Best Slogans

The 100 Best Slogans in The World—and Why They’re so Damn Good

Less is more. Brevity is the soul of wit. Keep it simple, stupid.

Three great (sloganized) rules to live by for the crafters of great slogans. They form the bedrock of selling, communicating and changing minds, en mass. Succinctness in advertising is the very definition of great advertising.

Sloganeering ain’t easy work

It’s bottled lightning. It contains elements of magic, luck, kismet. It can be a slog, and a process to nail a winning slogan – taking days, weeks, months of effort. You’re boiling down a sophisticated, often ungraspable emotional thought into two or three words. Or, very rarely, you’ll get lucky and it hits you in the shower or you overhear it in a pub or read it in a book, and it stops you dead.

The rarity of a world-dominating slogan is why we in the industry carry immense admiration for the writers and brands that have nailed theirs. These are the smart and fortunate bastards who’ve managed to puzzle-piece a value proposition together with a market sentiment in hardly more than the blink of an eye, like the interlocked yin and yang symbols.

So, what brings you to slogan land?

You’re likely reading this because you’re either shopping for or trying to crack a slogan for your own organization. You’ve come to the right place: We’re going get to my compilation of 100 of the best slogans and tags from the last 100 years or so. But first…

Do you know what a slogan really is?

What separates it from a tagline? And why some enter the lexicon and never leave it, while others arrive and depart with but a puff of fairy dust?

Here’s how I look at the slogan

I’ve seen it put like this: “A slogan is a catchphrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company.” That’s descriptive, but doesn’t exactly induce goosebumps. Digging further into the notion, we know that businesses use slogans for the same purpose they use logos: Communicating a unique selling proposition.

It’s the visual and the readable working in tandem to create a larger than the sum of its parts effect. To recycle an earlier metaphor, the two function as a yin-yang device to seize an audience’s attention, plant a tiny seed of a notion more powerfully than a brand name or product name can. Done right, they enter the popular imagination.

Just do it. Got milk (or any other noun that comes to mind)? Because you’re worth it… these are everyday things people say to each other now – because of advertising.

The slogan writer’s mission is to ensure that if people remember nothing else about an ad, a glance at product on a store shelf or a sighting in the wild, they’ll clock the slogan and not forget it.

What makes a slogan great?

It’s got to be memorable, recognizable, should take only a second or two to ingest (with some exceptions).

It conveys a benefit or an attitude. “Just do it”, perhaps the most famous of them all, arrived on the scene in the early 1990s when female athletes were all in the news, when obesity was becoming a scourge, when new research was proving the many benefits of exercise beyond the physical, and when psychobabble was peaking.

“Just do it” cut to the bone

It was an unprecedentedly pushy, brash, even impolite way for a corporation to speak to prospective customers. And it was shockingly minimalist, simple, witty and packed such mammoth quantities of truth, scolding and encouragement that it became advertising’s Spanish flu.

Now that’s how you differentiate a brand.

So what’s the difference between a slogan and a tagline?

Honestly, both “slogan” and “tagline” are correctly and incorrectly used to mean the same thing. But from the copywriter’s and advertiser’s standpoints, they serve two different purposes. The slogan we’ve covered above. Whereas a tagline (and this is my own definition) is:

A text fragment that triggers an image of a brand in the mind. It lets people create easy mental links to a business: “If I read ‘Think Different’, I think Apple.”

Taglines are commonly found bestride a company’s logo on ads, and are oriented more toward brand awareness and selling than slogans. Slogans carry a brand’s raison d’être. As the company makes its way through time and morphs accordingly, its slogan can be used as a company mission encapsulation device.

Starting perhaps with Federal Express’s “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”, up to the more recent “Shave time. Shave money.”, and right to Squatty Potty’s “Your Morning ritual. Redefined.”, tags and slogans have become more risqué, fun and goofy as media and strategies evolve. Which has had the effect of making them more memorable and relatable.

On with the show…

For the sake of not nitpicking, I have mixed both tags and slogans in my Top 100 Slogans of All Time list, because they are often interchangeable. I have also used a few ad headlines that later became slogans because of their power.

Why these top 100 slogans?

Subjectively speaking, I proclaim these to be the kings of funny, short, memorable and meaningful.

I did not include any slogans or tags I’ve thought up. None are (yet) this famous. I did pull a fast one on you, though.

