7 Shockingly Bad Slogans Major Corporations Went With
Choosing a slogan is no small task for your business. You want your slogan to get inside people's brains and sit on their brain faces and just jiggle around in a way that makes them unforgettable. McDonald's did this with "I'm lovin' it," and Mennen did it with "By Mennen."
And yet, for every effectively memorable and only marginally annoying slogan out there, there's about five that suck eggs. And then there's one more that left egg-sucking behind and now sucks everything. It sucks so bad and so hard that the closer you get to it the harder it is to get away. Like a black hole of shitty marketing, it pulls you in, and you'll never forget just how fucking awful this slogan was. It somehow managed to do the exact opposite of what the company intended, convincing you not to buy their product but to avoid them totally, because their entire marketing team must be cretinous jackasses with little to no understanding of the world outside their offices. These are their creations.
Lovin' Beats Hatin'
Fresh and slightly salty from McDonald's comes this new slogan that is the absolute laziest shrug of bullshit. "Lovin' beats hatin'." The only time people ever use "beats" in this context is when they're defending something they have no passion for and don't care enough about it to make any kind of reasonable argument.
"Say, why are you putting your dick in that mouse trap?"
"Beats stabbing it."
"Why are you drinking antifreeze?"
"Beats bein' thirsty."
"Why are you eating dog shit?"
"Beats eating McDonald's."
A bigger potential issue with this slogan is: what in the Sam hell does it have to do with hamburgers or McDonald's in general? Are they just suggesting it's better to love McDonald's than not? Like, if you have to choose, why not love it because, and here's the kicker, lovin' beats hatin'? This is as philosophically enriched as making your slogan "C'mon. C'moooooooooon!" or the deeply probing "What the fuck else you gonna do?"
What Can Brown Do for You?
Oh, UPS. Sometimes a bad slogan is a thing you can't foresee. Maybe you're a glove manufacturer in the 1970s and you come up with the slogan "Fist-worthy" or some such, and it was all innocent fun; you had no idea how that could be turned into something deplorable.
But other times it's pretty obvious to everyone that you fucked up, which is what UPS did with the slogan they refuse to retire: "What can brown do for you" is, at its heart, a juvenile poop joke. And maybe UPS just refuses to acknowledge it as such. "Oh no," they say, "no adult would ever presume to think our slogan is some childish reference to errant defecation. Never! Let us all drink a snifter of brandy and retire with some James Joyce for the evening, eh chaps?"
Meanwhile never knowing that Joyce would totally be down with poop jokes.
Well, listen up, UPS: the government recognizes me as an adult for any and all legal matters, and that's good enough for me. I think your slogan is about shitting.
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It's Not for Women
Dr Pepper came up with "It's not for women" one day, I guess because everyone who works there wanted to not work anymore. In terms of simplistic stupidity, you'd be hard-pressed to beat this as a slogan for any product short of using a racial slur or simply making your slogan "Go fuck yourself."
"See how these cherries look like testicles? There's a reason for that, sugar tits."
In this specific case, no amount of research could ever explain what was happening here. I can guess what they were thinking; I have a pretty decent hunch, in fact, that this was supposed to be some kind of playful grasp at what, at the time, was the overly cute and self-aware "manly" thing that was going on in the world, with bacon being considered the best food ever, Nick Offerman offering manly tips on woodshop and mustachery, and the Dos Equis guy and the Old Spice guy representing over-the-top images of what a "real man" is.
Then Dr Pepper showed up like a kid who huffs glue to prepare for quizzes and just shat all over everything with this misunderstanding of how the whole thing works. The Dos Equis guy is the most interesting man in the world because he can wear a suit and ride a bear or whatever. He doesn't come on TV and drink a beer, then piss in a woman's hair until she thanks him. What the fuck, Dr Pepper?
If It Doesn't Get All Over the Place, It Doesn't Belong in Your Face
This is an older one from Carl's Jr., but it's always had a special spot in my heart for being awful. It's a weird mix of ungraceful, sexual, and unsanitary, plus the implication that it's terribly unhealthy and that you may be a completely uncoordinated moron. They went through a lot of layers here.
"This sandwich is getting me so ho- wait, no, this is a heart attack."
I guess the first thing to acknowledge is that it doesn't need to get all over the place, no matter what it is. I don't want my food everywhere and neither does anyone else who isn't a literal pig, or an excitably non-self-aware toddler. I don't want people to see me eating and offer their sympathies to the people who are with me. This entire slogan seems to be directed at those who could be most easily described as "burdens" by their caretakers. Yes, my brother has the mind of a chimp, but he loves Carl's Jr., so every third Friday we unlock his shackles, pull him out of the root cellar, and take him out for a burger. Later we have to use the hose to get him downstairs again, but we think he secretly enjoys it.
