Monday, September 26, 2011

Double Advertendres

Yes, I know what you’re thinking.

Go ahead – snicker. Because this campaign theme from the National Pork Board exemplifies an interesting characteristic I've observed in advertising's most memorable slogans: A lot of 'em seem to have a bit of sexual double entendre to them.

Freud probably would have something to say about that. But instead, let’s turn to David Ogilvy:

"The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible."*

Of course, he probably didn’t intend for a bunch of adolescent innuendo to end up in print. And to be fair, maybe nobody at the ad agencies in question saw a more…suggestive interpretation…in the following slogans. Still…

Well, maybe it’s just me.

Perhaps even more interesting is how you can categorize the different ways these slogans, um, titillate the consumer’s fancy.

Some seem a bit impatient:
Just Do It. (Nike)
Have it your way. (Burger King)

Some seem like pick-up lines at a bar:
Do you...Yahoo!? (Yahoo!)
Got Milk? (California Milk Processor Board)
What would you do for a Klondike bar? (Klondike bar)
Put a tiger in your tank. (Esso/Exxon)

Some are rather braggy:
Home of the Whopper. (Burger King)
Good to the last drop. (Maxwell House coffee)
A little dab'll do ya! (Brylcreem)

Some make a promise of endurance:
It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. (Timex Corporation)
Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. (M&Ms)
It keeps going and going and going. (Energizer batteries)

Some are, well, more responsive than others:
I'm lovin' it. (McDonald's)
Oh, what a feeling! (Toyota)

Some are quite reassuring:
We do it all for you. (McDonald's again)
You're in good hands with Allstate. (Allstate)
We try harder. (Avis)

Some seem very process-driven:
Taking Care of Business. (Office Depot)
So easy a caveman can do it. (GEICO)

Some are a more straightforward statement of fact:
Connecting People. (Nokia)
Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. (State Farm Insurance)
Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. (Almond Joy/Mounds candy bars)

And finally, there’s this one from Purdue Chicken. Viva la difference:

(*Admittedly, that's the most un-Ogilvy-like quote I've ever heard. But it's sourced to this biography, so I'll chalk it up to another of the surprising attitudes often found under his straight-laced personna.)

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At September 28, 2011 at 10:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant, as always, Mr. McNamara. (Though I'll admit I find myself wishing I'd posted this on my own blog, while I still had the chance.) Still ... no Virgin mentions? Really??!

At October 9, 2011 at 3:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, Mssssssssstr McNamara!

Because you're one of my favorite bloggers — and favorite friends — I'm very pleased to award you the Versatile Blogger Award.

I'm not sure what the award means, exactly, but it seemed like a fitting way to recognize folks like you who make the Internet a better place.

To learn more, visit me at (There's no need to follow the instructions for "claiming" your award, though; the honor is yours regardless.)

Thanks for your friendship, and for always making me laugh.



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