My Top 10 Favourite Slogans & Taglines

I will now discuss my Top 10 Slogans/Tags of all time, why I like them, what makes them so good, why they work and what effects they had.

1. Forbes: Capitalist tool.

Why I like it

In case you missed its print-era glory years, Forbes was and still is, if to a lesser extent, a business magazine of high influence most famously run by Malcolm Forbes, a son of the founder. As a shamelessly pro-capitalist offering in service to the goal of wealth-seeking, Mr Forbes gleefully adopted the anti-West slur made famous by Karl Marx as his magazine’s corporate slogan.

This was at a moment when US-Soviet Cold War animosity was at a peak, communism was showing itself to be a brutality-laden flop and the US was riding high. Forbes owned a private jet he called “The Capitalist Tool”. Important side note: I once stole a mini-umbrella with that line emblazoned on it from a Singaporean ad agency’s lobby. I thought it was a brilliant application of a slogan to a premium. It was subsequently stolen from me.

What makes it so good

It perfectly, impudently sums up the magazine, while savagely mocking the line’s progenitor, Karl Marx, and the USSR’s lousy political system for which he stood, along with its abject failure to deliver anything of value to its citizens and many client states. It’s also succinct, funny, memorable, original and as cocky as a newly-minted billionaire. Unimprovable.

Why it works

It sums up the magazine and everything it stands with humour and “Fuck You, Too” in perfect balance.

What effects it had

It helped Forbes come to dominate the Right-leaning business media, which, like it or not, was its goal.

2. Bic Lighters: Flick your (or my) Bic.

Why I like it

When Bic launched affordable disposable lighters, everyone still smoked – at home, at work, in hospitals, restaurants and bars – everywhere. People needed lighters, but lighters of the time were pricey, had to be refilled with fluid, flint and wicks frequently, and smokers were always losing them and thus stealing them from each other.

The Bic lighter launched in the early 1970s with a massive ad campaign in TV and print mainly. I recall seeing one early TV ad with a snooty Frenchman saying “Fleeck my Beek”. Though it may not have aged as well as the above slogan, it was unique. As high school students, we’d say it to each other when lighting up our various smokables at the north doors of Jarvis Collegiate in Toronto.

What makes it so good

It’s goofy, funny, vulgar-sounding yet not vulgar, and highly memorable for the time. Most advertisers were not so brave. And Bic being a French company then, played off the attendant cachet, but in a reverse kind of way.

Why it works

It sums up the offering: Cheap, reliable, portable, compact fire you can afford to use, lose and replace.

What effects it had

Though I’m no fan of things disposable and plastic, or a smoker today, the Bic lighter slogan sold, and continues to sell, billions of lighters and it entered the lexicon.

3. Winston: Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.

Why I like it

It was a slogan, a song, a rhyme, a controversy, and it made me want to smoke a Winston as a boy. It was also grammatically incorrect, which the ad agency of record, William Esty Co, used to brilliant effect – by making a phony drama out of it, then milking it for all the new lungs the marketplace could cough up. The slogan even worked its way into shows like The Flintstones and The Beverly Hillbillies.

The Chicago Daily News wrote that the grammatical transgression signified “a general decay in values.” Playing along for laughs, and profits, in 1970 Winston pretended to care and began to hit back at the grammarians with a new appendix to the slogan: “What do you want, good grammar or good taste?” They made a song for that, too. In 1999, Advertising Age placed the “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” jingle on its list of the 10 best radio and television jingles in the United States during the 20th century.

What makes it so good

Its wanton disrespect of grammatical orthodoxy. Its cultural adhesion, its disregard for the sacred “less is more” ethos. Plus, the fact that were it to launch today, barely anyone would notice the grammatical insolence.

Why it works

Unforgettability is always a winning component of a slogan, and this one has it in buckets. It has rhythm, a bit of funk, it’s flogging a vice, flaunting as many conventions as it can and doing it all in a fun way. It just sounds like a party you want into.

What effects it had

It shot the brand to the number two spot in the US, behind Pall Mall.

4. Conservative Party (UK): Labour isn’t working.

Why I like it

It was 1979. The Labour Party under PM James Callahan had been running the UK government, arguably quite poorly, since 1974. There were miners’ strikes, high taxes and high (for the postwar UK) unemployment rates. The Conservative Party, sensing an election would soon be called, hired ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi to come up with a campaign slogan to win it. Saatchi delivered. Resoundingly.

