Slogans Used By Indian Brands Marketing Essay
on their role in advertising effectiveness, Slogans with power-packed words conveying what the brand stands for are handy tools, for all companies big and small. One is yet to see a brand which expresses itself without words. Integral to brand building unequivocally are slogans. Slogans and non verbal messages reinforce each other in communication effort.
A unique and winning slogan should be a product of aggressive brain churning done by more than one individual over a considerable length of time rather than just a few hours. Slogans framing calls for pooling of talents, clarifying of vision, visualizing of the graph line of products growth and evolving of a communication strategy. The exercise involves efforts of many creative people cutting across all echelons of organizational hierarchy, but primarily with a lead role assumed by top brass. Efforts and seriousness shown in slogan making foretells the future success of the brand, since it covers a wide range of decisions including strategic as well as tactical ones, if at all right decisions are anything to do with brand’s success.
This paper explores whether the use of slogans for Indian brands can play vital role in advertising effectiveness, and tells what message to be conveyed by the use of slogans and by what features the slogans should be made to make them effective .
Slogans used by Indian brands: A brief analytical study
on their role in advertising effectiveness
NOMENCLATURE OF SLOGANS
CRITERIA FOR A WINNING SLOGAN
DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION
The word advertising is derived from the Latin word, ‘advertero’ which can be broken into ‘ad’ and ‘verto’ means ‘towards’ and ‘ I turn’ respectively. Literally it means to a specific thing. The definitions committee of the American Marketing Association (AMA) defined (1960), advertising as “any paid form of non-personal presentation of idea, goods or service by an identified sponsor”. Advertising is purposeful communications designed with a view to specific objectives. Advertising attempts to persuade prospective buyers to buy a product/service.
Stanton observes that “advertising consists of all the activities involved the presenting to a group a non-personal, oral or visual, openly sponsored message regarding a product, service or idea. The message called an advertisement is disseminated through one or more media and is paid for by the identified sponsor”.
Hausen says that “advertising includes those activities by which visual or oral messages are addressed to the people for the purpose of informing them and influencing them either to buy merchandise or service or to act or be inclined favorably towards idea, institutions or persona featured. In contrast with publicity and other forms of propaganda, advertising messages are identified with advertiser either by signature or by oral statement. In further contrast to publicity, advertising is a commercial transaction involving payment to publishers or broad casters and others whose media are employed. Shapiro defines advertising as “a non-personal paid message of commercial significance about a product, service or company made to a market by an identified sponsor”.
Advertising according to Kotler is “any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor”. Thus in developing an advertising program one must always start by identifying the market needs and buyer motives and must make five major decisions commonly referred as 5 m’s (Mission, Money, Message, Media and Measurement) of advertising shown in below figure 1:
Factors determining budget are
Stages in PLC
Mkt share & consumer Base
Product substitution ability
Reach, frequency impact
Major media types
Specific media vehicles
Geographical medium allocations
Fig. 1 : The five Ms of Advertising
Message is a product of creativity. Creativity is the ability to produce original ideas. Creativity influences advertising much before visualization and copy writing. Planning of the ad, takes a great deal of creativity. Message should consist of the following elements shown in the following figure 2.
Trade mark / Brand mark
Unusual sound etc.
Sub – heads
Body – text
Right proportion of each results in Creative mix
Fig 2. Elements of Message-Creative-mix
The verbal elements and nonverbal elements in the right proportion (given the product, target market, and other things) results in the creative mix which create more attention value for the advertiser. A brief description the elements of message are presented as follows:
Music has high ‘attention’ value and is capable of arousing emotions. Mostly, life-style advertising adopts this format. It is popularly used for personal care products, soft drinks and so on. This format makes audience remember the brands and the company. Recall of ad by consumers even amidst busy life actively, is possible owing to music insertion.
Colors are often used to attract the attention and also to introduce memory value. Color possesses three qualities or attributes namely (a) the symbolic hallmark of Quality (hue) (b) the degree of lightness or darkness of a color (value) (c) intensity or purity of hue or the strength of a color (chroma).
Trademarks / Brand Marks / pictures
These also checked with the intention of relating the ad to the company or product and hence more memorability is possible.
