A long, long time ago, when some of our favourite brands were just launched, things were different. The world was changing. New products were introduced. New companies were built. They needed products to sell, so need that spot-on tagline.
And the best creative minds knew that. So they got cracking. They came up with appealing phrases that clicked with the people. But times changed and so did the phrases. And hardly anyone remembers what they originally were.
So, here’s a list of some of our favourite companies and what their first tagline used to be and what they are now. See for yourself how they make their customers stick through generations.
1. Coca Cola – “The Great National Temperance Beverage”
Yes, strange as that might sound, it really worked for USA back in 1906. When the entire country was getting drunk, Coca Cola was a tasty blessing steering the nation to sobriety. They changed their tagline many times through the years and currently goes with “Open Happiness.” Simple yet succinct, it describes this of the fizzy delight spot on!
2. HBO – “This is HBO, the Home Box Office.”
The concept of a home box office was revolutionary back then. No wonder it became one of the most popular movie channels. It is also the full form of the company name, in case you hadn’t noticed. Now all they have to say is “It’s HBO” and “So Original” to make their audiences stick!
3. KFC – “North America’s Hospitality Dish”
They alternatively used “We fix Sunday dinner seven nights a week” and got America hooked. Colonel Sanders got it right from the start, as did his kick ass fried chicken recipe. Later the two phrases were replaced globally by the legendary “finger lickin’ good” … and it really is!
4. Carlsberg – “Probably the best beer in the world”
The makers of this beer must have been too mesmerized by their own making back then. Also they successfully managed to make the world merrier and get generations drunk. The tagline they go by now “That calls for a Carlsberg” is equally catchy.
5. Maybelline – “You have the loveliest eyes!”
Maybelline was all about eyes when it was launched. The company was bought by L’Oreal who used the punchline “Maybe she’s born with it – Maybe it’s Maybelline” later replacing that too, with “Because you’re worth it” which has been the official branding for L’Oreal for over half a century now! And the ladies definitely love it!
6. 7UP – ” You Like It, It Likes You”
Back in 1936, with all the Cola around, the refreshing lemon drink was really liked! They even had a different mascot Fresh up Freddy then. The drink tried many punchlines over the years and most recently is going with “Don’t grow up. 7 Up.”
7. Volkswagen – “Think small”
The caption was adopted to popularize the Beetle! And oh it worked wonders. The people’s car became a signature classic and the company’s fortunes shot up the roof. In 2013 they used “Get in. Get happy” for the publicity of the Beetle. Now they go with the classy “Das Auto” for all their speed machines!
8. AT&T; – Reach out and touch someone”
What were they even thinking! Hopefully they had no puns intended back in 1979 when they thought of this tagline. But no matter what the ‘touchy’ catch phrase worked! Now they go with the more decent “Moblizing Your World.”
9. Thums Up – “Food, Friends and Thums Up”
When Coke abandoned India in 1977, Thums Up played the savior. With its apt punchline it quickly became popular in the market and was ready to compete with Coke when it returned. “Taste the Thunder” was later adopted and now is as popular as the drink.
10. KitKat – “Break time, anytime”
It was always about the break your sweet tooth craved! Launched in the USA with this tagline,the crunch of the chocolate was immediately popular. It was launched globally with the famous punch line “Have a break, have a KitKat.”
11. McDonald’s (India) – “McDonald’s mein hai kuch baat.”
The entire country went gaga over McD burgers! A long wait was over and probably everyone realised how true the tagline was – so it became popular instantaneously. Once India was over the awe, it became “Har choti khushi ki celebration” after which the phrase was replaced by the global “I’m lovin’ it”
12. Colgate – “It cleans your breath while it cleans your teeth”
Like isn’t it obvious that a paste is supposed to keep your teeth sparkly? Maybe in the 1940’s with all that plaque around it was a revolutionary idea! Thank God for hygiene. By the 60’s their advertisements were about getting a date (surely bad breath is a turn off). Eventually the world got used to toothpastes so the company currently runs with the slogan ” Number 1 recommended by dentists .”
13. Cheerios – “It’s honey nut Cheerios”
They just about stated the product and the flavorsome honey rings raged the markets in the 1980’s. But when the replaced the tagline with “Bee Happy, Bee Healthy,” it surely helped sell some more packets!
14. American Express – “Don’t leave home without it”
Back in 1975, when we weren’t as used to credit cards this tagline was like a reminder. They tried experimenting with other phrases like “My life, My card” but got back to the same slogan in 2005. After all we are all forgetful sometimes!
15. ADIDAS – “Impossible is nothing.”
Motivating and power-packed it’s all about achievements. Obviously it got everyone’s attention. Adidas killed it! Currently they use “Adidas is all in,” and I sure do agree.
16. Vodafone – “Happy to help”
That cute pug stole our hearts and worked wonders for the brand! No matter their network quality, dog lovers liked Vodafone anyway! Their new marketing campaign runs on “Power to you” showing bloated white Zizous. I bet the pug was better!
17. Reebok – “L ose that beer belly”
The 2000 UK advertisement saw a man run frantically from a giant human belly which was chasing him around a built-up area. It was voted 10th best advert of all time by ITV on their 2005 program.After a little experimenting the “I am what I am” campaign of 2014 encouraged young customers to discover who they really are and to celebrate that identity.
18. Britannia – “Eat healthy, think better”
That’s probably why our mothers trusted the brand so much! This tagline captures it all – health and brains. The company stuck to the slogan for the longest time, and recently changed it to ” Zindagi mein life!”
19. Budweiser – “Where there’s life.. .there’s Bud”
This quirky line sold a lot of bottle in the 1940’s. The company experimented but always kept it simple so that their ‘buzzed’ drinkers could connect. Currently they use “Let’s grab some buds” which is equally cool!
20. Nike – “Just do It”
In 1988 Nike came up with perhaps one of the most iconic and successful taglines. It’s later version “I Can” was a total flop, so thankfully the company switched back. Good decision guys!