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10 Iconic Business Slogans And How They Were Invented

BMW Logo with "The Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan

Business slogans are both catchy phrases and powerful tools that can encapsulate a brand's identity and values, often becoming part of cultural dialogue.

They can come from spontaneous thinking, unusual sources and as a result of complex marketing strategies.

Here are 10 iconic slogans and how they were invented.

Nike: "Just Do It"

Nike's iconic slogan, "Just Do It," was coined in 1988 by advertising executive Dan Wieden.

The phrase was inspired by the last words of Gary Gilmore, a convicted criminal who said "Let's do it" before his execution.

Wieden modified it to "Just Do It," capturing Nike's spirit of determination and action.

The slogan helped transform Nike into a worldwide leader in sportswear by encouraging people to push beyond their limits.

The full story can be found here.

McDonald's: "I'm Lovin' It"

"I'm Lovin' It" became McDonald's first global campaign in 2003, created by the German advertising agency Heye & Partner.

The catchy hook was part of a larger rebranding effort to enhance the fast-food giant's image.

With its upbeat vibe, the slogan aimed to associate McDonald’s with positive experiences.

McDonald's went big on the marketing, using music giants Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake for its commercial.

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Apple: "Think Different"

The "Think Different" slogan was introduced in 1997 to revitalize Apple's image.

Created by the Los Angeles office of advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, the slogan aimed to celebrate the creative class and position Apple as a brand for innovative and rebellious spirits.

This campaign featured black-and-white portraits of iconic personalities like Albert Einstein and Bob Dylan, symbolizing how Apple's products empower users to change the world.

Apple has always been pretty good with its advertising.

L'Oréal: "Because You're Worth It"

L'Oréal's "Because You're Worth It" slogan was crafted in 1973 by Ilon Specht, a young copywriter at the McCann Erickson advertising agency.

At a time, women's rights were becoming more prominent.

Specht's message was clear: Women deserve luxury, and they do not need to justify the expense of beauty products.

This empowering message resonated deeply, making it a personal affirmation for female consumers worldwide.

Coca-Cola: "Open Happiness"

Introduced in 2009, Coca-Cola's "Open Happiness" slogan was part of a multinational campaign designed to link the consumption of Coke with feelings of joy and optimism.

The slogan was the brainchild of a collaboration among several heavyweight advertising agencies.

It aimed to reinforce Coca-Cola’s position as a brand that promotes positivity.

Its aim was to link the act of sipping Coke with uplifting emotions.

De Beers: "A Diamond Is Forever"

"A Diamond Is Forever," crafted by copywriter Frances Gerety for De Beers in 1947, is one of the longest-running and most enduring slogans in advertising history.

It was invented to underscore the timeless nature of diamonds and boost diamond sales post-World War II.

Its profound impact not only elevated the perceived value of diamonds but also solidified their association with eternal love and commitment.

MasterCard: "There Are Some Things Money Can't Buy. For Everything Else, There's MasterCard"

MasterCard's slogan, unveiled in 1997, was part of the "Priceless" campaign created by McCann Erickson.

The slogan underscores the emotional value of experiences over material purchases.

It's a little bit tongue in cheek too.

It suggests while some precious moments are priceless, MasterCard can sort out almost everything else.

This campaign successfully humanized the brand, making it relatable and enhancing customer loyalty.

KFC: "Finger Lickin' Good"

While some slogans are meticulously planned by teams or experts, some are wonderfully "in the moment."

KFC's iconic "Finger Lickin' Good" slogna was a happy accident.

It was created during the 1950s when a franchisee used it to describe KFC's chicken in an off-the-cuff remark caught on a TV commercial.

The slogan perfectly captured the literal, enjoyable messiness of eating Colonel Sanders’ famous chicken.

It has become a core part of KFC’s identity and emphasizes the hands-on enjoyment of their product.

It did, however, have a brief hiatus during the Covid crisis.

BMW: "The Ultimate Driving Machine"

Introduced in 1974, BMW's slogan, "The Ultimate Driving Machine," was created by the advertising agency Ammirati & Puris.

The slogan was designed to reflect BMW's engineering excellence and superior driving experience, positioning it as a top choice for car enthusiasts.

This straightforward claim helped solidify BMW's image as a producer of high-performance vehicles.

Maybelline: "Maybe She's Born With It. Maybe It's Maybelline."

Created in 1991 by the advertising agency Lintas, Maybelline's slogan plays on the ambiguity between natural beauty and enhanced beauty through makeup.

It suggests that the secret behind a woman’s beauty might just be her makeup, appealing to consumers’ desire for cosmetic products that offer a natural, effortless appearance.

This slogan helped Maybelline stand out in a crowded market by blending aspiration with reliability.

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