Quiz: Can You Guess the Brands Behind These 16 Slogans?

A simple phrase can be a powerful brand cue. See if you can guess the brands behind these famous taglines and slogans:

1. "The happiest place on earth"

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Disney. This slogan has been synonymous with Disney‘s theme parks since the 1950s, evoking the joy and wonder the brand aims to bring to guests of all ages.

2. "Life‘s messy, clean it up"

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Bounty. While not as well-known as some other slogans on this list, "Life‘s messy, clean it up" perfectly sums up Bounty‘s brand promise of cleaning up even the toughest spills.

3. "Leave the driving to us"

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Greyhound. This slogan dates back to the 1950s, when bus travel was seen as a relaxing alternative to driving. While the company has faced some challenges in recent years, the slogan still evokes the ease and convenience of riding with Greyhound.

4. "Betcha can‘t eat just one"

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Lay‘s. This playful slogan is a nod to the addictive quality of Lay‘s potato chips. It‘s a bold challenge that dares consumers to try to resist reaching for another chip (spoiler alert: most can‘t).

5. "Believe in your smellf"

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Old Spice. Known for its quirky, irreverent marketing, Old Spice has used variations of this slogan for years to appeal to younger male consumers. The intentional misspelling adds to the offbeat humor.

6. "The taste of a new generation"

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Pepsi. While Pepsi has cycled through many slogans over the years, this one from the 1980s is one of the most memorable. It positioned Pepsi as the edgy, youthful alternative to Coca-Cola.

7. "A passion for the road"

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Mazda. This slogan captures Mazda‘s focus on driving dynamics and the emotional connection between car and driver. For auto enthusiasts, it sets Mazda apart as a brand that gets what matters most to them.

8. "We know money"

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AIG. While perhaps not the most compelling slogan, "We know money" expresses AIG‘s extensive expertise in insurance, investments, and other financial services. After the company‘s struggles during the 2008 financial crisis, the slogan took on a bit of an ironic twist.

9. "Behold the power of cheese"

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American Dairy Association. This slogan was used in a series of humorous ads in the 1990s featuring various historical and pop culture figures dramatically celebrating cheese. It was a clever way to get consumers to tune into a message from a generic industry association.

10. "Get your own box"

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Cheez-Its. Tapping into the insight that people don‘t like to share their Cheez-Its, this slogan cheekily urges consumers to buy a box for themselves. The possessive, personal language makes the product feel like more than just a snack.

11. "Does she or doesn‘t she?"

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Clairol. This iconic slogan from the 1950s and 60s hinted that a woman‘s hair color was her little secret, and no one could tell whether she dyed it—with Clairol, of course. While dated by today‘s standards, it tapped into the culture and trends of its time.

12. "Play. Laugh. Grow."

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Fisher-Price. This simple, memorable slogan perfectly captures Fisher-Price‘s mission to help babies and kids learn through play. It‘s highly purposeful language that underscores the importance of the brand‘s products.

13. "The best a man can get"

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Gillette. One of the most famous slogans ever, this helped solidify Gillette‘s dominance in the razor category for decades. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Gillette updated it to the more inclusive "The best a man can be"—showing how slogans may need to evolve with the times.

14. "Don‘t dream it. Drive it."

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Jaguar. This slogan cuts to the heart of Jaguar‘s luxury brand appeal, urging customers to go beyond just fantasizing about the car and actually get behind the wheel. It‘s an almost taunting call-to-action that clicks with Jaguar‘s target audience.

15. "Let your fingers do the walking"

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Yellow Pages. For decades, this simple slogan reminded consumers of the ease of letting their "fingers do the walking" by searching the Yellow Pages business phone directory instead of physically going from store to store. While phone books have largely gone the way of the dinosaur, this remains one of the most remembered slogans of the 20th century.

16. "When you care enough to send the very best"

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Hallmark. This slogan has been a winner for Hallmark since 1944. It perfectly captures the sentiment behind giving greeting cards while establishing Hallmark as the gold standard in the category. Even if you‘ve never bought a Hallmark card, you‘ve almost certainly heard this slogan.

How did you do? Even if you only got a handful right, you‘re likely familiar with most of these slogans—showing the power of a well-turned phrase to build durable brand associations.

The business case for a strong brand slogan

The most famous brand slogans are essentially mnemonic devices—memory shortcuts that help consumers connect a tagline to a brand name almost automatically. And in a world where consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day, that type of instant brand recognition is invaluable.

Consider these statistics:

  • Brands that are consistently presented see an average revenue increase of 33% (Lucidpress)
  • Consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23% (Forbes)
  • 77% of marketers say branding is critical to growth (Zimmer Communications)

While slogans are just one piece of an overall brand identity, they play a key role in reinforcing brand consistency and messaging across touchpoints. Slogans give your customers a memorable "hook" to latch onto—an easy way to identify and remember your brand.

