Advertising / Business Mottos & Slogans

rynner2

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The end of an era?

Time to mourn Mr Kipling's 'exceedingly good' slogan?
As the cake brand’s famous catchphrase faces a revamp, we ask what it is that makes for an unforgettable slogan
By Harry Wallop
2:00PM GMT 11 Mar 2014

Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach. Vorsprung durch technik. Bootiful. Because you’re worth it…

Maybe I have spent too long watching television and reading magazines, but these advertising slogans are, to me, as instantly recognisable and quotable as any opening line from Austen or Dickens.
Which is why I am slightly appalled at the news that Mr Kipling is considering ditching its “exceedingly good cakes” tagline, which is up there with the very best.

It is not just a quirky turn of phrase that one immediately associates with the sickly-sweet cake brand, it is copied in playgrounds and parodied mercilessly – and has become part of our language, which is the test of all good jingles and catchphrases.

None the less, in an interview with The Telegraph, Gavin Darby, the chief executive of parent company Premier Foods, strongly hinted that the slogan, dreamt up in 1967, was becoming as stale as a Bakewell tart past its best-before date. He was, he said, going to invest in Mr Kipling again, after the company had survived a couple of torrid years burdened by debts.
“We’re on the verge of agreeing the TV commercial,” he explained. Might there be a new slogan? “It is possible,” he said. There will be “new packaging, new advertising” in an attempt to appeal more to the booming lunchbox market.

If the slogan does get the axe, it’s no exaggeration to say an advertising era would come to an end.
The original Mr Kipling adverts were voiced by James Hayter, the Are You Being Served? actor, though we never saw the fictional baker himself. Robert Opie, the owner of the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, remembers them as well-pitched from the beginning.
“I was there at the very start, as a consumer researcher, when Manor Bakeries (as it then was) launched the brand,” he says. “It filled a gap in the market – which was for a slightly upmarket cake.
“That’s the point. The slogan, 'exceedingly good’, fitted the brand. In the early years, the boxes had in-built cardboard handles, as if you were picking them up with a dainty hand. It was a slightly recherché brand, in the way that After Eights were.”

One could argue, however, that the brand now – in a world when the Great British Bake Off means many Mary Berry wannabes are whipping up Esterhazy Torte and macaroons before breakfast – is desperately in need of a revamp.
“The problem is that Mr Kipling has been overtaken by the market,” says Rita Clifton, of BrandCap, who worked at Saatchi & Saatchi when it dreamt up “The World’s Favourite Airline” for British Airways. “The cellophane-wrapped cake stuffed into a cardboard box doesn’t really chime with 'exceedingly good’.”
Be that as it may, the slogan has staying power – not many remain after nearly 50 years. As Opie says: “Being a traditionalist, I’d be very sad to see it go.”

So what could replace it? One of the secrets to a good slogan, according to Clifton, is ensuring it is “distinctive and specific to your brand and category. It’s no good being one of those awful bland and forgettable 'all our tomorrows’ slogan. The best should not only be memorable, but introduce an interesting thought, which is why 'the world’s favourite airline’ was so clever.”

The real trick, above all, is to worm your way into the language in the way that “simples”, the phrase used by the CompareTheMarket.com’s meerkat has done, or BT’s “It’s good to talk”. That means it is repeated thousands of times a day, even when it is not being advertised.

Opie notes the most successful in this respect was the long-surviving “Player’s, please” for the Players cigarette brand, which cleverly ensured that when you went into the tobacconist and asked for “Player’s, please” you repeated the catchphrase.

It is partly a mystery why some turns of phrases survive and some wither. Some use slang to appeal to their youthful customer base, a tactic that runs the risk of causing the slogan to date quickly. One thinks of “I’m lovin’ it”, introduced by McDonald’s a decade ago.
Simon Horobin, professor of English at Magdalen, Oxford, finds it curious, and possibly heartening, that the fast food chain feels the need to use an apostrophe. He adds: “Slogans work best when they are short, simple and catchy. Often they give the impression of stating truths universally acknowledged, which cannot be questioned: 'The Real Thing’; 'It’s Good to Talk’.”

Advertising slogans may look deceptively simple, but some have been penned by very famous figures: F Scott Fitzgerald, Salman Rushdie, Dorothy L Sayers, Don DeLillo and Joseph Heller – all worked as copywriters early in their careers. Rushdie, indeed, is responsible for the Milk Marketing Board’s “Naughty. But nice” slogan for cream cakes, coined when he worked at Ogilvy & Mather. There was also “Irresistibubble” for Aero, which he came up with after listening to a colleague with a stutter.

Murray Walker, the Formula One commentator, was meanwhile rumoured to have devised “A Mars a day helps you work rest and play” as an account director at Masius and Ferguson, but he insists a junior colleague should take the plaudits for a slogan that ran from 1960 until 1995. The 90-year-old does, however, own up to “Opal Fruits – made to make your mouth water.”

