Worst. Slogans. Ever!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

When I was 10 years old my brother, two friends, and I started a band called the "Def Dogs". It was a lame attempt to cash in on the popularity of Def Leopard. We played tennis rackets as our instruments and made Weird Al type parody songs like "Livin' on Welfare" to the tune of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Bump" to Van Halen's "Jump". It's one thing when a bunch of pre-pubescent nerds come up with a cheesy slogans. It's quite another when large corporations/organizations do so. There are three slogans that I cannot seem to escape on a daily basis that are driving me insane. So without further ado, the top three worst slogans ever:

3. Cadillac. One night Andrea and I were watching TV when a new Cadillac commercial came on that neither of us had seen before. At the end of the spot the narrator's voice, in a somewhat seductive tone, came on and said, "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?" We looked at each other with creeped-out looks on our faces and after several awkward moments of silence spoke the only sentence that a reasonable person could utter - "That's disturbing". I guess that Cadillac is targeting that ever-so-coveted customer segment comprised of people that after seeing those commercials would think, "Now that you mention it, I guess it has been a really, really long time since I was turned on by my car. I'm buying a Cadillac!" The whole question is just creepy and it bothers me every time I see it. In fact, I feel like I should take a shower right now for simply writing about it.

2. The Salvation Army. I had always perceived this organization as consisting of humble people who are simply motivated by their pure love of their fellow men. Knowing their efforts go to help the poor and needy is all the reward they seek. That was what I thought until this year's bell ringers set up shop outside our local grocery store. I was taken aback by the slogan next to the sign held by the person asking for my money, which read, "The Salvation Army - Doing the Most Good". The first thought that went through my mind was, "How arrogant!" With all of the good that is done by churches, schools, community organizations, other national organizations, etc., I think the whole "Doing the Most Good" is a smack in the face to the rest of us. I feel like submitting the following alternate slogans for them to use when their current one runs out of steam:

-We Could Take the United Way with One Bell Tied Behind Our Back!
-Our Left Hand Knoweth What Our Right Hand Doeth.
-Bring It On, Do-Gooders, Bring It On!
-We're Number One! We're Number One!

1. Sherwin Williams. On my daily commute to work I drive by several Sherwin Williams paint company trucks. On the side of the trucks is a picture of the planet being drenched in tons of Sherwin Williams paint spilling from an enormous paint bucket. The paint completely engulfs the world. Underneath this disturbing ecological disaster is the tagline, "Cover the Earth".

First of all, I cannot believe that in this incredibly green, eco-friendly world that we live in that Sherwin Williams continues to use a picture that is eerily reminiscent of the Exxon-Valdez disaster. The way the paint is rushing out of the can makes it look like in a complete accident the world has been suddenly covered in paint. Can you imagine how badly this picture will come to haunt the company when one of their plants in India accidentally dumps tons of red paint into the Ganges? Just wait, in an attempt to show the company's concern for the environment they are going to change the color from red to green next month.

If the picture isn't bad enough, the phrase, "Cover the Earth" sounds more like a military campaign or some sort of destructive conquest than a mission statement. I can just envision the Board of Directors plotting their strategies for world domination as they sit in a smoky war room hunched over a large, flat picture of the earth reminiscent of an oversized Risk board. I am honestly afraid that in the year 2053 that Sherwin Williams' CEO will also be the supreme ruler of the world.

I guess I had better start buying Sherwin Williams stock right now to show my loyalty to the future world superpower long before its violent rise to power. It is trading at $62.83 right now. Seems like a small price to pay in order to avoid a lifetime of servitude under the repressive SWP regime, don't you think?

15 comments

andrea said...

SO with you on all of these, babe. My favorite line from your post: Our left hand knoweth what our right hand doeth. That got a belly laugh out of my bulging belly. Thanks!

5:16 AM
Natalie said...

Those were really funny. I can't believe that Cadillac commercial! UGH!

6:51 AM
Shelley said...

This is the second year that the Salvation Army has had that slogan. I went OFF about it last year and refused to contribute any money to them. I make a comment every time I see their sign, and Michael loves to point out where the bell ringers are, just in case I missed one and the chance to rant again! If you hadn't included them in your slogan list, I was going to write in about them. Glad to see we're on the same page.

3:55 PM
Ryan said...

Long live the Def Dogs!!!!

8:52 AM
Sandy said...

I just saw a new commercial last night that made me think of this blog entry (because of a weird slogan, not because I think you're a girl)...the new "Make Your Period Count" campaign. Have you seen this? I'm sure its a good cause...but c'mon...EEEEWWWW!!!!

Anyway, thanks for another good laugh:)

9:01 AM
Amy said...

I just can't look at the Salvation Army the same now. What kind of slogan is that?

4:31 PM
Ang said...

Okay, so is it just me, or does the red paint look like blood?? At first I thought that Drew has somehow photoshopped the logo (in all his spare time :-), but if that's the REAL logo, well . . . what in the world are the thinking? Not that their other slogan was any better: "Ask Sherwin Williams." Ask Sherwin Williams, well . . . what?? What shade of mauve goes best in the downstairs bathroom? What to do when your kid dumps paint all over the carpet??? Whether or not we should be concerned about the lead levels in Brownberry Beige??

