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The 100 Most Influential U.S. Taglines Since 1948

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The 100 Most Influential U.S. Taglines Since 1948

Eric Swartz at Tagline Guru has compiled his list of The 100 Most Influential U.S. Taglines Since 1948. The criteria and methodology:

-More than 400 nominated U.S. taglines and jingles were sent to 100 advertising, marketing, and branding professionals on both the client and agency side.

-The survey was restricted to taglines and jingles created after 1948 (the advent of commercial broadcast TV).

-Informants were asked to rank their top 10 taglines and top 3 jingles based on the following branding criteria:

* Longevity: Have they endured the test of time?
* Equity: Have they become synonymous with a company or product?
* Portability & Memorability: Have they exercised an influence on our culture, media, and language?
* Originality: Have they broken new ground in the advertising industry?

-Nominated taglines and jingles were given a weighted ranking based on the number of votes they received and the rank they were assigned.

And the results…

1. Got milk? (1993) California Milk Processor Board
2. Don’t leave home without it. (1975) American Express
3. Just do it. (1988) Nike
4. Where’s the beef? (1984) Wendy’s
5. You’re in good hands with Allstate. (1956) Allstate Insurance
6. Think different. (1998) Apple Computer
7. We try harder. (1962) Avis
8. Tastes great, less filling. (1974) Miller Lite
9. Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (1954) M&M Candies
10. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. (1956) Timex
11. When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. (1982) FedEx
12. Reach out and touch someone. (1979) AT&T
13. A diamond is forever. (1948) DeBeers
14. Finger-lickin’ good! (1952) Kentucky Fried Chicken
15. The uncola. (1973) 7-Up
16. Let your fingers do the walking. (1964) Yellow Pages
17. There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard. (1997) MasterCard
18. What happens here, stays here. (2002) Las Vegas
19. You’ve come a long way, baby. (1968) Virginia Slims Cigarettes
20. We bring good things to life. (1981) General Electric
21. Please don’t squeeze the Charmin. (1964) Charmin
22. Does she or doesn’t she? (1964) Clairol
23. Have it your way. (1973) Burger King
24. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing. (1966) Alka-Seltzer
25. Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation. (1964) Pepsi
26. The ultimate driving machine. (1975) BMW
27. The quicker picker-upper. (1991) Bounty
28. Look, Ma, no cavities! (1958) Crest
29. Pork. The other white meat. (1986) National Pork Board
30. Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon? (1980) Grey Poupon
31. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. (1992) U.S. Dept. of Transportation
32. Have a coke and smile. (1979) Coca-Cola
33. I love New York. (1977) NY State Dept. of Econ. Development
34. Betcha can’t eat just one. (1981) Lay’s Potato Chips
35. Think outside the bun. (1998) Taco Bell
36. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. (1972) United Negro College Fund
37. It keeps going, and going, and going… (1989) Energizer Batteries
38. Hey, Mikey…he likes it! (1972) Life Cereal
39. This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions? (1987) Partnership for a Drug-Free America
40. They’re gr-r-r-eat! (1950s) Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes
41. The happiest place on earth. (1960s) Disneyland
42. Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. (late 1980s) National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn.
43. With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good. (1962) Smucker’s
44. Nothing comes between me and my Calvins. (1979) Calvin Klein Jeans
45. Is it live or is it Memorex? (1970s) Memorex
46. Because I’m worth it. (1967) L’Oréal
47. The few, the proud, the Marines. (1991) U.S. Marines
48. Our repairmen are the loneliest guys in town. (1967) Maytag Appliances
49. Put a tiger in your tank. (1964) Esso (Exxon)
50. You quiero Taco Bell. (mid-1990s) Taco Bell
51. How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S. (1970s) Rolaids
52. This Bud’s for you. (1970s) Budweiser
53. When EF Hutton talks, people listen. (mid-1980s) EF Hutton
54. It’s everywhere you want to be. (1988) VISA
55. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. (1990) LifeCall
56. We make the money the old-fashioned way—we earn it. (1980s) Smith Barney
57. Intel Inside. (early 1990s) Intel
58. Don’t get mad. Get GLAD. (early 1980s) GLAD
59. Like a rock. (1990) Chevy Trucks
60. It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken. (1972) Perdue Chicken
61. We will sell no wine before its time. (1970s) Paul Masson
62. Fly the friendly skies. (1966) United Airlines
63. Lifts and separates. (1960s) Playtex Cross-Your-Heart Bra
64. Thank you for your support. (1985) Bartles & Jaymes
65. Try it, you’ll like it. (1970s) Alka-Seltzer
66. Think small. (1962) Volkswagen
67. We answer to a higher authority. (1975) Hebrew National
68. Get a piece of the rock. (1970s) Prudential
69. The world’s favourite airline. (1983) British Airways
70. Nothing runs like a Deere. (1972) John Deere
71. Leave the driving to us. (1950s) Greyhound
72. The world’s online marketplace. (late 1990s) eBay
73. Quality is job one. (1979) Ford
74. Drivers wanted. (1995) Volkswagen
75. Think outside the box. (1990s) Apple Computer
76. Bayer works wonders. (1960s) Bayer Aspirin
77. The relentless pursuit of perfection. (1990s) Lexus
78. The king of beers. (1950s) Budweiser
79. Hertz puts you in the driver’s seat. (1961) Hertz
80. Cotton. The fabric of our lives. (1989) Cotton Incorporated
81. I want my Maypo. (1956) Maypo
82. RAID kills bugs dead. (1966) RAID
83. Fosters—Australian for beer. (1990s) Fosters Australian Beer
84. Catch our smile. (1970s) Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA)
85. Pepperidge Farm remembers. (1970s) Pepperidge Farm
86. Solutions for a small planet. (mid-1990s) IBM
87. For those who think young. (1961) Pepsi
88. My wife, I think I’ll keep her. (1971) Geritol
89. Never let ‘em see you sweat. (1980s) Gillette
90. I’d rather fight than switch. (1960s) Tareyton Cigarettes
91. For fast, fast, fast relief. (1950s) Anacin
92. A silly millimeter longer. (1970s) Chesterfield Cigarettes
93. Take it all off. (1960s) Noxzema
94. The spirit of ’76. (1960s) Unocal
95. It’s not a job. It’s an adventure. (1980s) U.S. Navy
96. Did somebody say McDonald’s? (1997) McDonald’s
97. Ring around the collar. (1968) Wisk Laundry Detergent
98. It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile… (1980s) Oldsmobile
99. The toughest job you’ll ever love. (1970s) U.S. Peace Corps
100. Share moments. Share life. (1990s) Kodak

