What’s Your Line?
When you read the following list, it will not only rush back memories, these words will remain with you for a very long time. As a wordsmith, my avocation is to craft phrases that motivate, inspire, promote and provoke thought, and call the reader to action.
I humbly bow to those betters who go a step beyond and find the simple combination of words that etch themselves into our collective memory forever. Think about the brands that you know well, and perhaps even love. Chances are, it’s not just a brand name you’re recalling, but a tagline, too. Almost every single brand, product and large corporation has some kind of tagline. Some are timeless, others get replaced every decade, or even sooner if it’s just not resonating with the public.
Taglines can be inspirational, like a product philosophy, or they can be something fun and memorable. While some can impel you to be better, do more, or go further, others are simply a fun play on words.
Over the years, thousands and thousands of taglines have come and gone, but some are legendary. Here, in no particular order (although Nike is clearly number one, and always will be), are 50 of the best taglines from brands around the world. Most are American brands, but you may spot a few from other countries in there. It’s also worth noting that the tagline from DeBeers was, and is, part of a strategy to artificially increase the value of diamonds.
It has worked.
The TOP 50 Advertising Taglines Ever
JUST DO IT – Nike, 1988
A DIAMOND IS FOREVER – DeBeers, 1948
WHERE’S THE BEEF – Wendy’s, 1984
WE TRY HARDER – Avis, 1962
PROBABLY THE BEST LAGER IN THE WORLD – Carlsberg, 1973
ALL BECAUSE THE LADY LOVES MILK TRAY – Cadbury UK, 1968
THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE – BMW, 1975
MAYBE SHE’S BORN WITH IT – MAYBE IT’S MAYBELLINE – L’Oreal, 1991
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT – American Express, 1975
THE BANK THAT LIKES TO SAY YES – Trustee Savings Bank (TSB), 1980
BEANZ MEANZ HEINZ – Heinz, 1967
A MARS A DAY HELPS YOU WORK, REST AND PLAY – Mars, 1980
HAVE A BREAK. HAVE A KIT KAT. – Rowntree, 1957
THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES – Coca Cola, 1927
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP – Maxwell House, 1959
CAN YOU EAT THREE SHREDDED WHEAT? – Nabisco, 1970s
I BET HE DRINKS CARLING BLACK LABEL – Carling, 1971
DOES SHE…OR DOESN’T SHE? – Clairol, 1964
IT’S NOT TV, IT’S HBO – HBO, 1997
HELLO TOSH, GOTTA TOSHIBA – Toshiba, 1984
THINK DIFFERENT – Apple, 1990s
IT TAKES A LICKING AND KEEPS ON TICKING – Times, 1950s
CENTRAL HEATING FOR KIDS – Ready Brek, 1980s
YOU’RE IN GOOD HANDS – Allstate, 1950s
MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH, NOT IN YOUR HANDS – M&Ms, 1950s
WHEN IT ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY HAS TO BE THERE OVERNIGHT – FedEx, 1982
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE – AT&T, 1979
THE UNCOLA – 7UP, 1973
LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING – Yellow Pages, 1964
THE OTHER WHITE MEAT – Pork, 1986
I LOVE NEW YORK – NY State Dept., 1977
HAVE A COKE AND A SMILE – Coca Cola, 1979
HAVE IT YOUR WAY – Burger King, 1973
I CAN’T BELIEVE I ATE THE WHOLE THING – Alka Seltzer, 1966
PLEASE DON’T SQUEEZE THE CHARMIN – Charmin, 1964
WHAT HAPPENS HERE, STAYS HERE – Las Vegas, 2002
THERE ARE SOME THINGS MONEY CAN’T BUY. FOR EVERYTHING ELSE, THERE’S MASTERCARD – Mastercard, 1997
LIFTS AND SEPARATES – Playtex, 1930s
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW – Verizon, 2002
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS – Wheaties, 1930s
GO TO WORK ON AN EGG – Egg Marketing Board UK, 1950s
GOT MILK? – California Milk Processor Board, 1993
TASTES GREAT, LESS FILLING – Miller Lite, 1974
IT’S THE REAL THING – Coca Cola, 1970
A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YA – Brylcreem, 1950s
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE, DOUBLE YOUR FUN – Wrigley’s Doublemint, 1959
SHARE THE FANTASY – Chanel No. 5, 1979
THINK SMALL – Volkswagen, 1959
MMM MMM GOOD – Campbell’s Soup, 1930s
Now, after a century of great advertising, not every tagline could make it onto the list. Some notable runners up include “It’s So Simple” for Polaroid, “When it Rains it Pours” for Morton Salt, and “This Bud’s For You” for Budweiser. If you believe a corporation or brand should have been on this list, but didn’t make it, please add it in the comments with your reason why it should be included.
Thanks for reading and taking a stroll down memory lane.