These play an important role in the creation of more attention value and memorability for example, Lijjat papad ad carries at the end of the ad unusual sounds being produced by the pet animals.
Headlines & sub heads
Usually headline appears at the top of the body-copy but is not always. In some cases, headlines appear at the bottom or middle space of the ad. Generally, it is set in bolder and larger type and its short and drags the reader to the body text. When body text is lengthy, the message is divided into paragraphs and each is given a subhead to highlight the theme of the paragraph.
It forms the main part of the ad apart from visual elements, headlines and captions. The size of the body text differs from ad to ad and some ads may contain a shorter body text and for some other, it will be larger. For technical products, generally the body text is lengthier.
A distinctive catchy phrase that serves as a motto for a campaign brand, or company. It is used across a variety of marketing communication messages and over an extended period of time. Slogans are a short phrase used in part to help establish an image, identity or position for a brand or an organization, but mostly used to increase memorability. (Gurnn, Allen, Semenik, Thomson south-western, Vikas publishing house, ND, 2003). In other words, slogan is a set of short, simple, clear catchy and colorful words used to attract and hold the attention of the customer. The slogans should be short, direct, sweet, easily pronounceable, easily remembered, time proof and yet pleasing to ears. It is a concise but an effective way of telling an idea. Slogans also facilitate the conduct of tests of marketing research. The purpose of which is also called a strap line, in an advertisement is to leave the key brand message in the mind of the target (Foster Timothy R V, Ad slogans unlimited).
NOMENCLATURE OF SLOGANS
Slogan nomenclature varies from place to place. In many parts of the world and also generically, they are called ‘slogans’. In the USA, they are tags and taglines. In the UK, they are ‘end lines’, endlines or strap lines. In Germany they are called ‘claims’ where as in France ‘signatures’. In the Netherlands, slogans are called payoffs. By and large, slogans are treated as trademarks.
CRITERIA FOR A PERFECT SLOGAN
Charless L Whittier in his book ‘Creating Advertising ‘says slogan’ should be a statement of such merit about a product or service that it is worthy of continuous repetition in advertising, is worth while for the public to remember, and is phrased in such a way that the public is likely to remember it”. Foster Timothy has proposed the principles of framed do’s and don’ts a perfect slogan as follows:
A Slogan should be memorable
When a person is able to recall the line without any aid, the slogan is said to be memorable. The more the repetition of the slogan the more is its memorability. It also depends on the brand heritage and the big ideas conveyed successfully through advertisements. Further interest-provocative and contextual illustrations or story, alliteration, specially coined words, puns, antithesis and rhymes are good ways of making slogans memorable. Tongue- friendly phrases and happy brand experiences make the slogan memorable. Brand equity is a function of memorability. Memorability improves the shelf life of a slogan. A few cases of rhyme-filled and memorable slogans are hereunder:
Alliteration: Syndicate Bank: Reliable, responsible (CFA, Jan 2003)
ICICI Bank: Safer, simpler, smarter (Eenadu, 13-2-2003)
Rhymes: Andhra Bank: First in Service – Best in banking (CFA Jan 2003)
Canara Bank: Serving to grow – Growing to serve (FE Feb 2003)
Puns : ACC cement : Double action, longer life (DC, 14-02-03)
Amway : Better ideas, better life (TOI 16-02-2003)
A slogan should aid in the recall of the brand name
By reading the slogan, one should be able to remember the brand name of the product/ company. Ideally the brand name should be included in the slogan. The best way for bringing the brand name into spotlight is to frame the slogan with a rhyme in it.
Brand name : Maruthi zen: just add zen to your life (BT 02-02-03)
Yamaha Enticer two wheeler: Blue blooded yamaha (TOI 4-2-03)
National school of banking: At NSB we teach success (TH 10-2-03)
Rhyme: ESPN channel: Think better, win bigger (TH 8/2/03)
Thomos cook (Tourism) : Best holidays, honest prices (TOI 3/2/03)
Vellore institute of Technology: A place to learn, a chance of grow (TH 5/2/03) Amarraja Batteries: lasts long, really long (India Today Jan 20/03)
A slogan should contain a key benefit
Many advertisers include key benefit in the slogan to convey about the benefit to the consumer in a concise way. For example.