Honorable Mentions
It’s not just for breakfast anymore. (1980s) Florida Orange Juice Growers Assn.
I liked it so much I bought the company. (1978) Remington
Sorry, Charlie. Starkist wants tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste. (1961) Starkist Tuna

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2 Comments

Susan Plunkett on November 25th, 2007 said

One of my favourites from Australia is:

“Keep on keeping on” however it just struck me that sometimes taglines wind up serving an industry as opposed to a particular manufacturer. Energiser has a somewhat similar tag. In this kind of example I suspect clients hear these tags and think “batteries” as opposed to a particular brand of battery.

I’m interested in this issue Derrick – of brands serving your competitors or industry in the longer term and not just the business. Have you come across discussions about this online?

Derrick Daye on November 26th, 2007 said

Hi Susan,

Thanks for your thoughts. I believe we tend to see this much more with brand names rather than taglines – it’s an interesting topic for sure. When a brand name becomes the category descriptor it is a double edged sword. While it is flattering that the brand has such a presence in the market that it becomes the name for the category, this also makes its name much more difficult to protect legally. Also, the brand’s points of difference disappear as the category becomes synonymous with the brand. The way to address this is to always say “Kleenex branded facial tissue,” “Xerox branded copiers,” “Band-Aid branded adhesive bandages,” Many brands have become category generic descriptors, my partner Brad VanAuken does a nice job of addressing this issue in his book Brand Aid.

Derrick

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