mascot outperforming its competitors, including Energizer. But when Duracell was reportedly too slow to renew its trademark, Energizer seized the opportunity and hired DDB Needham Worldwide to create a rabbit of its own. Debuting in October 1989 on TV, Energizer created this slogan and showed their own bunny mascot outperforming all other batteries, subtly referring to its competitor, Duracell. The slogan and the iconic pink bunny became so popular that two Filipino athletes, future Hall-of-Famer Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of all time, was nicknamed the “Energizer Bunny” during his prime, and so is current Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Alaska Aces player Calvin Abueva.

1. “Just Do It” – Nike

Undoubtedly one of the most popular brand slogans of all time, the slogan though was based on a rather grim origin. In 1977, Gary Gilmore, a serial killer, was about to be executed by a firing squad. Asked what are his last words, he simply said, “Let’s do it”. Around eleven years later, Dan Wieden , co-founder of advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, was tapped to create a tagline for Nike, he remembered Gilmore’s last words, but instead of using “Let’s do it”, he modified it to “Just do it”.

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