Safety for the investment
Mutual fund (First India MF)
Where safety comes first
Brand Equity quiz book Jan 2003
Can Bank MF
Together for long term prosperity
Fortune India Jan 31-03
We nurture talent
Quality of life
GE country wide consumer financial services (personal loans)
We bring good things to life.
TVS Suzuki victor
More smiles per hour
National Geographic TV channel
Before we make programme, we make history
National Geographic Channel
A slogan should differentiate the brand
A slogan should depict a characteristic about the brand that sets it apart from its competitors.
SOTC world Famous tours: the smartest way to see the world (TH 3/2/03)
HSBC Bank : The world’s local Bank (Readers Digest Jan 03)
Western Union : the fattest way to receive money world wide (TH 3/2/03)
Kurlon mattresses : Pure sleep nothing else (Readers digest Jan 03)
Voltas AC : Acs with IQ (TOI 14/2/03)
The Indian express newspaper : Journalism of courage, (Network magazine Jan 03)
Sansui TVS : Better than the best (DC 3/2/03)
SERVO (lubricants) : World class engine oils (CFA Jan 03)
JK Tyres : total control (BT 2/2/03)
A slogan should invoke positive feelings about the brand
A slogan should invoke positive feelings about the brand by conveying the benefit/comforts or the uses of the product/service in a compact form. For example.
We hope you will never need us, TH 8/2/03
Touching lives DC 5/2/03
Jewellery for the living TOI 10/2/03
Emotionally yours TH 11/02/03
Cathay pacific (Air liner)
Now you’re really flying Bran Equity Quiz book July 03
State Bank of India
With you all the way, Readers digest Jan 03
HDFC (Home loans)
With you right through, TOI 3/2/03
Creating lasting impressions, BT 2/2/03
South Eastern Railways
Striving for excellence , DC 16/02/03
Birla Ready mix concrete for construction
concrete on call, TH 13/02/03
Medical Excellence through team work. TH
The perfect match, TH 16/2/03
LIC (Jeevan Suraksha)
Self reliance for life, TOI 14/02/03
Building a worry free world, TOI 6/2/03
A slogan that is reflect the brand’s personality
Personality implies habitual patterns and qualities of behavior of any individual as expressed by physical and mental activities and attitudes, as well as distinctive individual qualities of a person consider collectively. For example:
Idea Cellular Idea prepaid card: An idea can change your life DC 6/2/03
(network security ) :your network our business, Data quest Jan 31-03
LG Electronics : Expand your life DC 4/2/03
(Life Insurance) :We cover you, At every step in life TOI 4/2/03
New City Hospitals Sec’bad :Treating you with care Indian Express 4/2/03
SBI (Life Insurance): with us, you’re sure TOI 5/2/03
(Credit Cards) : we understand your world TH 14/2/03
Khazana furniture: your status, your taste your class, Our solution, TH 15/2/03
Franklin India Blue chip
Fund (MF) : Performing consistently for you TH 17/2/03
Financial Express: What people in the chair gave on their table FE 1/2/03
(Aqua guard water purifier) : your friend for life, Brand Equity quiz book Jan 03
IFFCO –TOKIO General insurance: the life you deserve BT 2/2/03
Birla sun life insurance : Your dreams our commitment. BT Jan 20/Feb 2 2003
A Slogan should be strategic
Some companies convey their business strategy may effectively through the use of slogans, such as
BSNL (telecom) : Connecting India, TH, 8/2/03
Vignan Schools : Global standards, India values TOI 8/2/03
Hindalco (Aluminum) : World Class Quality TOI 9/2/03
Siemens (Telecom) : Global network of innovations DC 17/2/03
Patni computers : World wide partnerships World wide solutions ,TOI 5/2/03
Matrix labs : Chemistry together TH 5/2/03
Wipro (Soft) : Applying thought TH 5/2/03
Nokia (Cell phones) : connecting people ET 5/2/03
Malaysia Airlines: Going beyond expectations, BI Jan 20 – Feb 2 03
Jagan Institute of mgmt: Developing the corporate leaders of tomorrow , Indian mgmt Jun 03
UTI (MF) : For you better tomorrow, CFA Jan 2003
A slogan should be campaignable
When the slogan works across a series of advertising executions, the slogan said to have some shelf life. For different ads with different story boards, if the same tagline used, the tag line said to be campaignable. For example:
Pepsi (Soft Drink)
Yeh dil mange more
Telco’s Tata Indica
More car per car
Karlo duniya mutti mein
Nokia cell phones
Boost (energy drink)
Boost is the secret of our energy
Raymond Garments & clothes
The complete man
H BO (TV channel)
Simply the best
Acs with IQ
A slogan should not be usable by a competitor
One should not be able to substitute a competitive brand name and use the slogan. Further a little modification in the line which does not lead to any change in the theme conveyed by the companies.
