How Ad Slogans Work

McDonald's changed the advertising industry with its aggressive marketing tactics. See more corporation pictures.
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How many times have you been in your car with your radio on, gotten out, and hours later, had some jingle playing in your head? This, my friends, is good advertising. That jingle was so catchy that hours after you had been exposed to it, it still lingered. The same can be said of ad slogans. Every day, we are surrounded by car ads, credit card ads, travel ads, food ads, clothing ads... the list goes on. In this edition of How Stuff Works, adman and author Timothy Foster shows you How Ad Slogans Work so that you can better understand the various techniques companies use to make their products and services memorable to you.

Ac­cording to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, advertising is "the techniques and practices used to bring products, services, opinions, or causes to public notice for the purpose of persuading the public to respond in a certain way toward what is advertised."

In the ancient and medieval world, advertising as it existed was conducted by word of mouth. The first step toward modern advertising came with the development of printing in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century, weekly newspapers in London began to carry advertisements, and by the 18th century such advertising was flourishing.

The great expansion of business in the 19th century was accompanied by the growth of an advertising industry. It was that century, primarily in the U.S., that saw the establishment of advertising agencies. The first agencies were, in essence, brokers for space in newspapers. But by the early 20th century, agencies became involved in producing the advertising message itself, including copy and artwork, and by the 1920s agencies had come into being that could plan and execute complete advertising campaigns, from initial research to copy preparation to placement in various media.