The right words can also go a long way toward shaping how consumers perceive your brand. For example, here‘s how a sample of consumers interpreted various well-known slogans, according to research by Survata:

Slogan Brand Perceptions
Nike – Just do it Determined, motivated, athletic
Apple – Think different Creative, innovative, smart
L‘Oreal – Because you‘re worth it Confident, empowered, beautiful
Dollar Shave Club – Shave time. Shave money. Efficient, affordable, witty
The New York Times – All the news that‘s fit to print Authoritative, trustworthy, serious

In each case, the slogans reinforce key brand attributes and shape how consumers think and feel about the brand. So while measuring the direct impact of a slogan is tricky, there‘s no denying its power as a brand-building asset.

Anatomy of a great slogan

"If you can‘t explain it to a six-year-old, you don‘t understand it yourself." That famous quote from Albert Einstein applies just as much to slogans as scientific concepts. The best taglines tend to be short, simple, and instantly understandable.

But there are a few other common elements that many top slogans share:

  1. Memorability. The slogan should be easy to remember and repeat, even if you‘ve only heard it once or twice. Using devices like alliteration, rhyme, and wordplay can help make a slogan more distinctive and catchy.

  2. Brevity. Typically between 2-8 words total, great slogans pack a lot of meaning into a small package. Each word needs to earn its place—there‘s no room for fluff or wasted space.

  3. Differentiation. A slogan won‘t build brand equity if it could apply to any of your competitors. The best slogans highlight what makes your brand unique and different, even if they don‘t call it out explicitly.

  4. Relevance. Great slogans feel fresh, timely, and relevant to a brand‘s target audience. While some slogans endure for decades, they still need to be revisited and refreshed periodically to ensure they still resonate.

  5. Flexibility. The strongest brand slogans are extensible—meaning they can be built upon for individual products, campaigns, or marketing initiatives. Think of Nike‘s "Just do it" motto as the core foundation that gets adapted for different audiences.

Crafting a slogan that nails all of those qualities is easier said than done, of course. The process often takes weeks or months of brainstorming, workshopping, and revising to get it just right. Many brands will go through hundreds of potential slogans before settling on a winner.

But while there‘s no one-size-fits-all formula, most enduring slogans tend to follow a few tried-and-true linguistic tricks. For example:

  • Hinting at a story: Some of the most compelling slogans have an air of mystery, hinting at a larger story or feeling without giving away too much (think "Got milk?" or "What happens here, stays here").

  • Using active language: Punchy, directive slogans that start with a verb can inspire consumers to take action ("Live más", "Think different", "Let‘s go places").

  • Evoking sensory experiences: Top slogans often engage consumers‘ senses, using vivid language to elicit feelings or physical responses ("Melts in your mouth, not in your hands", "The ultimate driving machine").

  • Making a (subtle) promise: Many strong slogans allude to a benefit or promise without stating it outright ("Red Bull gives you wings", "The best a man can get", "Have it your way").

Testing your slogan for maximum impact

Once you‘ve narrowed down a shortlist of potential slogans, it‘s critical to test them exhaustively before launch. After all, you‘re going to put a lot of time, energy, and money into marketing your new slogan—you want to make sure it will hit home with your audience.

Some key questions to ask during the testing phase include:

  • Is it memorable and repeatable?
  • Does it accurately reflect your brand identity and values?
  • Is it flexible enough to be used across touchpoints and campaigns?
  • Does it resonate emotionally with your target audience?
  • Is it differentiated from competitors‘ slogans and messaging?
  • Could any part of it be misinterpreted or construed as offensive?

Testing methods can range from simple employee feedback sessions to focus groups and quantitative surveys. Many brands will test multiple slogan variations with different consumer segments to gauge responses and identify a winner.

For example, when Snickers was brainstorming its "You‘re not you when you‘re hungry" slogan, parent company Mars tested it across 18 international markets before deciding it had universal appeal. According to Mars CMO Bruce McColl:

"We had tested the appeal of our new line in every region of the world. In each region, it was seen as most appealing, gaining the most attention and most effectively conveying our hunger satisfaction message. We knew, therefore, that we had a global idea in our hands."

Of course, no amount of testing can guarantee a slogan will be a sure-fire hit. Language is inherently subjective, and what resonates with one group may fall flat with another. But rigorous testing can at least help identify and mitigate potential risks before investing too heavily in one direction.

Key takeaways

As these 16 examples show, a well-crafted slogan is a powerful branding tool that can create instant associations, shape perceptions, and make your brand more memorable. While there‘s no perfect formula for a great slogan, the most enduring taglines tend to share a few key characteristics:

  • Simplicity and memorability
  • Differentiation from competitors
  • Flexibility to be used across touchpoints
  • Emotional resonance with the target audience

Ultimately, a slogan is just one small (but important) part of your overall brand verbal identity. It needs to work in harmony with your brand name, logo, messaging, and other assets to create a cohesive whole.

But when you land on the right words, a seemingly simple slogan can become a cultural catchphrase—and if you‘re lucky, maybe even the answer to a tricky trivia question someday.