Nokia (Cell phone): Connecting people ET 5/2/03
BSNL (Telecom): Connecting India ET 5/2/03
SBI (Home loans): with you all the way , Reader’s Digest,03
TATA AIG (Insurance): with you always, BI,Jan20-Feb 2,03
HDFC (Home loans): with you, right through, Readers Digest Jan 2003
LIC (Insurance): with you all the time , FI,31/1/03
Bank of Baroda: Banking on Relationships, BI Jan 20 Feb 2 03
The Ohanalakshmi bank Ltd : Relationships forever, Fortune India 31/1/03
AIMA: Excellent in mgmt, CFA Jan 2003
ICFAI: In search of excellence, India Mgt Jan 2003
Slogan should be original
Originality is king. Originality stands out. Originality improves the chances of impressing the message on target group. But, originality is hard to come by except with creative process.
Business Today (Business magazine): For managing tomorrow BT any issue
Maruthi (Wagon R): Inspired Engineering Readers Digest Jan 03
Telco (Tata Indica): More car per car TOI 3/2/03
Pepsi (soft drink): Yeh dil mange more TOI 5/2/03
Sansui (TVS): Better than the best DC 3/2/03
Philips (TVS): Let’s make things better, TOI 3/2/03
Ing vysya: Adding life to insurance ,Brand Equity quiz book, Jan 2003
MRF (Tyres): Tyres with muscle Eenadu 1-2-03
Slogan should be simple
Simple means it should be short and in simple word so that the target market understand and get impressed. Being simple excludes many things. conversely accommodating too many meanings in a simple phase requires high thoughtfulness. But the most common folly is missing out the best in the endeavor to express the best. Simple words can tell simple things but not big ideas. Being too simple is tantamount to mediocrity unless some rhythm, rhyme and magic are built in to it. Let us look at a few practices.
DHL Worldwide Express (Cargo): The pulse of business, TOI 28/1/03
Amity B-School: We nurture talent, TOI 3/1/03
Fenna (India ) (Industrial product) : Fit and forget BW 17/2/03
Andhra Bank (Credit Cards):First in service – best in banking, CFA Jan 03,
Eureka Forbes (Aqua guard water purifier): your friend for life , Brand Equity quiz book Jan 03
LG Electronics (Electronics): Expand your life , DC 4/2/03
Thompson (TVS): Happy technology to you, TOI 3/2/03
Slogan should be neat
A neat slogan helps portray the product progressively in the punter’s perception. For example:
PC Quest (computer magazine): Enhance your computing, PC Quest any issue
Nestle (Nesthum): Light & Nutritious TH 30/1/03
Britania (biscuits): Eat healthy, think better TH 6/2/03
Slogan should be believable
Poetic expressions and exaggeration is seen on the endlines, such as:
HSBC Bank (Credit Cards): The world’s local bank , Reader’s Digest Jan 03
Aaj Tak (News Channel) : The nation’s best news channel BT 2/2/03
Seagram’s (Music products) : Above it all BT 2/2/03
Mahindra & Mahindra (Scorpio Zeep): Nothing else will do, BI Jan 20 Feb 2m 2003
Sansui (TVS): Better than the best, DC 3/2/03
Servo (Engine Oil): World Class engine oil, CFA Jan 2003
LIC (Komal Jeevan): Zindagi ke saath bhi, Zindagi ke baad bhi, Brand Equity Quiz Book, Jan 03
Firmly anchored on truth, honesty and simplicity, the phrases lend themselves to be
believable. Overstatement as well as understatement will stifle believability. Take a look
at a few cases.
