Top 10 Classic Slogans & What Makes Them Great

We offer our analysis of ten classic slogans and show how you can learn from them in developing your own, identifying three crucial qualities: concision, clarity, and memorability.

legendary slogans and taglines

The greatest slogans strike like lightning and stick like glue, instantly and indelibly engraving themselves into our brains.

The best ones are often the simplest, crystallizing an entire brand into a few soul-stirring words.

We analyzed 10 legendary slogans and taglines, then condensed their magic into a few simple tips to follow when choosing your own.

10. M&M’s – Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Jaunty cadence, nifty benefit, and luscious imagery.

9. De Beers – A Diamond is Forever


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Evokes everlasting love and priceless luxury.

8. Subway – Eat Fresh


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Simple, while calling out a clear differentiator: crisp veggies!

7. WalMart – Save Money. Live Better.


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Strikes your wallet and your heart.

6. KFC – Finger Lickin’ Good


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Sensual, vivid, and irresistibly mouth-watering.

5. Wendy’s – Where’s the Beef?


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Value-driven, hilarious, and unforgettable. Remember that tiny toothless lady peering into the bun?

4. BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Projects an air of authority, confidence, and control.

3. California Milk Processor Board – Got Milk?


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Drop-dead simple.

2. Apple – Think Different.


WHY IT’S GREAT:
Bold, bright, and daring, resonating with independent thinkers everywhere.

1. Nike – Just Do It.


WHY IT’S THE BEST:
Powerful and propellant.

Feeling inspired? If you’re launching a new business, brainstorming new taglines, or selecting among branding proposals, remember these three essential qualities of pitch-perfect slogans.

Succinct: Pith is power. Cut the flab and sharpen your point.

Clear: We love McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It”, but if you’re not Mickey D’s, the “it” needs to be clearer. Express your benefit and value unmistakably.

Memorable: Make sure it sticks. Alliteration, rhymes, and puns can help, but don’t overdo it—clever can sound cheesy, too.

Notice how most of these slogans harken back to the 20th century? Stay tuned for Part II in our tagline series, where we’ll explore the modern tagline and answer the killer question: is the tagline dead? 

Gregory Lewis

Gregory Lewis

A winsome wordsmith, Gregory M. Lewis loves nothing better than absorbing new information and crystallizing it into clear, captivating copy. Greg brings his incisive insight and easy-going approach to every project. In his free time, the Chicago native can be spotted at Nets games, art galleries, and local concerts in Brooklyn.

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