Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sloganeering Kelsi Jo Franklin

Slogans are seen everywhere in today’s society, because almost every large company uses one for their marketing and advertisements.  The catchiest, most simple phrases are often the most successful, because it is the easiest to remember.   The most universally recognized is Nike’s infamous slogan, “Just Do It!” Or I’m sure you’ve caught a fast food slogan on some commercial or radio spot.  There is everything from Subway’s catchy “Eat Fresh!" to Taco Bell’s “Think outside the Bun”.   All of these are great examples of slogans, which you definitely hear on a daily basis.  For as common and popular as slogans are, most people actually aren’t as familiar with the phrase ‘sloganeering’.  The use of this noun is extremely rare, but the actual definition of sloganeering is persuasion by means of empty slogans.  So, the obvious difference between a simple slogan and sloganeering is the fact that the slogan must be “empty”. 

Sloganeering is often used when describing various political candidates’ slogans, phrases, or speeches made during a campaign to attempt to persuade voters.  In Winnepeg Free Press it evaluates the effectiveness of various political candidates’ statements using sloganeering.  First, in the Capital Chronicles, it looks at the Conservative Party of Canada new slogan of “Moving Forward”, which is similar to Britain’s “Forward Not Back”.  Both of these slogans are very generic, and they are both extremely obvious statements that aren’t educating or promoting a certain idea.  Both of these are the expected course that political parties are expected to move, and they both highlight a good example of sloganeering.  However, neither of the slogans stands out nor did they help advance the message of their purpose or direction. The Winnepeg also delves into American politics, as well as Canadian (that was for you Fisher).   It states that “often the candidate with the better political slogan tends to win the race” (Reynolds).  A prime example is Obama’s catchy; “Change We Can Believe In” definitely outweighed his opponents, McCain’s “Country First.”  This is where the persuasion of various slogans shows its importance.  A candidate only has a few short words that have to be strong enough to represent their unique ideals using strong, memorable language.  The goal is not only to have others remember their slogan, but they also desire their constituents to gather a meaning from it.

Sloganeering uses a variety of persuasive techniques, and one highly effective one is incorporating the emotional techniques.  These emotional appeals are going to be used in all forms of advertisements, including slogans.  Avis’s slogan is “We’re number two. We try harder.”  Although they are using the number two as a positive twist, they are also tugging on the strings of rooting for the underdog.  Another different type of emotional appeals is from Charles Atlas whose slogan is “You Too Can have a Body Like Mine”.  This appeal isn’t toward getting sympathy, but this emotion is desire.  For the different genders this slogan could represent two different things.  For men, it shows attainability, because if they desire to look like Charles Atlas it is encouraging to hear that slogan from his mouth.  It makes the goal seem like an item and image a favorable one, because Charles Atlas isn’t being egotistical or exclusive- the exact opposite.  It appears that he is your average guy and is confident that any guy could look like him.  For women, it is a different type of desire.  The lustful side of this slogan is a handsome man saying that “You too can have a body like mine,” it seems like a more sexual innuendo.   This is a smart slogan, because it is not often times that you can find a slogan that appeals to women and men on an emotional level since their emotional levels seem to be so different.  However, in some way both of these slogans would definitely b examples how an emotional dynamic can be added even through the use of slogans.

On a flip side there are definitely serious implications of how informative slogans are presented in lieu of their desired effect of their audience.  There are “protection slogans” that focus more on issues like, Aids, drugs, and STD preventions.  It is important to understand the severity of these messages and how they are presented.  The fact that they are strongly against an issue makes their message ten times more important.  The slogan has to have quick, efficient message that will direct against without over doing it or coming across as pushy.  “Above the Influence” is a simple, catchy phrase that has been the drug prevention slogan for teen drugs, specifically marijuana, for the past several years. This slogan when coupled with images of high school aged children acting as low lifers, encourages students to keep their life on track while being “above the influence” of drugs and alcohol.  Apparently this message has had a positive effect, because they have stuck with this slogan for quite some time.

It is important to see how sloganeering has an effect in all genres and areas of persuasion: political, informative, and entertaining.   Slogans are difficult to portray the desired persuasive message of the advertisement, so it is important that the words are chosen very carefully.   I believe that the varied strategies and examples presented throughout give a better understanding of the direction, intent, and purpose of sloganeering.   Persuasion can be found in all areas of an individual’s life, so understanding the implication behind their message is imperative.  Everyone has an agenda and bias of some kind, so recognizing this throughout slogans will help the message come across correctly.  Ultimately, sloganeering is a key component when it comes to the basis of persuasion and advertising.















Sources Cited


Miceli, M. (2006, November). Emotional and Non-Emotional Persuasion. Applied Artificial
     Intelligence, 20(10). Retrieved from EBSCOhost database.


Reynolds, L. (n.d.). Sloganeering [Editorial]. Winnepeg Free Press. Retrieved from


Salomon, J. (2005, January). Integrating HIV Prevention and Treatment: From Slogans to Impact.
     PLoS Medicine, 2(1), 50-56. Retrieved from EBSCOhost database.


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