The Power of Branding Through Catchy Advertising

Good Morning.  But I digress”  Does that ring any bells?  Those of you who follow me, know that I enjoy writing about fun television advertising campaigns.  My favorite has always been the Mac Vs. PC commercials which seem to have vanished with the introduction of Windows 7.  Oh how I mourn their discontinuation, but hey, now I digress!  Yesterday, my husband, the IPWatchdog, Gene Quinn and I were chatting about business via instant messenger as we so often do throughout the day.  We were discussing the suggestion of a potential client that we undertake a project for a reduced fee, to which he responded in type with “WOW… THATS A LOW PRICE.”

Now with his comment, I of course responded with… Wait for it…. “I’m sorry, did you say something about a low price?”  Much to my dismay Gene did not reply.  So in disappointment I typed,  “You didn’t play along” to which he replied,  (can you guess?)… “I KNOW.”  So I guess he was playing along after all.  Anyway, this discussion is what ultimately prompted me to write about the power of branding through catchy marketing and the word of mouth response that really effective ad campaigns elicit.

When Gene travels around the United States to teach the Patent Bar Review Course for PLI, we will often use Instant Messenger as a means of communicating throughout the day.  So needless to say, the above conversation was also a case of deja vu all over again.  One time, probably 7 years ago now, when Gene was on travel in CA and I was still on the East coast we were instant messaging each other.  I was being silly, as I so often can be, and he told me  “You’re a nut” to which I responded with, (and I probably don’t even have to say it as I am sure it has already popped into your head), “Sometimes you feel like a nut…” and right on cue he replied “Sometimes you don’t!”  Yes, Gene can be quite witty at times, as surprising as that may be, but I digress… Again!  Nevertheless, it was perfect and demonstrates the sheer power that the right advertising campaign can have.


If I don’t even tell you which “low price” commercial we were referring to, unless you live under a rock and never, ever watch television, I bet you can at least picture the commercial in your mind, and can at the very least, narrow down to one of the 3 Major Office Supply companies.  And if you can’t recall which one it was then you are probably tempted to look it up on Youtube to see the ad and be reminded.

Well, I will save you the trouble and tell you that the company is Staples.  But, if you are anything like me, even with this knowledge, you’ll probably still go to Youtube to see the commercial as I did, because this ad campaign is both funny and memorable and who couldn’t use a good laugh, right?  Well again, I’ll save you the trouble… here it is:

Throughout the last three decades (or more) there has been an increasing influx of catchy ad campaigns as television viewership has increased and more companies have looked to utilize this means of marketing.  In fact, thanks to the NFL and it’s tradition of funny, new ad spots, the number of people who tune into the Superbowl each year just to watch the commercials is staggering.  Even those who are not football fans usually become part of the conversation over the week following the Superbowl and search for the commercials online if they hear enough about the ads but have yet to see or hear the ads for themselves.  In fact, traffic on Youtube has shown dramatic increases as a result of the Superbowl ad campaigns.  Youtube reported that during the week following the 2010 Superbowl,

YouTube saw queries containing the brand term SNICKERS rise by 18,000% days after the game, and on YouTube Mobile, queries containing DORITOS rose 5,000%.

But many of the ads in Superbowl have had other commercials leading up to them.  Youtube also stated that, “E*TRADE, who placed 2nd, had a strong pre-game strategy with teasers of the beloved E*TRADE babies…”  One of my favorite E*Trade commercials is Shankapotomous!

A really powerful ad campaign is one that is interesting, funny and memorable, and clearly defines what the product or service is, the type of commercial that is often the topic of discussion, or is frequently quoted.  However, this type of ad campaign can also be ineffective and even damaging to a company’s brand if the your target audience does not know what product the commercial is trying to endorse.  I am sure you can recall hearing catchy ad slogans and jingles or seeing commercials that have left you wondering, “What company was that for?”  We now have the power of TIVO and DVR’s which allows us to rewind and see the commercial again, and if the ad is catchy enough some people will be tempted to do that, however it is important that advertisers realize that unless your ad campaign has most or all of the above ingredients, the liklihood of rewinding, or being remembered, is slim.