The main campaign poster showed a snaking lineup of people waiting under a sign reading “Unemployment Office” against a white background. Above the scene was the fat header bluntly declaring that “LABOUR ISN’T WORKING.” The subhead read “Britain’s better off with the Conservatives.”


What makes it so good

Bitter irony. British bleak humour at its best. Factuality and simplicity. You see the ad, it says it all and it implants the notion that it’s time for a change and these guys might be the ones to bring it.

Why it works

It not only worked, it worked as a headline, a slogan, a criticism and a clarion call to the nation. And it worked to help get Margaret Thatcher elected as Prime Minister.

What effects it had

What came after this campaign in many ways marked the end of the England of old. Whether or not you were a fan of how she pulled it off and what its effects were, Thatcher’s decisive reign oversaw the rise of Neoconservatism, of London’s financial sector, of property values nationally, and triggered the rebirth of the national economy after a long, painful stagnation that had dragged on since WWII.

5. MasterCard: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.

Why I like it

When the campaign carrying this line into the public consciousness launched, we had Amex admonishing us with “Don’t leave home without it”, Visa conceitedly claiming it was “The future of money” and MasterCard… well, it had skulked along in the backdrop as the shy cousin for years.

The “Priceless” campaign launched in 1997 with the cute dad and son at baseball game TV ad, and has charged on ever since with hundreds more. Watch a bunch of them here:

The campaign was funny, touching, original and set the company miles apart from competitors in the best possible way. It was huge enough to spawn some great spoof ads, including this brilliant, NSFW classic:

What makes it so good

It somehow breaks many of the classic slogan rules while adhering to enough of them: It’s long, but touts a powerful brand value. It’s very personal, but universal. It makes you say it in your head before the VO delivers it.

Why it works

It works equally well in funny or touching advertising contexts. It’s unforgettable. And it’s one of those campaigns that agency creatives can keep having fun with for decades. As they have.

What effects it had

Apart from making them a ton of dosh, “Priceless” positioned MasterCard as the more humane of the Big Card behemoths. The company has leveraged it into sponsorships of sports teams, cancer charities and smart experiential experiences for cardholders. The story continues.

6. Meow Mix: Tastes so good cats ask for it by name.

Why I like it

It had to be the goofiest pet-food ad ever when it launched the line in the 70s. I recall cracking up, then making my parents buy some for our two cats, Midnight and Charlie. They ate it up, too. The song made for a catchy jingle that my sister and I used to sing to each other, but with its lyrics re-improvised in a million different deeply absurdist ways. See the launch and 13 additional minutes of Meow Mix TV ads here:

What makes it so good

It was a marketing coup. No other cat food company could touch it. It sunk deeply into the culture, well beyond cat people.

Why it works

It’s almost as fun as having cats. It speaks to the love and cuteness surrounding cat ownership, and feeding time for felines.

What effects it had

It sold cargoshiploads of cat food and made Meow Mix into a category-owning brand.

7. Castlemaine XXXX beer: Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for anything else.

Why I like it

I’d never heard of the brand ‘til I went to Australia and hitchhiked the place for 6 months in the late ‘80s. One day I was stuck in a tiny town, essentially a junkyard with a pub in front, called Three Ways, in Aussie’s red hot centre. No one picked me up all day long. At cocktail hour I rocked into the pub and asked the barmaid for a six-pack of XXXX to go.

Seeing as the brand name works like a swear-word, and I was in the mood to do some drinkin’ and swearin’ at the unfriendlies who’d driven past me, some giving me the finger, I went and pitched my tent in the bush off the roadside and drank the whole sixer that night, sleeping restfully.

Years later, now a copywriter in Singapore, I would see the many award-winning ads for Castlemaine XXXX in ad agency award books and reels – many so deeply, yet hilariously, sexist it’s hard to believe they ever ran. This one’s a classic:

See the best of them here:

What makes it so good

It was just so utterly Australian, when you saw the ads the slogan anchored you were practically swatting bush-flies off your face. It celebrated the toughness of the men and women of the outback as dryly and mercilessly as the land itself was. It was borderline rude and very funny.

