Advertising slogans

IN MORE GENTLE TIMES, slogans always included the name of the product. Guinness is good for you. Ah, Bisto! All because the lady loves Milk Tray. Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet. Don’t be vague, ask for Haig. This approach is now seen as somewhat heavy-handed, and a subtler approach is considered more appropriate.

We’ve heard the phrase It does exactly what it says in the tin in everyday speech, but who now links it to Ronseal wood stain? They’re tasty, tasty, very very tasty —but do you remember that the product in question was Bran Flakes?

One of the best puns I can remember appeared on billboard posters, and was for a product designed for cleaning kitchens. The slogan: Sinks without a trace. It’s ingenious, in that it takes a well-known phrase (cue immediate customer recognition) and repurposes it to give it a whole new meaning. I have absolutely no recollection of the product this pun was intended to advertise.

If your slogan doesn’t stick to your product like glue, then it may enrich the language but it won’t profit the manufacturer.

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