Here’s a prime example.  How many times have you or others you know been sitting for a while, have gotten stiff and when trying to get up jokingly said, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up?”  I know I have on many occasions, but can you recall what company coined that phrase?  I would venture to guess that most people cannot, although you might generally remember the industry.  You can probably picture the commercial and may even remember what the little old lady in the ads looked like, but do you recall what the product or company name was?

I’ll give you the answer, but first, let’s have some fun shall we?  In order to make my point, while having fun, I’d like to play a little game of “Who’s slogan was it?”  A little Trivial Pursuit so to speak.  Following is a list of fairly popular slogans, jingles and catch phrases that have been used over the last 30 years.    Let’s see how many of them you can remember WITHOUT cheating. This will not an open book (or Youtube, for that matter) quiz.  At the end of the quiz there is a link to the answers.

Popular Ad Campaigns from the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s

  1. Sometimes You Feel like A Nut, Sometimes You Don’t.
  2. Where’s The Beef?
  3. He Like’s It, Hey Mikie
  4. My Bologna Has A First Name… (I bet your singing the rest of it!)
  5. Two All Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions On A Sesame Seed Bun.
  6. I’d Like To Teach The World To sing…  In Perfect Harmony… I’d Like To Buy the World A… And Keep It Company
  7. No one Can Eat Just One
  8. Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh What A Relief It Is
  9. Ancient Chinese secret, huh?
  10. Time To Make The Donuts
  11. Finger Lookin’ Good
  12. You’ve Got Mail
  13. It’s So Easy A Caveman Can Do It
  14. Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands
  15. Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop
  16. What’s In Your Wallet?
  17. Fly The Friendly Skies
  18. I’m Lovin’ It
  19. 5 Minutes Can Save You 10% Or More On Car Insurance.
  20. Don’t Leave Home Without It!
  21. Think Outside The Bun
  22. Obey your thirst
  23. That was easy.
  24. Because I’m Worth It
  25. Like A Rock
  26. Eat Fresh
  27. Maybe She’s Born With It.  Maybe It’s…
  28. Five, Five Dollar, Five Dollar Foot Longs
  29. They’re GRRRREAT!
  30. Good To the Last Drop
  31. Be All That You Can Be
  32. A Little Dab’ll Do Ya
  33. World Wide Leader in Sports
  34. How Do You Spell Relief
  35. It’s The Cheesiest
  36. Like A Good Neighbor… is There
  37. Takes A Lickin’ And Keeps On Tickin’
  38. Nothin’ Says Lovin’ Like Something From the Oven
  39. Can You Hear Me Now
  40. Mmm, Mmm Good
  41. The Best Part of Waking Up Is… In Your Cup
  42. Tastes Great, Less Filling
  43. We Bring Good Things To Life
  44. When It Absolutely, Positively has to be there over night
  45. What Can Brown Do For You?
  46. You’re In Good Hands
  47. When It Rains It Pours
  48. Better Ingredients, Better Pizza
  49. Ring Around the Collar
  50. Reach Out And Touch Someone
  51. Manny, Moe and Jack
  52. Eat Mor Chiken
  53. Just Do It
  54. Double Your Pleasure Double Your Fun
  55. Look Ma, No Cavities
  56. The Un-Cola
  57. Heard It Through the Grapevine
  58. Best Seat In The House
  59. Give Me A Break, Give Me A Break, Break Me Off A Piece Of That….
  60. Help… I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up

For the answers to this fun quiz CLICK HERE.

In closing, allow me to point out that I do know that “deja vu all over again” is redundant.  But do you know who is known for saying that?  Sometimes sayings can become associated with an individual so closely they become recognizable, taking on aspects of personal branding.  Personal branding and development of an image is important for professionals, so I will pick up this thread in the future with an article about individual branding for professionals.

By the way, it’s Yogi Berra!  Go Yankees!


Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of

Join the Discussion

2 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Robert Timmermans]
    Robert Timmermans
    December 2, 2010 06:27 pm

    A great company name does half the work for creating catchy advertising. For more about branding and company naming:

  • [Avatar for Renee C. Quinn]
    Renee C. Quinn
    June 14, 2010 12:37 pm

    My son Joe, gave me another one which I thought was great! I asked him to give me some catchy ad slogans and Jingles that he could think of and his immediate response was:

    Call 1-800-588-2300 (And he even sang the catchy jingle). Do you know this one?

    Call 1-800-588-2300 Empire!

    Go Joe!