Slogan should help when customer ordering the product or service
Slogans distinguish some from the other in the product line or choice set. They facilitate
customers’ communication with the selling, obviating wrong shipments. The cases in
BMW : I want to have the ultimate driving machine , AXN Channel
Weight watches: Give me taste, Not waist, HBO Channel (Meals)
Fed Express: why fool around with anyone else, HBO Channel
Slogan should not be in current use by others
The more different users of a slogan, the less effective it is. Banker and insurance companies and also telecom companies use more or less same meaning giving or with same words in their slogans. The mission, strategy and message of two brands may be the same. But each of them should occupy a distinct slot in the consumers’ mind. This is what brand positioning is all about. The slogan in most cases expresses its position. If the positioning is proper, this slogan will not be in current use by any other brand. Take a look at a few cases.
AIMA (B-School): Excellent in management Indian mgt Jan 03
ICFAI (B-School): In search of excellence, TH,
SBI (Home loans): with you all the way Readers Digest Jan 03
HDFC (Home loans): with you right through TOI 3/2/03
LIC (Insurance): with you all the time Fortune India 31/1/03
TATA AIG (Insurance): with you always BI Jan 20-Feb 2 03
Bank of Baroda: Banking on relationships, CFA Jan 2003
The Dhana Lakshmi Bank ltd: Relationships for ever, CFA Jan 2003.
Slogan should not be bland, generic or hackneyed
Slogans that are bland, nedolent of mom and aprole-pie, clearly suffer a weakness.
Almost any brand could use these lines and lines are dull and monotony. For example.
UTI (MF): For you better tomorrow, CFA Jan 2003
Union Bank of India: Good people to bank with, Readers Digest Jan 2003
AIMA B-School: Excellence in mgmt, Indian Mgt Jan –03
GE Country wide Consumer Financial Services: We bring good things to life, DC 10-2-03
West Bengal IDC: Making things happen, Indian mgmt Jan –03
Slogan should not prompt a sarcastic or negative response
Malaysia Airlines: Going beyond expectation , BI Jan 20/Feb 2 2003
(Expectations differ from passenger to passenger)
Fiat Palio (4 wheeler): Technology to the max, DC 6/2/2003 (Can you define the max limit of the Technology)
Ing Vysya life insurance : Adding life to insurance , Brand equity quiz book Jan 2003
(How can it be possible?)
Slogan should not be pretentious
This is called pomposity test. ‘Promise less and deliver more’ mind set leads to high
customers’ satisfaction. Promising what is not possible will only result in fast slide of the
brand along graph line of satisfaction and loyalty to customers. A slogan should give the
true spin of importance for example:
IIPM –B – School: What we teach today the other adopt tomorrow
Community (Digital copier): We are in your corner, BI, Jan 20 /Feb 2003
Birla sun life insurance: Your dreams our commitment, BI Jan 2/Feb 2 2003
AFL private (Cargo): Where movement is a science, FI 31/1/03
Slogan should not be negative
Negative Advertising is hard to justify and some times the negative slogan confuse the customer, such as
Yashoda Hospitals: We hope you will never need us, TH 8/2/2003
Slogan should not neck of corporate waffle, hence sounding unreal
DSP Merrill lynch (MF): Bullish on life, TOI 11/2/03
(Onida) MNC Electronics (Black TV): It will change your world DC 3/2/03
KLA Electronics (UPS): Leadership beyond compare, Data Quest 31/1/03
South Eastern Railways: Striving for excellence DC 10/2003
Slogan should not be a ‘so what’ ? or ‘Ho-hum’ statement
Bharat overseas Bank Ltd, A bank owned by 7 banks (‘so what ?’), CFA Jan 2003
Slogan should not make you say “ oh yeah??”
Apex Academy (IIT /JEE coaching): We take your career as seriously as you do!
TOI 10/2/03 (“o w yeah!”)
