Hi, everybody. Today I’d like to talk about Slogans.
It’s a marked trend nowadays – every Company has its own Slogan, every Brand has its own Motto, every Product has its own Catchword. Slogans are usually very short. I explain this as follows: the fewer words are used to express an idea, the stronger each word is, the more dramatic effect it has on people.
However “shorter” doesn’t always mean “better”. Certainly, brevity is the soul of wit, but understatement may lead to misunderstanding. The line is very easy to go over.
Actually the line has already been gone over. Just look around – Slogans are everywhere. We’ve got used to them so much that we can no longer see how stupid, strange, odd and sometimes terrifying they are.
Burger King, for example, has the following Slogan: "It takes two hands to hold a Whooper!"
Well, anyway, it’s not so terrible, you know. The worse thing is that for those who are able to grab that damned Whopper, Burger King has another horrifying Slogan: “Have it your way!”
Oh, God! … Can anyone tell me what they mean by saying that?! … Provided that Burger is Food, the only possible way to have it is you mouth!!! No other options occur to me!!! … Well, I can assume that Burger King was specially designed for those freaks that have two throats, one of them for Burgers only. But then, how do they define that they’re having a Burger the way they really want it?!
Anyway, Burger King is certainly not an option for normal people, believe me. As well as Fast Food in general. Here’s another Slogan from the fast food industry that bears my words out – now it’s by Pizza Shop: “7 days without Pizza makes one weak!”
Quite right! People do tell the truth when they do not understand what they’re saying. 7 days without Pizza does make one week. It goes without saying! I can also add that 4 weeks without Pizza makes one month! And 12 months without Pizza makes one year!!
However, if you have Pizza every day you just won’t make it even to the end of the week!!!
We’ve refreshed ourselves a bit, let’s wash down. Courage Beer: "It's what your right arm's for."
First of all, the Brand Name – Courage Beer… I’d like to suggest a different slogan for such a promising name: “Courage Beer: the right drink for shy, timid, bashful and diffident motherfuckers!” Or there’s another one: “Courage Beer – nothing more than Dutch Courage!”
Now to the Slogan itself – "It's what your right arm's for." Hey, boffers and tossers, have you heard that?! You’ve been using your right arms for other agendas!
By the way, what about lefthanders?! Apparently, they won’t buy such a beer in the first place because their right arm is actually not the right one for Courage Beer.
And what if I am ambidextrous??? So, in case I buy a bottle of Courage Beer I may not shift it to my left hand… That’s the limit! I chose Gambrinus!
You know, folks, what I’ve just thought about? I believe that all these Companies – Burger King, Pizza Shop and Courage Beer – should consolidate. Why? – For at least three reasons:
1) All three Companies operate in the sphere of Food and Beverages;
2) The names of all three Companies contain 2 words;
3) All three Brands stand for absolutely inedible shit.
Re-branding would be the only difficulty in case of consolidation. You can’t just put all the brands together. “Burger King, Pizza Shop and Courage Beer” is not a good name for an ambitious Company. The name should be short but capacious, creative but comprehensible… Quite an intricate problem… However, folks, where there is a will there is a way. So, here I am saving the day and I’ve got two Names, two Slogans and two Options:
1) We take the name of each Company (you remember that they all consist of 2 words) and make one word out of two. Say, Burger King – Kingurger, Pizza Shop – Shopizza, Courage Beer – Beerage. Creative enough, isn’t it? However, some people may find such names a bit confusing. Therefore I introduce an explanatory Slogan: “Kingurger, Shopizza and Beerage: Shitty Names – Crappy Goods!”
2) Alternatively we can take one word from each Brand name and make up a new Brand: Beer&Burger Shop. Slogan: “Beer&Burger Shop - Indigestion Guaranteed!!!”
Gosh… My stomach starts aching… Let’s switch to something that is not related to food… Computers, for instance! The following Slogan is brought to you by IBM: “We Make IT Happen!”
That’s a good one, isn’t it? The only drawback is that you can enjoy the Slogan in full only when it’s put down. It is only in writing that the pun becomes obvious. You can expand it as follows: “We make it happen!” – “We make IT happen” – We make Information Technologies happen”. Well, this one is nice, I like it very much. From the linguistic point of view, at least.
But I’d like to give a piece of practical advice. The term “Information Technologies” sounds a little bit vague, doesn’t it? IBM is a Computer Company which operates in the sphere of Information Technologies and also produces Software and Hardware. I’m convinced that they should mention that in their Slogan and it will acquire sound and logical meaning.
So I include Software and Hardware in the Slogan and cut it down as follows: We make Software, Hardware and Information Technologies happen” – “We make SHIT happen!”
Now it’s damn straight! Dimes to doughnuts!!!
One more example from appliance producers, namely from Nokia: "Connecting People".
Am I the only person who recalls Vachovsky Brothers when coming across this Slogan? The World of Matrix… Yeah, that’s where the people were well-connected! No shit! ... Still and all if this Company is planning to do the same – fuck it, I’m throwing off my Nokia 3110c!!!
