Stylistic Features of the Advertising Slogan By DING Xiaosong
A slogan is a form of verbal logo. In a print ad, it usually appears just beneath or beside the brand name or logo. A slogan sums up what one stand for, one’s specialty,
the benefit, and one’s marketing position, and one’s commitment. It is especially useful
to reinforce one’s identity. A slogan can prove to be more powerful than a logo. People can remember and recite your slogan while they are unlikely to doodle your logo. It is more important for your slogan to clearly state what you are about than to be clever, but if you can accomplish both, all the better. Slogans have two basic purposes: to provide continuity to a series of ads in a campaign and to reduce an advertising message strategy to a brief, repeatable, and memorable positioning.
The slogan should be used everywhere. Think of it as being attached to one’s name like
a shadow; put it on business cards, printed ads, personal brochures, signs, letters, in the yellow pages -everywhere one can put it.
The advertising slogan is always short and epigrammatic in nature. It helps to make the ad more impressive and memorable. (XUE Hangrong,2003:206)
So let’s take a look at the stylistic features of these fabulous slogans to see how it can achieve its aim.
1. At the graphetic level
1.1 Consistent use of initial capitalization.
To achieve an emphatic effect, the ad slogan is just like a headline which uses initial capitalization to attract more attention or to stress every word it says to impress the reader.
Heinz: Beanz Meanz Heinz.
Toyota: I Love What You Do For Me.
1.2 Sometimes full use of capitalization.
Sometimes for the same reason as above, the ad slogan needs to emphasize every letter it uses or to make the ad slogan look trim and tidy.
NewsWeek: THE WORLD’S NEWSMAGAZINE.
Oracle: SOFTWARE POWERS THE INTERNET.
2. At the phonological level
2.1 Use of rhymes.
2.1.1 Rhymes with brand name
One of the best techniques for bringing in the brand name is to make the slogan rhyme with it. An ad slogan is better if it reflects the brand’s personality. By this kind
of rhyming, the brand name is highlighted. The ad slogan is thus highly purposed. It can differentiate a slogan from others by the brand name and the special rhyming which is the identity of the slogan.
Haig Scotch: Don't be vague. Ask for Haig.
Quavers: The flavour of a Quaver is never known to waver.
2.1.2 Rhymes - brand name mention
A fall-back position is to use a rhyme and mention the brand name without it actually rhyming. It is not so effective, perhaps, because the brand name is not highlighted. The slogan is likely to lose its identity, because similar products can use the same ad slogan with a simple change of the product name.
Viakal: It's the Viakal fizz that does the bizz!
Jaguar : Grace, space, pace.
2.2 Use of alliteration.
Alliteration can help the slogans achieve the strong beating rhythm needed to make it an repeatable sentence. By so doing, the sentences are more slogan-styled. They can be easily remembered by the audience. Alliteration can also achieve an emphatic effect of the meaning.
Allied Irish Bank: Britain's best business bank.
Greyhound: Greyhound going great.
Fila: Functional... Fashionable... Formidable...
3. At the lexical level
3.1 Common uses of second person addressee “you”, “we”,”us”.
The use of second person addressee “you” tends to shorten the distance between the
product or the producer and consumers, as if the producer or the ad is speaking to you face to face, making sincere promises, honest recommendations. In so doing, the ad slogans stand a better chance to move the receiver or customers to action, because the receiver feels that he is being thought of and taken care of and he is the center point of the producers.
HYUNDAI: Always there for you.
Nestle Milo: Bring out the champion in you.
The use of first person addresser “we” and “us” is the most direct way to tell the
receiver what the sponsor of an ad slogan stands for, his idea, his view, and his credit. It’s a little bit like a self-introduction to the potential customers to let them know you, recognize you, believe you and trust you.
Avis Rent A Car: We try harder.
Fed ex: We live to deliver.
3.2 Use of unqualified comparison.
Admen have to abide by the code of commercial practice and stick to the rules of advertising. They should not advertise their product at the expense of others. So they resort to unqualified comparison to avoid defaming other products. (XUE Hangrong,2003:189) They can not say: “Brand X is better than brand Y.” Otherwise,
unpleasant lawsuits will inevitably occur. They can say:
Coleman footgear: Better choice, better joys.
3.3 Use of “every” “always”, etc.
These words are often used in ads to indicate the universal application of the product or to include as many potential customers as possible or to achieve the emphasis of the product’s utility or the company’s unswerving commitment.
Mitsubishi: Technically, everything is possible.
”, etc. 3.4 Use of “no”, “none
Negatives tend to be used very sparingly because the purpose of all ad slogans is to strengthen the positive side. But when negatives do occur, they are usually placed in an emphatic position to highlight the special the positive side.
Mercedes Benz: The pursuit for perfection has no finish line.
M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand.
3.5 Use of coined words.
Coined words are both new and memorable. Coined words are kind of smart words have a special meaning in the specified context. They can raise the interests of the ad slogan receivers, make them ponder upon the meaning and marvel at the smart idea of the admen. By so doing, they recognized the brand.
Louis Vuitton: Epileather.
Burton Menswear: Everywear.
Gordon's & Tonic: Innervigoration.
4. At the syntactic level.
4.1 Use of short simple sentences.
The slogan must be short and simple; it can not afford to be complicated and clumsy. Short simple sentences are easy to remember, while one main aim of an ad slogan is to be memorable and recited. So short and simple sentences serve advertising slogans right.
Sumsung Digitall-Everyone is invited.
GE: We bring good things to life.
4.2 Use of everyday sentences.
Every day sentences tend to be overly used in day life, but it can be very forceful when used in an ad slogan. These sentences travel very fast, because anyone can remember it without any effort. It can just hang upon people’s lips. It’s something popularized
without much publicity.
Nike: Just do it
Nestle: It’s the taste!
4.3 Use of phrases.
Slogans are a kind of special writing form. They can almost do without subjects. Phrases may be better than if not as good as sentences. All kind of phrases can be put into use: noun phrase, verb phrase, preposition phrase, adjective phrase, etc. They are so concise and to the point that they are beyond our power to do any addition or subtraction.
Apple computer: think different
Malaysia Airlines: Beyond expectation.
Maxwell House: Good to the last drop.
4.4 Use of questions.
In ad headlines questions are often used to attract attention by mentioning the matter that concerns the customers most. They help to arouse the curiosity of the customers and entice them to read on to find the solution to the problem. Many slogans (also called