The other issue is that Carl's Jr. has a long history of sexually charged advertising, and it was no different with this slogan, like with the laundromat ad:
And crass as it may be, I'd probably fuck someone at a laundromat if the opportunity arose, but not with a hamburger. I don't want to taste mayo when I'm having an intimate laundromat moment with a stranger. Yes, that's the thing that makes it gross for me.
If PBS Doesn't Do It, Who Will?
This slogan makes my soul frown. I get what PBS tries to do. When I was a kid, I thought they were just trying to bore the piss out of me, but as an adult I understand they just want to appeal to people who are entertained by having the piss bored out of them. And they have never, ever, not even for one day had enough money on hand to properly do that. So they constantly need help. And then they happened upon the slogan "If PBS doesn't do it, who will?"
Basically, PBS airs shows no network would dream of airing. Not even TLC. It's stuff that's made for the characters who exist in Downton Abbey and people who actually have one of those half-globe alcohol cabinet things in their office. And with this slogan, PBS is basically saying that no one else will ever air the shit they put on, so for God's sake help them. That's their intention, anyway.
"Half our employees live on the street. Please help."
The problem with this particular slogan is that, despite PBS's good, if somewhat sad like a three-legged dog intentions, it comes across like PBS presenting itself to the world as though it were a stripper who can shoot flaming ping pong balls from her netherspace. If we don't do this, who will? No one. No one else can do this insane thing. Only PBS stands at the Mouth of Madness! Only we will dance on the ashes of your hoo-man civilization! Only PBS will slake its thirst on the blood of those bored into comas by our tragic programming choices!
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There's No Spit in Cremo
I'll admit I had never heard this one before; it predates me by a few years, but it's also one of the most amazing slogans I have ever heard. Amazing because it's brilliantly terrible. "There's no spit in Cremo." First, out of context, it sounds revolting. If you don't know what Cremo is, this is pretty repugnant. Why would anyone think Cremo has spit in it? Why is the lack of spit a selling point? Is this a jizz joke? Then, if I tell you Cremo made cigars back in the day (they still might; I know jack shit about cigars), the slogan is still just as bewildering. Who the fuck buys cigars based on spit content?
"Only the purest of carcinogens shall touch these lips."
I actually had to pause a moment to understand why this was a slogan. If you're in the same boat as me, here's the short explanation: Cremo was marketing machine-rolled cigars. Their selling point, as shown in this slogan, is that a machine rolled it, not some dude in Havana who had to lick the paper to seal it. So you're not smoking spit. I never would have considered that before, to be honest. All smokes were probably just laden with overworked and underpaid dude cooties back in the day. That's fuckin' weird.
So the day comes when someone invents an automatic cigar-rolling machine -- now what? How do you stand out in the crowd? The fact your cigar had spit on it never bothered the cigar-smoking public before, because they were all made that way. So the president of Cremo had to make it an issue.
Why Not Enjoy the Go?
This slogan for Charmin is damn near mind-boggling in its audacity. Ignore the cute, fecally obsessed bears in their campaigns and just focus on the basic meaning of how they're trying to sell you this product. Listen: you shit, I shit, we all shit. Wouldn't you like to have a pleasant shit? "Why not enjoy the go?"
Yes, cartoon bears, I wish all my shits could be rainbows. But they're not. They're shit. And nothing that I sluice through my ass crack post-shit is going to make me giddy and excited for the idea of taking a shit later on. If I spent the night eating hot wings and drinking budget tequila, I don't need you patronizing me by suggesting that what's about to happen is going to be like a fun trip to the amusement park. It's not. No one is going to enjoy this go, not you, not me, not anyone.
"Ugh, you should see it from my view."
I've used as much industrial-grade single-ply paper at school as anyone else, toilet paper that was made from nothing more than a nightmare about sandpaper that would literally turn into mist if the relative humidity in a room rose above 70 percent. And yeah, it sucks, but at the end of the day, no matter how much you pad toilet paper, no matter how much it feels like I'm wiping my ass with a T-shirt, I'm still just wiping my ass. It's not fun. I don't enjoy it. At best I'm indifferent. If anyone seriously enjoys wiping their ass, then those people are dangerous and unstable.
For more from Felix, check out The 6 Most Shameless Gimmicks Used by Funeral Homes and 6 Weirdly Specific Characters That Are in Every Sitcom Ever.
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