When Good Slogans Do Bad Things

The slogan has long held a place of power in advertising, a sentence that could make or break a company. We’ve grown up with them becoming a part of our consciousness, “Just Do It (NIKE),” “The Best Part of Waking Up (Folgers),” and “The Breakfast of Champions (Wheaties)” are a few that hit the mark, working so well that they have withstood the test of time.

They represent the brand and something more, a higher purpose and motivation that reflects our own beliefs and desires. That’s sloganeering and brand positioning at its finest. But a slogan really only works when it can meaningfully represent your company or brand. But for all the ones who get it right, scores can go wrong, hilariously wrong. Check out these short-lived slogans:

“Ask Why” – Enron
Yes, the folks at Enron really thought this was a good idea. Well, when someone finally did Enron’s corporate greed became a little more public. Ironic indeed.

“Up to 6 billion players” – SEGA Dreamcast
Talk about not exciting. We assume the rest were playing something else.
youtube.com/watch?v=71KZURU6hDc

“You Know When It’s Real” – Wendy’s
Not always, and thanks for the reminder.
youtube.com/watch?v=V8PSmPV5-oA

“We Speak Fish” – Long John Silver’s
We’d rather not think about this one too hard.
businesswire.com/news/home/20110210006588/en/America’s-Favorite-Casual-Seafood-Restaurant-Tells-Nation#.U8byxxaNdRo

“Don’t Pass Gas, Stop and Enjoy It” – Gas, KS
No thank you. We get a good joke, but sometimes it’s best to refrain.

“Come Sail Away” – Annapolis, Maryland.
So as soon as we get there we’ll want to leave again?
youtube.com/watch?v=Zd7a3RwH23k

“Take a chance!! Fly Aeroflot!” – Aeroflot Russian Airlines
It’s best not to remind us of “chance” when flying. As an airline you should assure your customers, not engage them with hope and exclamation points.

“How else can two months’ salary last forever?” -De Beers
Let us count the ways. When we’re making a big purchase, it’s best not to remind us of everything we can’t spend it on.
youtube.com/watch?v=8pU6WQXkiOU

“Whassup?” –  Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Beer
This was an award winning campaign, and the term became a popular catchprase. Regardless of the acclaim, we were never a big fan. Did you find the commercials as annoying as we did?

We know not all of you may agree with us on our list of some of the worst slogans. It’s the beauty in a phrase and ad campaign, sometimes you can’t win them all! So tell us, what are your favorite worst slogans? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below!

Author:

Stephanie Ryan

Stephanie Ryan is the Marketing Director at Mississippi Ave. Business Association.

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