When we think of media, we probably are generally thinking of the obvious media types like television shows, movies or magazines. But we might overlook one type of media that seeps into pretty much everything we do: advertising. I’d venture to say that advertising — and product or company slogans specifically — are just as much a part of our cultural consciousness as any other type of media.
Companies spend huge amounts of money and time on finding just the right set of words that represent their product in a clever, catchy way, so that their slogan will pop into our heads at just the right moment.
Perhaps you’re wondering to yourself, “what kind of cereal should I buy?” Well, Wheaties is the “breakfast of champions,” so that’s one option, and of course Trix “are for kids” so maybe that would be a better choice. You probably should also consider that Kix are “kids tested, mother approved. and that Lucky Charms are “magically delicious.” Let’s not forget, though, that Frosted Flakes are “grrrreat!” and that Rice Krispies “snap, crackle and pop.” Which to choose?!
Once you’ve decided on breakfast, then you’ve got make a decision about lunch. Maybe it’s lunch on the go, and you have to decide are you “lovin'” McDonald’s? Do you “quiero” Taco Bell? Is Arby’s really “good mood food”? (It’s probably not.) Don’t forget that KFC “is finger lickin’ good,” or that Quizno’s is “Mmm, mmm…toasty.”
Advertising is a huge part of the way we communicate. Not only do slogans help remind us of certain products, many of them have made their way into colloquial usage. Most of us probably don’t know where the phrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” comes from, but I’d bet that we’ve used it to try and get a laugh from time to time.
Some slogans become so ubiquitous and take on such a life of their own, that they are put to use a generation after their origination. Take, for instance, Wendy’s famous “Where’s the beef?” slogan from the 1980’s, which was recently repurposed and referenced in a 2011 commercial. Watch both below:
We probably use phrases from advertising all the time without even realizing it, which means that advertisers are doing their job — they’re making slogans and products so much a part of life that they’ve even made their way into the way we communicate.
If you think you know your slogans, take The Catchphrase Slogan Quiz I created. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t embed the quiz or remove the first two questions about age and gender. I also gave you a freebie answer. I’d love to know your results in the comments!)