Think you know your ads? Take a look at our TV advert slogans quiz below and see if you can guess which brand is responsible for each tagline. Once complete, or if you feel like cheating, scroll below our quiz to find out a little more about these advertisement campaigns.
1. Every Little Helps – Tesco
The Every Little Helps campaign for Tesco was originally created by agency Lowe Howard-Spink in 1993. The slogan was designed to demonstrate a down to earth approach, whilst emphasising the message that Tesco can help you in a multitude of small ways, from opening more tills for you or money-saving, which all adds up to big benefits for Tesco customers.
Around this time, Tesco claimed to be losing market share to Sainsbury’s. Research showed them that customers wanted to have a better shopper experience, not necessarily just in terms of the product prices. So the Every Little Helps slogan expanded to much more than TV advertising, Tesco acted upon this feedback in their stores, adding new changing facilities, opening more tills to prevent long queues, and making it easier to return items.
By 1995, Tesco had managed to knock rival Sainsburys off the position of the UK’s biggest food retailer. This was when Tesco launched the clubcard, a loyalty card which is still in use today. Below we’ve included a couple of Tesco’s every little helps TV advertisements, one from 1995, and one created in 2019. These adverts really do illustrate how Tesco has grown over the years, whilst keeping its “Every Little Helps” values.
2. It does exactly what it says on the tin – Ronseal
The campaign for “it does exactly what it says on the tin” originated in 1994 by an advertising agency called HHCL. Interestingly, HHCL were also responsible for the Orange Man tango advert which features on our most complained about TV advertisements page.
According to Ronseal, the campaign slogan came to light naturally, whilst trying to form a campaign around a straight to the point character who identified that “If you’ve got wood to stain and you want it to dry quickly, you need Ronseal Quick Drying Woodstain”. After this campaign was launched, sales shot up for Ronseal, and they soon became a market leader.
Similar to other slogans on this list, the Ronseal phrase is now used in everyday conversation. This particular tagline has been the feature for songs such as Katie Melua’s “What it Says on the Tin” and is known internationally to mean delivering against a promise, perfect for Ronseal’s brand image.
3. “Just do it” – Nike
Created in 1987 by Wieden + Kennedy alongside Nike’s first major television campaign, the “Just Do it” slogan was created the night before being presented to the client. The inspiration for this tagline came from a very unusual source, a quote from convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, whose last words were “let’s do it!” before execution by firing squad.
The campaign soon took off surprisingly well, with both the creative agency and Nike receiving letters and communications from people talking about how they’ve “just done it” in life, applying to sports and wider goals and challenges surrounding work and more. This was a very early example of empathetic research, with the audience displaying an emotional response to an advertising campaign and resonating with them personally.
The tagline soon became a slogan to live by, and has been used prominently by Nike ever since.
4. “Finger-licking good” – KFC
The tagline “Finger-licking good” from KFC had a humorous beginning. Dave Harmon, who helped KFC through its franchise phase, would accompany restaurant manager Ken Harbough to the voiceover recordings for TV advertisements. Harmon would take with him a plate of KFC chicken and eat it in the background. When a recording was replayed, a woman complained that all they could hear in the background was Harmon licking his fingers, to which Harbough replied “Well, it’s finger-lickin’ good”.
This slogan became one of the most popular campaigns in both the 20th and 21st century. It hasn’t been smooth sailing internationally however, when the campaign moved to China, this famous phrase was incorrectly translated into “We’ll eat your fingers off”.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the campaign was put on hold as the slogan was deemed unsuitable in relation to keeping things hygienic, but soon returned in May 2021. The video we’ve shared below is one of their latest campaigns, launched just before the pandemic… awkward!
5. “I’m so proud of it, I put my name on it” – George Foreman Grill
Believe it or not, George Foreman, a former boxer, did not invent the George Foreman Grill. This grill was the first double surface grill, invented by Michael Boehm.
At first George Foreman was difficult to convince to endorse the patented healthier grill. It was his wife Joan, who had previously tried and loved the grill, who convinced George by making him a burger. George Foreman is a big burger lover so after this, he decided to take Michael Boehm’s offer.
This campaign resulted in 100 million grills sold in the time frame of 15 years. The campaign was also international, featuring different celebrities such as Jackie Chan for the Asian market, where the product is called the Jackie Chan Grill.
6. “Once you pop, you can’t stop” – Pringles
The “once you pop, you can’t stop” slogan was created with the aim of reinventing the Pringles brand. Created by Zambrelli and co created by Wells Rich Greene, the campaign was made to position the product as not only about the taste, but psychological, implying an almost addictive element to pringles which the consumer can relate to.
The international campaign proved very successful, with doubled worldwide sales, award wins, and a move to being the #2 chip in the US.
7. “Maybe she’s born with it” – Maybelline
The Maybelline campaign for “Maybe she’s born with it” originated in 1991. The concept behind the tagline is to enhance natural beauty and to avoid an obvious attempt to cake your face in orange foundation so that bypassers won’t be able to tell whether you’re wearing make-up or not.
This Maybelline slogan continues to be recognised and successful. More recently, the campaign has reached areas beyond television advertising, such as on TikTok challenges to win $500 of Makeup.
8. “Have a break” – Kitkat
Potentially one of our oldest slogans on the list, The “Have a Break. Have a Kit Kat” slogan originated in May 1957, and began being shown on television advertisements in 1958. The reasoning for the slogan, created by Donald Giles at the JWT London Advertising Agency, is a play on words, with the word “break” meaning both to have a rest and to break the KitKat into two.
The flexibility of the slogan, which can applied to numerous different meanings from having a break from work to someone “giving you a break”, has allowed it to be a useful campaign tool from 1957 to today. This advertising campaign originated in the UK but has become a globally recognised phrase, including in the US, Japan and Australia.
One of our favourites involves a comical scene whereby a photographer is trying to get a picture of two pandas at the zoo;
9. “You either love it or hate it” – Marmite
The commonly known slogan of “You either love it or hate it” of Marmite originated in 1996 at DDB London (formerly known as BMP DDB) by Richard Flintham and Andy McLeod. The idea simply came from the realisation that Andy McLeod absolutely hated Marmite, whereas Richard Flintham was a big fan. The rivalry of opinion between the two advertisers and from other members of the public is what sparked the tagline, with natural conversation about this already in place.
Nowadays this slogan is also used in everyday conversation, for when something, or someone, has a strongly opinionated following or people who either love it or hate it. Marmite is a good example of an advertising campaign that has poked fun of itself, which has been followed by businesses such as pot noodle and Miracle Whip.
Here’s an example of one of Marmite’s many TV adverts, featuring the much loved (never hated) Paddington Bear.
10. “Don’t shop for it, Argos it” – Argos
The “don’t shop for it, Argos it” slogan is one of the only campaigns in this list which is no longer actively in use. This is an example of an attempt at anthimeria, whereby a brand name becomes a verb. Examples of this include Hoovering, Google it, and Tweeting.
For Argos this attempt has been unsuccessful, as it’s not commonly known to tell someone to “Argos it” when they’re looking for a particular home and leisure product. At the time of writing this, the Argos slogan is now “Life’s here. Be ready” in response to the reopening of coronavirus restrictions.
Below is one of our favourite Argos adverts, where Aliens adjust to life on Earth, with a bit of help from Argos.
Can you think of a successful or unsuccessful advertising slogan? Let us know below in the comments.