Monday, November 8, 2010


Slogans have become a big part of the advertising identity for companies, causes, and political stances.  Some are quite creative.  Some are stupid.  And some only tell half of the story.  Let me throw out some of the best slogans of all-time and see if they strike a chord of remembrance.

Not in any particular order....

"Don't Leave Home Without It". (American Express)

 Hey Mikey... He Likes It.  (Life Cereal) 

"Best Part of Waking Up is Folgers In Your Cup".  (Folgers Coffee)

"We Try Harder".  (Avis)

"Be All You Can Be".  (a goal embraced by Joe Batten of Des Moines, once a  top motivational speaker)

"Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux"  (Wow, don't remember that one, do you?  And that was effective?)

"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too"  (the first known slogan, arguably)

"I Like Ike"  (President Dwight  Eisenhower election theme)

and  of course Nike's big one.........."Just Do It".

"Just Do It" was a great message.....but it could have been  better.  It's like it only conveyed half  the message.  Why not, "Just Do It, Right".  Don't just do something, do it with passion....or thought or knowledge.  Perhaps the slogan was supposed to be a takeoff of doing what "feels good".  Regardless of the outcome, just do it?  Well, in my thinking it Could of, Should of, Would of have been better by adding, "Right".

Do you have a favorite slogan that you remember, now that I've stimulated your memory banks?   Mine is an old-timer.  It's one I used to see in the U.S. Post Offices for years and years.  It was effective both in words and picture and it said much more if you thought about it.  And it certainly was a challenge that struck a chord with the masses.  "I Want You".  Not only was the slogan effectively thought out....the image of Uncle Sam with his finger pointed in a direct line to the viewer was added delivery. 

" I Want You" is recognized as the most famous poster in the world.  Hands down, hands raised, any way possible, the most famous, ever.   The Uncle Sam character was designed in 1916 by James Montgomery Flagg as a patriotic theme.  The words were added later during World War II to help with enlistment of the troops. The challenge in the message was "to tell all of America to wake up and do their part for the war effort".  It hit home and the American people responded to the call.

Some slogans wither and die with time and change.  And it shouldn't have happened here.  I couldn't find any real definites why the Army quit using the "I Want You" promotion.  Some critics assert the message was full of propaganda and others offer the Army's desire to try another theme, "Be All You Can Be".  I liked that campaign too, but I'm not sure why you would ever stop the former for the latter.  Not only are enlistment candidates moved by the image, it also conjures up other themes in the brain.  Our troops face danger every day.  More than we can ever imagine.  When given time to think and reflect their thoughts often go to these:

"I want you to think about your Country.  I want you to remember the Sacrifices I've that are made for you.  I want you to think about how my day is going.  I want you to know what my family has given up.  I want you  to know how I long for home.  I want you to feel what I feel and know what I know.  I want to hug my wife and kids again. I want you to appreciate what I did for you.   I to CARE".  And I want you to care the right way.

Veterans Day is right around the corner.  Thursday to be exact.  November 11th.  Fourteen months ago it had very little significance to me.  Some, just not alot.  If I saw a video piece I might take the time to stop and think.....a radio report might catch my ear, but I didn't embrace the significance of the day.  Veterans Day.  Since September of last year I've had two sons join the military.  It's changed their lives.....and it's changed mine.

As I look interestingly at the "famous" poster I know the message has a different meaning to me today.  Different than the one I first saw in the post office, yet the one that is still challenging me.  "I Want You" is tops in my book as the best slogan.  Country, patriotism, God, family,'s all there to take with you.   And most importantly,  "don't leave home without it".           



1 comment:

  1. Who can forget the "Where's the beef?" from the old Wendy's commercials? Using an adorable little old lady to complain about her lack of *meat* in a competitors restaurant was brilliant. This slogan has gone on to be used metaphorically to represent a *lack of substance* and will continue to be used for many generations. We are the fortunate ones who will remember this adorable, feisty little grandma.