Documentary Looks At Origins Of Greatest Ad Slogans

The new movie “Art & Copy” reveals the origins of memorable ad slogans, such as Nike’s “Just do it,” Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” and milk’s “Got milk?”

A New York Times story on the film indicates that many of the catch phrases were accidental, and upon creation were not exactly seen by the ad wizards as the cultural touchstones they’d become:

Dan Wieden, who first realized that a slight tweaking of Mr. Gilmore’s last words might make a good slogan for athletic gear, said the resonance of “Just Do It” was completely inadvertent and unforeseen.

“I like the ‘do it’ part of it,” Mr. Wieden, a co-founder of Wieden & Kennedy, says in the film, recalling the moment it dawned on him to use the phrase. “None of us really paid that much attention. We thought, ‘Yeah. That’d work,’ ” he says, adding, “People started reading things into it much more than sport.”

Other than “Got milk?,” which seems to be on the downslide, there seems to be a dearth of clever, quippy ad memes floating about these days. What’s your favorite? I’d go “Snap into a slim Jim,” all because of Macho Man Randy Savage’s delivery.

The Birth of ‘Just Do It’ and Other Magic Words [New York Times]
(Photo: phototaker)