TopCar’s Top Ten: Car slogans you’ll never forget
1. Everything keeps going right, Toyota
Yep, Toyota’s now bulletproof reputation for QDR (quality, durability and reliability) was founded on this 1973 slogan and took them to market leadership in the 1980s and ’90s. In 2004 it was replaced with the less catchy ‘Lead the Way’. Which, to be fair, they’ve sort of done.
2. The heartbeat of America
Harking back to when evocatively named (but ultimately slab-sided) slush-boxes such as the Beretta were de rigeur, the ‘Heartbeat of America’ campaign captured easy-going ’80s/’90s Americana in all its neon-lit, roadside burger joint glory. Still, we reckon our ‘braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet’ was even better
3. Have you driven a Ford lately?
Born during the Mustang’s uninspired MkIII period in the ’80s, Ford took a gamble with this open-ended slogan. Yet, it was oddly provocative and could be broadly marketed on anything from pony cars to Euro hatchbacks so naturally became a global success.
4. The ultimate driving machine
A serious slogan for serious car fans, the promise of sheer driving pleasure still resonates with BMW owners and car enthusiasts alike. Conceived by Bob Lutz back in 1973, it came at a time when the German company needed to gain traction in the US – recently rated one of the top ten iconic brand slogans of all time.
5. Das auto
One of the guidelines to a memorable slogan is to keep it simple – way to over-achieve, Volkswagen. ‘The Car’, in direct translation, was introduced in 2007 under the leadership of ousted boss Martin Winterkorn. It was unceremoniously dropped in 2015 after ‘The Scandal’, also known as Dieselgate
Some of us are still scratching our heads about this one. 2002’s ‘Zoom-Zoom’ slogan seemed too juvenile for us petrolheads to properly grasp. On the other hand it signalled a return to simple motoring fun and when you have a naturally aspirated line-up spearheaded by an always-smiling Mazda MX-5, who are we to argue?
7. Go Beyond
While Land Rover’s ‘Go Beyond’ tagline might not be the most memorable ever, the television spot it accompanied in 2007 showing a man searching for an escape from his work-life drudgery has been the very epitome of Land Rover’s promise of freedom and adventure ever since.
8. Grab life by the horns
Made in a bid to appeal to that old chestnut – the consumer with an active lifestyle, the tagline conceived for Dodge featured rock band Aerosmith and wanted to be edgy and controversial. Not difficult when the slogan it replaced was the facile ‘Dodge different.’
9. Beauty is not enough
You might say that Alfa Romeo’s slogan is a fine case of irony, or perhaps a lesson it never quite learnt itself. Just ask anyone who’s left their 155 at the side of the road in a plume of smoke or had their Brera Spider’s folding roof conk out on them.
10. Vorsprung durch technik
Less a phrase, more an Audi ethos. Quite simply ‘progress through technology’ capitalised on the German reputation for technical expertise. Coined back in 1982, the year Quattro cleaned up in world rallying, it had us all speaking Deutsch.