This isn't a slogan, but the commercials I'm taking issue with right now are the Carl's Jr. commercials. I understand the demographic they're going for (hungry 20something male), but their commercials literally make me sick to my stomach. We have a new Carl's Jr. right by our house, and I can't go there because the burgers on the commercial seems so big and sloppy and gross that I just can't do it. But I guess they don't care if they alienate soccer moms in their pursuit of hungry young guys.

1:40 PM
Denny & Joe said...

I'm with Ang on the Carl's Jr. issue. I don't patronize them on principle. Their ads make me want to hurl. I also used to not buy Herbal Essence shampoo when they had the "Totally Organic Experience" campaign. Love your posts, Andrew! You are hilarious.

12:20 PM
Anonymous said...

Okay, Grandson, this time you've gone too far. How dare you attack one of my fondest childhood memories?

When I was growing up in eastern Oregon, on very rare occasion my mother and I would take take the train to Portland. It was a long trip in those days (steam engines, etc.) so it was dark when we neared Portland. I was dazzled by all the electric lights of the big city, but the one that thrilled me most, which we could see clearly from the window of the train, was a huge globe, with a large can of paint tilted over it. A cascade of lights would come pouring out of that can, and fall gloriously over the globe. Beneath it all was the sign: "Sherwin Williams - We cover the world."
It was one of the most magical things I had ever seen. It's gone now, but will forever remain in my memory.
But I forgive you for seeing it from a different point of view.
Maybe this would be a good time to quote a line from one of my favorite musicals, "The Fantasticks" --"Try to see it under lights."

Grandpa Hiatt

PS
I still love you.

9:44 PM
Keith said...

I definitely agree with you on the Cadillac slogan. I didn't know about the Salvation Army one, but Sherwin Williams has been using that for evah.

You might want to replace it with the Hanes commercial featuring Michael Jordan and Cuba Gooding. "I'm wearing your underwear" is one sucky slogan. What self respecting man would ever go up to another man and hug him and express, "Thanks, man, I am wearing your underwear." That's going wayyyyyyy too far.

Thanks for the laffs. BTW, I am reading your blogs! Doesn't sound as creepy as what Cuba says to Michael, does it!

8:58 AM

Keith,

You are absolutely right about the Hanes underwear commercials. Horrible! There were also some really bad Hanes ads featuring MJ and Kevin Bacon as well.

Mmmmm......bacon....

-NMH

9:15 AM
sysadmin said...

I know your blog about these slogans was written almost a year ago, but you're taking the Salvation Army's slogan of "Doing the most good" way out of context. They are not trying to be arrogant in any way, shape of form. Quite the contrary.

"Doing the Most Good" has nothing to do with the Army being the 'best' charity out there. The slogan simply means that for those who are a part of the Salvation Army, they strive to do the most good. In other words, with donations they receive, they want to 'do the most good' with that money. Not squander it on things that will not help our fellow man.

A lot of charities use as much as 50% of the funds they raise, simply for operating costs and other expenditures that are really not on the money (no pun intended). Being a good steward of monies received has always been a high priority for The Salvation Army...not boasting about what an awesome organization they are--doing more good than anyone else. Your interpretation of the slogan is so far out of alignment with the reality of things, that I can't help but let out a small giggle at your ignorance.

For every dollar that The Salvation Army receives, at least 90 cents goes directly to those in need. An extremely small percentage goes towards operational costs. And don't count on The Army mowing down the United Way with their superior "Goodness" skills. The United Way is actually a supporter of The Salvation Army as well, helping to fund the Army's efforts all over the world!

So there you have it. Take it or leave it, but those are the facts.

1:35 PM
Anonymous said...

First of all, the Salvation Army does a great deal of good with the resources they are given. Doing the "most" good that they are able with the resources they are provided. WOW-are we all getting TOO sensitive or what?

5:15 AM
Anonymous said...

Yeah, talk about over reacting to the salvation army one. And all of them actually. How ridiculous do you think you sound, being offended by such mundane and inoffensive things...

8:43 AM
Anonymous said...

Cheers! to the two 'anonymous' postings. They basically summed up what 'sysadmin' was trying to say. It's a shame that 'Shelley' refuses to support the Salvation Army any longer because of a harmless slogan. It's also a shame that 'Amy' won't look at this organization the same way again. Ignorance has run amok! I'll tell you why I appreciate the Army's work all these years:

When my grandfather fought in WWII, it was the Salvation Army who ministered to his needs while he lay in a hospital bed, recovering from shrapnel wounds he sustained in combat. The Salvation Army does not condone smoking, but when soldiers like my grandpa needed a smoke to help him chill, it was the Salvation Army who GAVE him packs of cigarettes. When the Red Cross came around to do the same thing, they CHARGED our heroes for their cigarettes!

You may think this is a stupid story, but when I hear my grandfather express his love for the Salvation Army for such a simple act of kindness, it really shows 'who' this organization is. Additionally, many people have no idea that the S.A. is first and foremost a CHURCH, and part of the protestant movement. Their beliefs are very similar to Methodist ideology as their founder was a Methodist minister in his earlier days.

Denying the Salvation Army your hard-earned contribution over a four-word slogan is really sad, because your reasons lack any basis in fact...just a lot of ignorance.

9:13 AM