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Happy Birthday. Advertising straplines 150 years old

Happy Birthday. Advertising straplines 150 years old

Happy Birthday. The advertising slogan, a tool that has become a part of everyday life and language and can make or break a marketer or brand, is 150 years old today (August 6, 2009).

It’s highly unlikely that anyone will remember it, so allow us to give you a reminder.

It was on August 6, 1859 that Beechams hit on the idea to come up with a catchy slogan to promote its cold and flu powder.

‘Worth a guinea’ is hardly memorable, however it did kick off a trend that was to shape the worlds of advertising and marketing.

Today slogans play a critical role in shaping consumer choices with slogans of the past even helping to define certain periods of time and elevating brands to iconic status.

‘Good things come to those who wait’? Name the brand? Guinness obviously, with the slogan backed by the groundbreaking black and white surfers/horses/waves mash up advert from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

It followed a series of catchy slogans including ‘Guinness is good for you’ which featured in the outdoor billboard campaigns of the 1920s and 1930s.

How about these? ‘Nuts oh hazel nuts... Cadbury’s’, ‘Do the Shake and Vac and put the freshness back’, ‘Whassssuuuuppp?’ for Budweiser, or adidas’ ‘Impossible is nothing’.

The importance of the slogan was demonstrated by TV advertising industry body, Thinkbox. A recent ad campaign was composed of catchphrases including those for Sugar Puffs, Wall’s Cornetto, Cadbury and Fairy Liquid.

“Slogans are what make a brand memorable and differentiate them from competitors in the marketplace. ‘Ahhhh OXO’ is one that instantly springs to mind,” Ray Jones of the Chartered Institute of Marketing told UTalkMarketing.

“Catchphrases help to reinforce brand values and leave an impression on the minds of consumers.”

He added, “You’ll find that the most successful brands, and those that have withstood the test of time have also had great slogans.”

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