Why it works

It sold the mythos of Australia to the world, via a beer. It tied the brand to the working man (and woman) of the GAFA (the Great Australian Fuck-All). It makes you want to go to Aussie and drink XXXX hard with the locals. Which I did.

What effects it had

It put a little-known brand on the TV and in the minds of hard-drinking consumers in the UK, where most of these ads ran, while selling loads of beer and also functioning as a great tourism campaign.

8. Las Vegas: What happens here, stays here.

Why I like it

It’s Vegas brazenly taking ownership of its ignominious reputation. It sets the imagination afire. It triggers unwholesome cravings, and longings to repeat or exceed deeds done on previous excursions. It’s the bravest tourism slogan ever unleashed on the world. Here’s a tasty sampling:

What makes it so good

It doesn’t even need to wink at you as you take it in. It is blunt, yet reassuring. It says “Go ahead, indulge fully – we got your back.” It is unapologetic. I wish I’d written it.

Why it works

It lets you know you’re human. It urges you to sin, then forgives your gravest transgressions, in advance.

What effects it had

It helped Vegas bounce back, big time, from the crushing 2008 economic meltdown.

9. Club Med: The antidote for civilization.

Why I like it

I recall seeing a billboard ad that used this line running in Toronto, mid-winter. It had a grainy B&W image of some miserable sap in a big overcoat trying to push a car out of the snow in a blizzard, with the copy only reading “Club Med: The antidote for civilization”. No need to show any coconut palms, white sand or bikini babes. I immediately went and booked a solo trip to Club Med Fort Royal, Guadeloupe in the Caribbean for two weeks. Had the time of my life.

What makes it so good

It let you make your own mental associations. It summed up the fact that you need to get away, promised hedonism, then delivered it all-inclusively.

Why it works

It makes you crave simplicity, relaxation and temptation – the sweet opposite of grey workaday city life.

What effects it had

It helped Club med become THE getaway inclusive vacation choice in the West. And when they stopped using the line, you never really noticed Club Med anymore.

10. Federal Express: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

Why I like it

Federal Express was once upon a time a startup, before that word had become what it means now. They had little money, but they had a great selling proposition: Overnight delivery of your package anywhere in the USA. It launched that notion with one of the funniest and most original ads Americans had ever seen on their TV sets – this:

Around its slogan, FedEx ridiculed the crazy pressures of office life, mocked the corporate power structure, while offering to speed it all up even more.

What makes it so good

It’s funny, but no-nonsense. It’s loaded with promise. It’s believable. It is simple, yet hints at the sophisticated machinery behind the pledge.

Why it works

Federal Express came into being in 1973, after the great US Post Office wildcat strike of 1970. That strike not only crippled the nation’s mail system, but the stock market fell due to its effect on trading volume, with many fearing the market might have to close entirely. Americans got pissed that a union could hold their country hostage. Along comes FedEx saying, “We have a solution to all that… and we’re gonna make it fun and easy.”

What effects it had

The company grew so fast – well, put it this way: It’s a good thing they were in the logistics business, because that mentality served it well as it managed that explosive growth from nothing to the $4.5B company it is today. At that time, and to this day, using FedEx wasn’t cheap. But they do get the job done as promised, and when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight, you don’t mind the added expense. Or the peace of mind.

So wraps my top 10.

Ready for a not boring, hard-working slogan or tagline of your own?

Better call Paul.

Here they are, my 100 favourite slogans, in no particular order:

