Ad Slogans

A great ad slogan reveals the disproportionate power of a few carefully chosen and arranged words. It can send a product soaring, save a business, launch a career. A great slogan must, first, be memorable. It has to go in one ear and stay there, forcing consumers to recall the brand name again and again. It has to differentiate you from the other guy. It has to be strategic and promise something the others don’t. And it must be enduring. “Come to Marlboro Country” ran for decades, and “We bring good things to life” was GE’s calling card for 24 years. I go for slogans that trigger the emotions rather than challenge the intellect. For me, softer works harder. And I’m a sucker for sly wit. Oh yes, keep it simple. The best slogans do.

PHIL DUSENBERRY, former chairman of BBDO North America was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2004. He is the author of the practical memoir One Great Insight Is Worth a Thousand Good Ideas (Portfolio, 2005) and, with Roger Towne, wrote the screenplay for The Natural.