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15 Unforgettable Commercial Catchphrases

Like a great pop tune, an effective catchphrase is designed to bore into your brain and play on repeat. Think The Terminator’s “I’ll be back” or Homer Simpson’s “D’oh”. It’s something you delight in hearing over and over again.

In advertising, when a catchphrase “catches” it has a multiplier effect. In essence, it isn’t just every time people see the commercial that it makes an impact. It’s every time people hear someone else imitate the commercial.

Budweiser’s “Wassup” commercial series probably aired thousands of times on national TV from 1999–2002. But the reach of that campaign was actually a million times greater because of the number of people [badly] repeating that catchphrase, even to this day. Such is the power of a commercial catchphrase.

Hold up, what’s the difference between a catchphrase, a slogan, and a jingle?

This is a good question, and one that’s not always as straightforward as it might seem. Oftentimes there can be overlap between catchphrases, slogans, and jingles. A catchphrase can be used as a slogan; and a slogan can be used in a jingle. Despite the overlap, there are some nuances that differentiate the three.

A jingle is a short song or tune, often accompanied by music.

A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase that will often be shown or stated at the end of a commercial.

A catchphrase is a memorable phrase spoken in dialogue by a character or series of characters.

The key with a catchphrase is that it’s spoken by a person. In many cases (as you’ll see below), a catchphrase is often associated with a specific individual or character.

15 Most Memorable Commercial Catchphrases of All Time

Here’s a list of some of the stickiest catchphrases of the past century. Test your knowledge to see if you can name the brands behind each of these classic commercial catchphrases

*Note: When the name of the brand was included in the catchphrase, we excluded it to make this just slightly more challenging.

1.

A diamond is forever
Click to Flip
De Beers

2.

L’eggo my ****
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Eggo

3.

Tastes great, less filling!
Click to Flip
Miller Lite

4.

I’m going to **********!
Click to Flip
The Walt Disney Company

5.

That’s one spicy meatball
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Alka Seltzer

6.

I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer *** ****.
Click to Flip
Dos Equis

7.

Silly rabbit, **** are for kids!
Click to Flip
Trix

8.

****** take me away!
Click to Flip
Calgon

9.

Pardon me, do you have any **** ******
Click to Flip
Grey Poupon

10.

I want my ***!
Click to Flip
MTV

11.

This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?
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Partnership for a Drug-Free America

12.

**** it does a body good
Click to Flip
Milk

13.

Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up
Click to Flip
LifeCall

14.

Can you hear me now?
Click to Flip
Verizon

15.

Where's the beef?
Click to Flip
Wendy's

AUTHOR: Shad Connelly
ORIGIN: Communications Director @ MONSTERS Unlimited

If you'd like to follow Shad on Twitter  /  @shadconnelly

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