/ Taglines: Magical Tell Tales

Taglines have magical power. The popularity of some of these lines is so remarkable they’ve become part of the culture. While running for the U.S. presidency, Walter Mondale said, “Where’s the beef?” to his opponent, Gary Hart — and the electorate loved it.

Nike’s tagline goes far beyond three words. It’s downright inspirational. And astoundingly, the De Beers line has been around for 66 years. How’s that for longevity? The following nine examples are my picks and were culled from 360+ Most Famous Business Taglines Ever.

Grey Poupon: “Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Grey Poupon?” In this 1980′s gourmet-mustard ad, a Rolls-Royce pulls up next to another Rolls-Royce. The passenger asks, “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?” The person responds, “But, of course.”



Morton Salt: “When It Rains It Pours” Meaning: the salt would run in damp weather. The campaign was created in 1914 to promote a new free-running salt in a blue package with a pouring spout. The little girl’s look was updated in 1921, 1933, 1941, 1956 and 1968.




Wendy’s: “Where’s The Beef?” In 1984, the Wendy’s hamburger chain promoted itself with this all-purpose line for questioning the substance of an idea, event or product. The mini-burger prompts actress Clara Peller to angrily exclaim, “Where’s the beef?”




Alka-Seltzer: “I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing!” The advertising agency Wells, Rich, Greene created this tagline and won a Clio Award in 1972. The line was selected by Newsweek magazine as one of the 10 best quotes of the decade.




Camel: “I’d Walk A Mile For A Camel” This tagline was created in 1921 for a new packaged cigarette (everyone rolled their own back then). Later it appeared on a Times Square billboard with smoke rings every four seconds (actually “steam” from Con Ed).



De Beers: “A Diamond Is Forever” In 1947, Frances Gerety, a copywriter on the De Beers account at N.W. Ayer was working late into the night. About to admit defeat, she quickly scribbled the line that would later be voted the most iconic tagline of the 20th century.



American Express: “Don’t Leave Home Without It” Created by David Ogilvy in 1975, Oscar winner Karl Malden asks viewers, “Do you know me?” His name is never mentioned — except at the end when it’s shown on an American Express Card.





Apple: “Think Different” Ad agency TBWAChiat/Day created this campaign in 1997. It featured seventeen iconic personalities. Critically acclaimed, it won a 1998 Emmy Award and the 2000 Grand Effie Award for the most effective campaign in America.



Nike: “Just Do It.” This is my favorite tagline. It was coined in 1988 by the ad agency Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon and appears with the Nike tick logo, known as the Swoosh. It ends with a period. No excuses, no wiggle room. Be proactive — just do it.



This entry was posted in art, Branding, design, Identity. Bookmark the permalink.