  1. IBM Electric Typewriters: Many happy returns.
  2. Forbes: Capitalist tool.
  3. The Independent Newspaper: It is. Are you?
  4. Adidas: Impossible is nothing.
  5. Hai Karate Aftershave. Be careful how you use it.
  6. Adelma Mineral Water: Fresh squeezed glaciers.
  7. New York Times: All the news that’s fit to print.
  8. Alka Seltzer: Try it, you’ll like it.
  9. Brylcreem Hair Cream: A little dab’ll do ya.
  10. Clairol Hair Coloring: Does she or doesn’t she?
  11. Dial Soap: Aren’t you glad you use Dial? Don’t you wish everybody did?
  12. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies: Snap! Crackle! Pop!
  13. Wendy’s: Where’s the beef?
  14. American Express: Don’t leave home without it.
  15. Bounty Paper Towels: The quicker picker upper.
  16. Bell Canada: Long Distance. It’s the next-best thing to being there.
  17. Timex: It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
  18. Wheaties: Breakfast of champions.
  19. M&Ms: Melt in your mouth, not in your hand.
  20. Bic Lighters: Flick your Bic.
  21. Yellow Pages: Let your fingers do the walking.
  22. Winston: Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.
  23. Conservative Party (UK): Labour isn’t working.
  24. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes: They’re Gr-r-reat!
  25. Hebrew National Bakery: We answer to a higher authority.
  26. Heineken: Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.
  27. Avis: We try harder.
  28. Guinness Stout: My goodness, my Guinness.
  29. National Milk Producers Board: Got milk?
  30. Nike: Just do it.
  31. John Deere: Nothing runs like a Deere.
  32. Lay’s: Betcha can’t eat just one.
  33. L’Oreal: Because I’m worth it.
  34. MasterCard: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.
  35. Maxwell House: Good to the last drop.
  36. Meow Mix: Tastes so good cats ask for it by name.
  37. MG Auto: Safety fast.
  38. Microsoft: Where do you want to go today?
  39. Miller Beer: It’s Miller time.
  40. New York Tourism: I 💜 NY.
  41. FTD: Say it with flowers.
  42. Federal Express: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
  43. De Beers: A diamond is forever.
  44. Calgon Soap: Calgon, take me away.
  45. Castlemaine XXXX Beer: Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for anything else.
  46. Clairol: Does she or doesn’t she?
  47. Club Med: The antidote for civilization.
  48. Thomas Cook: Don’t just book it. Thomas Cook it.
  49. Utica Club: We drink all we can. The rest we sell.
  50. VW: Drivers wanted.
  51. VW: Think Small.
  52. Wonderbra: Hello Boys.
  53. Braniff Airlines: When you got it, flaunt it.
  54. Audi: Vorsprung durch technik.
  55. Apple Computer: Think different.
  56. 7 Up: The Un-cola.
  57. Ajax: Stronger than dirt.
  58. Budweiser: The king of beers.
  59. Capital One: What’s in your wallet?
  60. Citibank: The Citi never sleeps.
  61. Disneyland: The happiest place on earth.
  62. Fiat Strada: Hand built by robots.
  63. Future Shop: See what the future has in store.
  64. General Electric: We bring good things to life.
  65. Greyhound: Leave the driving to us.
  66. Intel: Intel inside.
  67. Lexus: The relentless pursuit of perfection.
  68. Motel 6: We’ll leave a light on for you.
  69. Partnership for a Drug-Free America: This is your brain on drugs.
  70. Perdue: It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.
  71. Porsche: There is no substitute.
  72. Rolaids: How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S.
  73. Smith Barney: We make money the old-fashioned way. We earn it.
  74. Sprite: Obey your thirst.
  75. Staples: That was easy.
  76. Trix Cereal: Trix are for kids.
  77. United Airlines: Fly the friendly skies.
  78. United Negro College Fund: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
  79. Kawasaki Motorcycles: Kawasaki lets the good times roll.
  80. Honda Motorcycles: You meet the nicest people on a Honda.
  81. KTM Motorcycles: Ready to race.
  82. U.S. Army: Be all you can be.
  83. Canadian Armed Forces: There’s no life like it.
  84. Verizon Mobile: Can you hear me now?
  85. Heinz: Beanz meanz Heinz.
  86. Molson Export Beer: Made from Canada.
  87. Remington Shavers: I liked it so much, I bought the company.
  88. Hat Council: If you want to get ahead, get a hat.
  89. HBO: It’s not TV, it’s HBO.
  90. Crest Toothpaste: Look ma, no cavities!
  91. Financial Times Newspaper: No FT, no comment.
  92. Pringles: Once you pop, you can’t stop.
  93. Alka Seltzer: Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.
  94. Esso: Put a tiger in your tank.
  95. Pork Marketing Board: The other white meat.
  96. Spanx: A waist is a terrible thing to mind.
  97. Las Vegas: What happens here, stays here.
  98. Calvin Klein: Between love and madness lies obsession.
  99. Playstation: Live in your world. Play in ours.
  100. Canadian Blood Services: Blood. It’s in you to give.

(Did you catch my fast one? Hint: It involved a spelling slight of hand and a reversal)

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