Videocon (Electronics): Technology for health and pleasure, Brand Equity Quiz Jan 03, (“oh yeah!”)
Patni computers: world wide partnership, world wide solutions,TOI 5/2/03
Slogan should not be meaningless and complicated or clumsy
AFL Private (Cargo): Where movement is a science, FI 31/1/03
Yamaha (Enticer 2 wheeler): Blue blooded Yamaha, TOI 4/2/03
Slogan could be trendy
It implies that a slogan should be as short as possible
Single word slogans are :
Compaq & HP: ‘Invent’ , Data Quest 15/1/03
Apollo Tyres: unstoppable , BI Jan 20/Feb 2 2003
Two or three words slogans and three terse ideas such as:
The new Indian express (news paper ): ‘ Sarvathra Vijayam’ Newspaper any day
Business Today: For managing tomorrow , BT any issue
Maruthi Vagon R: Inspired Engineering, Readers Digest Jan 2003
LG Electronics: Expand yourself, TOI 3/2/03
Syndicate Bank: Reliable, Responsible, CFA Jan – 2003
Jaypee institute of mgt : Education, Enlightenment, Empowerment, TH 12/2/2003
Khazana Furniture: your status, your taste Your class, our solutions,TH 15/2/03
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
Slogans with power-packed words conveying what the brand stands for are handy tools, for all companies big and small. One is yet to see a brand which expresses itself without words. Integral to brand building unequivocally are slogans. Slogans and non verbal messages reinforce each other in communication effort.
A unique and winning slogan should be a product of aggressive brain churning done by more than one individual over a considerable length of time rather than just a few hours. Slogans framing calls for pooling of talents, clarifying of vision, visualizing of the graph line of products growth and evolving of a communication strategy. The exercise involves efforts of many creative people cutting across all echelons of organizational hierarchy, but primarily with a lead role assumed by top brass. Efforts and seriousness shown in slogan making foretells the future success of the brand, since it covers a wide range of decisions including strategic as well as tactical ones, if at all right decisions are anything to do with brand’s success. Slogan framing if interested to ad-hoc advertising professionals will be ill-fated unless the professionals are thoroughly familiar with the brands and its strategization through their long association with the brand.
Focus on slogan making is focus on an area of paramount importance since it touches on strategization and communication. The analysis has boiled down to identification of chief functions of a slogan and critic for effective slogan. The functions of an effective slogan are:
Credibility b) Convenience of recall c) Communicational ease d) Creative distinctiveness which is called “4C’s testing framework”. “4C’s testing framework” can not only help evaluate the effectiveness of a slogan but also create a new winning slogan.
The first and foremost function of slogan is establishing as well as maintaining credibility for the brand. Timothy prescribes that it should be believable, should not be pretentious, should not be unreal, capable of invoking positive feelings, tout key benefits, represent personality of the brand and trigger deep strategy oriented thought process.
Secondly, the slogan should help recall the brand name and the slogan itself. The prescriptive phrasing is that the slogan should be memorable, simple, and neat and reflect brand’s strategic orientation.
Thirdly, the slogan should be of high creative distinctiveness, which of course is a product of high-rung creative thought process. The prescription for achieving this functionality is that the slogan should be trendy, original, differentiative and personality reflective. It should not be bland, generic, hackneyed and should not generate lackluster responses like so-what, ho–hum, oh-yeah etc. it should not be already in use by others and preferably should hedge itself against authorized or unauthorized use by competitors. It should not be a source of negative responses. Perhaps sarcastic phrasing will invoke negative responses only.
Lastly, brand and business depend heavily on ‘communicational ease’ of the message and slogan which is the subject on hand. The slogan should be campaignable and capable of providing ease of ordering a product by a customer. It should not be sarcastic lest negative responses are brought forth.
Fig 3. 4C’s TESTING FRAMEWORK
CONVENIENCE OF RECALL
- Not pretentious
- Not unreal
- Source of positive feeling
- speaks of key benefit.
- Aids in brand recall
- Not bland
- Not in use by others
- Makes the brand standout
- Non-encroach able to competitors
- Does not generate lackluster responses
- Ease in Ordering
- Not sarcastic
- Not a source of negative responses
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