How To Write Sticky Slogans You Can’t Help But Remember

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“Kids, get in the car, we are going to the Ice Cream shop.” Dad proclaimed to his smiling family. Little did they know that they were on the way to the dentist. This car commercial was probably very funny, but I can’ t remember it because I was barely six years old. More importantly though, that commercial set the tone for my Father banning me from watching television commercials because they teach people to lie.

From that moment on, I decided I wanted to make a career writing television commercials. It wasn’t that I wanted to lie and get away with it, it was because I wanted to be able to write something so influential it could get someone like my father to actually make a rule for his kids. Of course it didn’t hurt that everyone loved talking about hilarious commercials on TV, and how cool it seemed to me be able to say, “I write commercials for a living.”

Still, this was a big challenge. How could I pursue a copywriting career without knowing the insider secrets that major agencies have in their internal knowledge bases. After all, if you run enough advertising, you probably know what works and what doesn’t. In fact, at the first small agency I worked at, they outsourced their copywriting to Ogilvy and Mather copywriters, even though their copy wasn’t necessarily the best possible. In fact, the agency I worked for was so intimated by their “Knowledge” we assumed they knew better. Unfortunately, when you assume, you end up wasting lots of money on charlatans and snake oil salesman.

Once I discovered that the information about what works and how to write killer slogans was probably out in the open, I discovered that in fact, what works is often as simple as analyzing hundreds of examples and using that to find patterns or to inspire creative juices. The key of course is figuring out your goals in advance, and once you understand exactly what you need, finding the pieces is super simple.

Here is the secret sauce I discovered for writing killer slogans that sell and stick to peoples memories. 

Writing Sticky Slogans are a crucial piece of your marketing plan. In fact, the slogan serves a very specific purpose. One that you might not realize, but is too important to ignore. The purpose of a slogan is to help your customers tell their friends about your brand. Passalong advertising or word of mouth marketing is the most effective way to build instant credibility with prospects, But you need to give your customers the tools to promote your business properly. The goal of your slogan is for your customer to be able to answer the question, “Why should I do business with your company?” In fact, the slogan should be the answer to that question.

Still though, you can have the greatest slogan in the world… But if people can’t remember it, they can’t share it with others. So, the real challenge with writing the perfect slogan is to make sure it sticks. Luckily for us, we understand how people think and remember things, and there are four Mental Glues, or surefire ways to make sure people remember your slogan, brand or any other messaging you apply the mental glues to.

mentalglues

The Four Mental glues Are: 

1. Alliteration – “Melts in your Mouth

2. Double Entendre-  “Staples” “When It Rains, It Pours” “Runs Like a Deere” – all have double meanings.

3. Repetition – “When it Absolutely, Positively has to be there overnight.

4. Reversal- “To Be or Not to Be” “Fire and Ice” “Our Food is Fresh, our customers are Spoiled.

As you can see, by utilizing one of these mental glues, you can create sticky slogans, brand names, and messaging, that can propel your business above the clouds.

Here is the full video where branding expert Al Ries elaborates…

let’s walk through a handful of famous slogans and brands and see if we can identify which mental glues are at play.

1. “The Quicker, Thicker, Picker Upper” – Bounties jingle uses alliteration.

2. “Once you pop, you never stop” Pringles uses alliteration.

3. “its easier to see eye to eye, when you meet face to face” – hilton Meetings uses repetition, and possible double entendres and reverals.

4. “Trust Sleepys for the REST of your life” Sleepys uses a double entrende

5. “some things money can’t buy, for everything else theres mastercard” – mastercard uses reversals

6. “be all that you can be” army uses repetition.

7. “a diamond is forever” debeers uses a double entendre

8.”it keeps going and going and going…” energizer uses repetition.

What are some other slogans you can think of that use these mental glues?

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $15,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

Comments

  1. I have always been terrible at creating slogans, even though I understand the mechanics of it. It was always the part of English is school that I hated the most and I can imagine that if I ever need a slogan for my blog or brand, it will be the thing that I pay others to do. I’m not going to post any of mine for fear of embrassment, but I have no faith in my slogan writing ability. Unless of course, they’re so bad that people remmeber them and that’s how I end up getting business, which is always a twisted possibility. Thanks for the tips though.

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  1. […] sure there are many others, and you can apply the four mental glues from your branding and slogan strategy to develop an ad that draws you in, and is consistent with […]

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