Magazine article Management Today

Classic Forget-Me-Nots

Magazine article Management Today

Classic Forget-Me-Nots

Article excerpt

A good slogan can inspire you to buy one product rather than another, or prove extremely annoying.

Some things are never forgotten. Along with the words to the Lord's prayer and the lyrics to the odd Beatles or Oasis song, one of those things is the memorable slogan. The word 'slogan' was originally used to describe a bloodcurdling Scots battle cry and today, firms and their advertising agencies strive to ensure that their own war cries strike fear into their hearts of their corporate enemies - and spark instant recognition from their customers. The exact words might get a bit garbled but the essentials remain: the advertiser's name, coupled with a positive, preferably highly enthusiastic, feeling about the things they sell.

Anyone can recite advertising slogans. Lots and lots of them. Mention jingles and out they pour. It doesn't matter whether it's the 'Wonder of Woolies', 'Coca-Cola, the real thing' or 'Lipsmackinthirstquenchinacetastinmotivatingoodbuzzincooltalkinhighwalkinfastlivinevergivincoolfizzi n...Pepsi'.

Advertisers know that an effective slogan is remembered with no conscious effort. But for all its ability to lodge itself firmly in the head of a consumer, the term slogan itself is a little unfashionable at the moment. Advertising copywriters now prefer grownup terms like strap-line or end-line. This is because slogans are principally associated in their minds with the unappealing, hard-sell world of mass-market soap powders and other fast-moving consumer goods. Some, like Tim Delaney, the creative director of the advertising agency Leagas Delaney, and one of the industry's most respected copywriters, do not mourn its passing. '[It] is the quintessence of everything that's bad about advertising,' he says. 'I don't think advertising is about getting things into peoples' brains, that's an old-fashioned idea... It's a bit like showing a bum in a press ad. It'll make you stop and look, and think "oh yes it's a bum", but it doesn't have any impact.'

However, many others still see plenty of merit in a good slogan, so just what makes a good one? It isn't necessarily sales success, as advertising insiders readily admit that some of the most memorable ones (not those created by their agency, of course, dear me no) achieved little or nothing. Often there is a simple rhyme - 'Beanz Meanz Heinz' or 'Murray mints, too good to hurry mints'; often language has been deliberately misused - 'Drinka Pinta Milka day'. …

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