Labour today announced that it would be jettisoning its previous slogan, ‘A fresh approach’, for the more action-oriented, Nike-esque ‘Let’s do this’ to accompany new leader Jacinda Ardern as she heads into the final seven weeks of the campaign trail.
Dropping one slogan in favour of another isn’t all that unique when it comes to branding. Almost all brands go through some evolution when it comes to representing what they stand for. Heck, we’ve even lost count of the number that Coca-Cola has had during its 125-year existence.
KFC: ‘North America’s Hospitality Dish’
KFC wasn’t born with the perfect slogan that is ‘finger-licking good’. It took a little while together. As shown by the early slogans ‘North America’s hospitality dish’ and ‘We fix Sunday dinner seven nights a week’, the brand initially played it safe creatively but very risky on the nutritional side.
Dr Pepper 10: ‘It’s not for women’
If Labour was looking for the ironic vote (there must be a few among the missing million), then Dr Pepper’s foray into blatant sexism might be an alternative option. This slogan, which Dr Pepper unveiled in 2011, makes one wonder whether the creative approval process involved any women whatsoever.
McDonald’s: ‘We Love to see you smile’
Before the familiar ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ slogan, McDonald’s was all about making people smile. Its slogan from 2000 to 2003 was the somewhat creepy ‘We love to see you smile’. It was supported by a smile under the McDonald’s ‘M’ and was sung in a sultry woman’s voice.
That voice was then replaced with Justin Timberlake’s as he was on hand to launch ‘I’m Lovin’ It’. He voiced the ‘ba da ba ba ba’.
More recently, McDonald’s sparked public outrage when the slogan ‘Lovin’ beats hatin’ was leaked from the business. Thankfully the brand backtracked on that idea.
Adidas: ‘We knew then, we know now’
Adidas picked up its well-known ‘Impossible is Nothing’ slogan from a 1974 quote by none other than Muhammad Ali in 2004.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown about by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Adidas believed the idea of ‘Impossible is nothing’ was shared by all athletes around the world and communicated the brand’s passion for the sport. Following the slogan launch, Adidas rolled out a series of supporting videos featuring a younger version of Ali and his daughter, a three-time female boxing champion.
‘Impossible is Nothing’ was certainly a step up from its 1993 effort ‘We knew then, we know now’.
ASB: one step ahead
If ‘Let’s do this’ doesn’t resonate quite as much as originally expected, then Ardern could always go for the ASB approach of changing the slogan before reverting to the one that previously positioned the brand.
In 2016, the bank erased ‘Succeed on’ and returned to the ‘One step ahead’ phrasing, which typified the bank between 2000 and 2010.
“Those three words kept popping up,” said general manager of marketing Shane Evans when explaining the reason for the return to the familiar. “It’s still very much a part of who we are. It never really left us.”
So, with that in mind, might we see a return of ‘A fresh approach’ in the coming weeks. In this election, anything seems possible.