History's Best and Worst Advertising Slogans

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Remember when Verizon's slogan demanded very directly that you "Join In"? It wasn't that long ago, before that annoying guy started asking everyone under the sun if they could hear him now. How 'bout when McDonald's proclaimed, "We Love to See You Smile"? That was before some disembodied voice admitted, "I'm Lovin' it." "It," we were left to assume, referred to every product McDonald's offers the consuming public. The trick to coming up with a good slogan is, well—it's still kind of a mystery.

An article over at The Atlantic provides a list of some of history's best and worst slogans, along with the "science" behind why some of them last in perpetuity. Classics include—"Good to the last drop," which Maxwell House (probably apocryphally) attributes to an off-hand comment made by Theodore Roosevelt while sucking down some Joe at Andrew Jackson's house. "Breakfast of Champions" has been the driving force behind Wheaties since 1927, when Lou Gehrig's image graced its box covers. They also have some historically hysterical offerings ("Great national temperance beverage"—Coca Cola, 1906), and some preposterously forgettable ones from the recent past ("The way the world works"—FedEx, 1996-1998).

I think my favorite is "America's most misunderstood soft drink," which Dr. Pepper used in the 1960s. What are some of your favorite slogans? Do they stick in your head because they're persistently irritating or memorably amusing?

[Check out The Atlantic's Slogans Through History gallery.]

July 31, 2011 - 4:09pm
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