Or maybe it’s a kind of People Interconnection that they have in mind? … For instance, a sort of a “Brain-to-Brain” Cable Connection to transmit thoughts. Why not?!… If that is what they intend to introduce I’d like to come up with an alternative: an “Ass-to-Ass” Cable. This device will increase the information rate, since a thought will be able to speed up while it goes down the spine. That would be a true innovation in Communication Industry.
For those Nokia representatives, who will be reading this – in case you are interested, contact me for further details.
And now from small and tiny cell phones to really huge items – airplanes. Please, welcome National Airlines with their queer Slogan: "I'm Margie. Fly me."
Well, what the hell is that?! … "I'm Margie. Fly me"…
Is it a new euphemism for naming sexual intercourses??? And what’s wrong with the existing euphemisms then? Why do they not suit National Airlines anymore???
"I'm Margie. Fly me"… Well, I’m Evgeny. BLOW ME!!!!!”
Or maybe (just maybe) National Airlines have got a speaking plane… Holy shit!!! Imagine that: a piece of iron is talking to you while you’re boarding! Surely, I would tremble with horror!
Besides, I distrust those people (and, by the way, give no credence to those objects) who commence many things at once. An old proverb says “Between two stools you fall to the ground”. And I don’t want to fall to the ground because of an airplane which is too busy speaking to mind its flight.
So I’d rather play safe and take a silent train.
Let’s get our heads out of the clouds while we are still in one piece. We are passing on to another famous brand – Nike: “Just do it!”
“Just do it!”
Damn it, another bullshit! … What do they want me to do, for Chrissake?!
“Just do it!”
Well, my reply is - Just DONE it!!! And by the way I’ve done it barefooted! So next time you’re on the way, get a fucking move on or else you’re gonna miss the party again!
Since we’ve touched upon light industry, let’s turn to Levi's Jeans. They’ve got the following Slogan: “Have you ever had a bad time in Levi's?”
I got to tell you - I have nothing against Levi’s – they do produce high-quality jeans… But you know, folks, what pisses me off? Indisputability! When I come across it, I always question it! And the more unquestionable it is, the stronger my doubts are.
Well, Guys from Levi’s, why are you being so self-assured?! What makes you think that being in Levi’s is a sufficient condition for having a good time?! Or maybe some Conversion has taken place recently and now Levi’s is producing Charms and Menats that protect us from getting into a mess?!
Say, a dog snapped at me. Bit on my bum. Straight on the proprietary label of Levi’s that I was wearing at that moment… Do you really believe that I enjoyed myself???
By the way, yesterday I shitted in my pants! That’s what I call “to have a bad time” … Well, folks, accidents will happen, you know… Guess, what jeans I was wearing???!!!
And one more thing that I would like to mention: when I’m having a good time I’m out of Levi’s. I’m pantsless, actually! And barefoot as well!!!
Lunch Break, folks.
Kentucky Fried Chicken – "Finger-lickin' good."
Sakes alive! Are Kentucky Fried Chicken made of fingers???!!! Good gracious!!!
Well, let’s be in earnest about finger-licking. Finger-licking isn’t fine! Finger-licking isn’t healthy. Finger-licking is bad. Finger-licking leads to indigestion. Finger-licking may cause poisoning.
So what is there so good about finger-licking?
Well, the only answer that occurs to me: Finger-licking is better than Kentucky Fried Chicken!
Coca Cola Slogan: "Always Coca Cola!"
That’s the one I completely do not understand! What does it mean? Does it mean anything at all?
Is it actually a Slogan or news about consolidation of corporations? … “Always” and “Coca Cola” have decided to consolidate and now the new Company Name that sounds as "Always Coca Cola!"
If that’s true, what are they going to produce, I wonder? Wet wipes?! Aerated napkins?! Or a Cola that is capable of absorbing itself?!
News time! CNN News: "Be the first to know!" A very doubtful Slogan.
What I do not understand: If news, especially live broadcast, is watched by millions of people worldwide, how does CNN determine that I am the first to know?!
Also, if I see this Slogan and my friend sees it as well, and we come home and turn our TV sets on and switch to CNN Channel at the same time, who will be the first to know, then?! Both have been promised the same thing! You know, folks, it looks like a fraud!
However on closer examination one may find that this Slogan is a covert Job Offer. Judge for yourself: CNN broadcasts the news. So that the audience can learn the news, a running commentary must be made. This means that a reporter who makes it learns the news earlier that the audience does. In other words, get a job at CNN and be the first to know!
Again I’m ready with another suggestion. Along with the world-famous News Branch CNN can organize an Extreme Tourism Department.
CNN should cooperate with a Meteorological Office, which would give them information on possible hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods all around the world. Once CNN determines the areas of the greatest risk, they offer Extreme Tours to these areas.
I’ve got the Slogan as well: CNN Tours: "Be the first to experience!"
That is a paying proposition indeed. In case there is a CNN Tourist and CNN Reporter at the same place and time and there’s a natural disaster taking place, this would be a splendid opportunity for CNN to bring you an Exclusive Interview with a Victim of a Rage of Nature right from the scene.
And the last Slogan. I’m not gonna dwell upon this one, folks. It’s totally useless. The Slogan is all-sufficient, neither more nor less.
Electrolux – “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”