Madison Avenue

Psychologists Discovered The Secret To Creating A Really Great Slogan

Taylor Swift got milk

California Milk Processor Board

New research explains why "Got milk?" is such a great slogan.

New research reveals that, contrary to popular belief, brand slogans don't need to be short in order for people to like them.

  • Clarity of message
  • Creativity
  • Familiarity with the brand

What's fascinating is the study found that while repeated exposure can help people remember a slogan better, people are unlikely to have a more positive reaction to it simply because they have seen it more frequently.

Creating a jingle around a slogan, like McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It," does not have an effect on whether people will like it, the study found.

Here are some other factors the researchers tested. Note that stating a product benefit and making sure the tagline is appropriate for the advertised product can make a slogan more likable:

Brand slogans other factors

Journal of Business Research

In order to get their data, the researchers surveyed 595 people about 150 well-known slogans, asking them questions about whether they liked the slogans and to rate them on qualities like clarity and simplicity.

The researchers also published a list of the ten most-liked slogans and the 10 most-remembered slogans.

Four slogans appeared on both lists: "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands" (M&M's), "Eat fresh" (Subway), "Got milk?" (California Milk Processor Board), and "Think outside the bun" (Taco Bell).

Here are the most liked slogans. These tend to be taglines for major brands that consumers feel are both clear and creative.

1. "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand" (M&M's)

2. "The few, the proud, the marines" (U.S. Marine Corps)

3. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" (Las Vegas)

4. "The happiest place on the earth" (Disneyland)

5. "Easy breezy beautiful cover girl" (CoverGirl)

6. "Eat fresh" (Subway)

7. "Red Bull gives you wings" (Red Bull)

8. "Think outside the bun" (Taco Bell)

9. "Got milk?" (California Milk Processor Board)

10. "Get in the zone" (AutoZone)

Here are the most recalled slogans. These tend to be shorter taglines that brands have spent lots of money promoting for a long period of time.

1. "Just do it" (Nike)

2. "I'm lovin' it" (McDonald's)

3. "Have it your way" (Burger King)

4. "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand" (M&M's)

5. "Got milk?" (California Milk Processor Board)

6. "Eat fresh" (Subway)

7. "Mmm mmm good!" (Campbell Soup Company)

8. "You're in good hands with Allstate" (Allstate)

9. "Think outside the bun" (Taco Bell)

10. "The ultimate driving machine" (BMW)