The most famous of these remains “Go to work on an egg”, which for years was credited to Fay Weldon, the author. She later admitted that she had stolen it in a moment of panic as a deadline approached.
“It was one of those late nights, when the client’s rejected everything and you’re the copy chief and desperate,” she said. “I flicked through some stuff from 1932 and spotted it, 'Go to work on an egg’, so we put that up at the top. It didn’t sell any more eggs, of course, but everyone remembers it.” 8)

No wonder that protecting slogans is now a serious business. Nestlé found it was one thing to trademark “Have a break, have a Kit Kat”, which is clearly linked to its best-selling product; but it was quite another to try to trademark the briefer “Have a break”. Mars, its arch rival, persuaded the European Court of Justice to throw out this attempt.

Perhaps the most famous slogan of recent years is not associated with a brand at all. “Keep Calm and Carry On”, a wartime maxim dreamt up by an unknown copywriter in the Ministry of Information during the Second World War, was never actually used, but was rediscovered in a bookshop attic in Northumberland in 2000. The owners started a merchandising range after customers said how much they liked it.
Possibly foolishly, they did not copyright it. A rival businessman started a Keep Calm and Carry On Ltd company, gained a trademark from the EU, and the slogan is now seen on T-shirts and mugs from Torquay to Timbuktu.

Experts note that it is likely, even if Premier does ditch “exceedingly good” from its adverts, that it will hold on to its trademark slogan.
After all, it may no longer be relevant, and it might not appeal to the younger generation – but it is exceedingly memorable. 8)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/news ... logan.html
 

hunck

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Last time I tried a Mr Kipling cake which admittedly was probably a good two decades ago, it was exceedingly small & exceedingly sweet. Exceedingly good it wasn't.

I don't see many ads for products like eggs, beans, cornflakes etc anymore. These days it's banking, cars, betting, solicitors offering accident compensation deals…

Does anyone pay attention to ads anymore? I always flick over to something else or turn the sound off 'til they're over.
 

Mythopoeika

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hunck said:
Does anyone pay attention to ads anymore?
If they're entertaining or have great music, yes.

But I never buy anything I've seen in an advert, so it doesn't work on me.
 

JamesWhitehead

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" . . . it was exceedingly small & exceedingly sweet. Exceedingly good it wasn't."

That generation is mainly in the dock at this time, so I don't think the fruity-old-cake-voice-overs are going to be used again any time soon.

A pity because mine was coming on fine. :(

edit: just how many hyphens do you put in fruity-old-cake-voice-over anyway?
 

hunck

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A thread for meaningless/trite corporate mottos/mission statements as used in promotional guff

Nat West - We Are What We Do

Subway - Keep Discovering
 

escargot

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Conversely, the greatest slogan of all time is Nike's 'Just do it.'
 

Yithian

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I have so many advertising taglines from the 80s ingrained in my brain--and when I get the cue they just emerge from my mouth unbidden and everybody around me looks confused.
 

hunck

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Conversely, the greatest slogan of all time is Nike's 'Just do it.'
Which, as someone on the Serial Killers thread pointed out, was inspired by the reported last words of Gary Gilmore "let's do it".
 

Ermintruder

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These Microsoft slogans all ring tiny bells....the loudest of which is, of course: Where do you want to go today?

Their lesser mantra (mantrae?) include

Empowering us all
It just works
It just works better
Welcome to the social
Be what's next
People-ready
It's better with the butterfly
The 'Wow' starts now
What's a microprocessor without it?
Your potential. Our passion
 

Xanatic*

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I just saw a truck where on the side was the words: "Where there's life, there's hope."
That's nice and inspiring but slightly odd for a delivery company.
 

IamSundog

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Many years ago in Atlanta I saw a concrete drilling company truck driving by. Their motto was “Your hole is our goal”.

Also in Atlanta there was a long time radio personality/comedian named Ludlow Porch who had a great old-time deep southern fried country boy shtick. He opened a restaurant called the Blue Grill, whose motto was “You gotta eat someplace, and we need the money”.
 

hunck

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Also in Atlanta there was a long time radio personality/comedian named Ludlow Porch who had a great old-time deep southern fried country boy shtick. He opened a restaurant called the Blue Grill, whose motto was “You gotta eat someplace, and we need the money”.
Pithy. I'm liking him already even though I've never heard of him before, & what a great name. Deserves marks for honesty as well.
 

hunck

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Carillion pre liquidation:

Making Tomorrow a Better Place
 

Seeker_UK

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About 20 years ago it was all about "excellence". It was a goldmine for vacuous and cringeworthy mission statements.

Luminus Housing in Huntingdon had "Demonstrating a more excellent way of doing business".

And I cannot remember what the company was, but I can remember following an articulated truck that was "Delivering Potato Excellence".
 

Ermintruder

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I'm trying to remember the name of a car body repair/ coachbuilder company I was forced to deal with, about a decade ago.

Their advertising motto (I'll say, because straplines are such a '90s concept) was: "We Will Meet By Accident"
 

IamSundog

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Reminds me of a sign I once saw on a store that sold appliances or something.

“You’ve been gypped at all those other joints...Now try us!”
 

Dinobot

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I just saw a truck where on the side was the words: "Where there's life, there's hope."
That's nice and inspiring but slightly odd for a delivery company.
Yes, but the truck was in a ditch, and on fire.

The truck, not the ditch...
 
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