Top 10 Advertising Slogans of the Century


1. Diamonds are forever (DeBeers)
2. Just do it (Nike)
3. The pause that refreshes (Coca-Cola)
4. Tastes great, less filling (Miller Lite)
5. We try harder (Avis)
6. Good to the last drop (Maxwell House)
7. Breakfast of champions (Wheaties)
8. Does she … or doesn’t she? (Clairol)
9. When it rains it pours (Morton Salt)
10. Where’s the beef? (Wendy’s)

Honorable Mention
Look Ma, no cavities! (Crest toothpaste)
Let your fingers do the walking (Yellow Pages)
Loose lips sink ships (public service)
M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand (M&M candies)
We bring good things to life (General Electric)

Have a favorite?



The Sixties: Popular Slogans and Characters


Last week I began a two-part series on the Sixties. The initial post was about how the decade was considered a creative revolution.

This final post highlights some of the popular slogans and characters. Are you old enough to remember any of them, or have you studied them in school or advertising awards books?

Popular 1960s slogans:

Isn’t that Racquel Welch behind those Foster Grants? (Foster Grant sunglasses)
Drive it like you hate it (Volvo)
Put a Tiger in your tank (Esso gasoline)
Everybody needs milk (Milk Foundation)
The closer you shave, the more you need Noxema (Noxema shave cream)
I can’t believe I ate the whole thing (Alka-Seltzer)
If you spent 40 days in the sun, you’d be plump and rosy, too (Hunts Catsup)

Popular 1960s characters:

The Pillsbury Doughboy – Arrived in 1966 in a series of ads for ready-to-bake dough.
Hawaiian Punch – An aggressive character who punched an unsuspecting tourist and helped punch up sales by 30 percent in 1964.
Maytag Repairman – This lonely repairman was introduced in 1967 and is still being used in Maytag ads more than 40 years later.
Charlie the Tuna – The beret-wearing tuna became Star-Kist’s advertising cartoon character in 1961.

These slogans and characters worked because they were memorable (and often plain silly) and repeated ad nauseam to a captive mass media audience.

The Sixties: A Creative Revolution



Society was rapidly changing in the sixties, and so was advertising and marketing, a period called “The Creative Revolution” by the American Advertising Museum. Along with my ad agency colleagues, I visited the museum located in Portland, Ore., several years ago.

“The memorable ads of the era mastered the language of television, rewrote the rules for print, and brought photography onto the main stage,” reads a museum handout. “They dramatized the product with wit, humor and understatement.”

Bill Bernbach, David Ogilvy and Leo Burnett were three of the guiding creative forces of the revolution. Bernbach produced one of history’s most famous campaigns, featuring the Volkswagen Beetle. Ogilvy’s rise was tied to Rolls-Royce, Hathaway shirts and Schweppes. And Burnett was the creative mastermind behind the Marlboro Man and Jolly Green Giant (Ho! Ho! Ho!).

In the midst of our digital infotainment revolution, do wit, humor and understatement still have a place in advertising and marketing?

I’d say yes to wit and humor, depending on the product or service, but understatement is probably far too subtle for most people’s overloaded senses.