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Do slogans work?

  • 17-04-2023 9:30pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,572 ✭✭✭

    We have all these slogans from drink responsibly, gamble aware know when to stop, no room for racism, etc, but do they work? Will they stop people from drinking, gambling or being racist?



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,205 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock

    They're designed more to make people aware of their actions and the consequences rather than stop (apart from the racism).

    It's reinforcing a message: it works it's consistant and shows up repeatedly, but not if it's just an occasional thing.

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 11,212 Mod ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    Empirical post-marketing research is the only way to assess the claim. And that can be flawed, by its nature.

    Still, the inclusion of health warnings on cigarette packets, for example, has been cited to have a correlation with reduced tobacco purchasing, if not consumption (they are different things!).

    I guess you could also look at public service announcements with regard to seat belt wearing and drink driving.

    It's a wide open field...

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,794 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    You only gave three. Thrown in a few of the etc's.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,572 ✭✭✭Floppybits

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,572 ✭✭✭Floppybits

    If you take the drink driving slogans or the seat belt ones like don't drink and drive, click clack front and back, did they work when not backed up by proper legislation and enforcement?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,794 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    With the higher population, and more cars on the road, it would be logical to expect more road traffic accidents now than in the 1970's. But if road deaths can be used as a measure, it is much safer now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,572 ✭✭✭Floppybits

    Yes but is that because of the slogans or because of legislation and enforcement? If tomorrow the authorities said look everyone is not drinking and driving and wearing seatbelts no need for the legislation, we will just have slogans reminding people of the dangers of drinking and driving and not wearing a seatbelt do you think people would still not drink and drive and wear a seatbelt?

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,961 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    I don’t think a slogan advocating against racism will stop people being racist. Every racist knows their views are distasteful but showing them a poster, TV advertisement won’t change it.

    then again some advertising incorporating slogans showing grim car accidents caused by shît driving and or alcohol or drugs, certainly might influence. Because their is great consequences to ending up in / causing a crash… there is pretty much no deterrent to being racist.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,316 ✭✭✭✭Akrasia

    Industry sponsored slogans work, but not in the way they're advertised

    'Drink responsibly' is a positive message about drinking. Vs, a hypothetical 'Stop Drinking irresponsibily' which would never be approved because it's a negative message

    'Gamble Aware' still tells people to gamble.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,205 ✭✭✭✭Princess Consuela Bananahammock

    I like to think mostly yes: most people don't drink and drive because they're worried about getting into trouble, the don't do it because it's selfish and dangerous to the point of being potentially lethal.

    Everything I don't like is either woke or fascist - possibly both - pick one.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,234 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    Political slogans can certainly be effective, sometimes famously so. ("Get Brexit done!" "Stop the Boats" "Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!" "Peace! Bread! All power to the Soviets!")

    Of course, we remember the successful slogans; we have trouble recalling the less successful ones. So our perception of the general efficacy of political slogans may be somewhat rosy. Still, there's no doubt that a good political slogan can be effective in driving home a message that people are willing to hear.

    And, if slogans can influence political attitudes/behaviour, why not other attitudes/behaviours? Adertisers certainly think that they can be effective — Just do it, finger lickin' good, a diamond is forever, I'm lovin' it. These are slogans that different commercial enterprises have stuck with for years, presumably because there is research showing their efficacy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,115 ✭✭✭dinneenp

    Politically they are extremely effective.

    Make America Great Again & Take Control Back are very simple sayings, easy to remember & don't challenge you to think about them. For people who don't pay too much attention to politicians, a slogan is going to win over long details- facts, arguments, backed up with details. Many won't pay any attention to that but a slogan will be remembered.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,431 Mod ✭✭✭✭artanevilla

    Wavin - make the right connection.

  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭niallpatrick

    Never ever drink and drive, look once look twice (road safety advert for looking out for motorbikes at junctions) quite a few from when I was a kid with the tufty club and the green cross code man, stop look listen. Seat belt was clunk click every trip, being from the 6 counties we had the British adverts for road safety electrical no-no's and safe manual handling of heavy objects plus the obligatory Timmy finds what looks like a thermos flask and opens it 'kabooom' Timmy noooo! I'm still petrified of tartan thermos flasks to this day.

    I'm 51 and remember them all 40+years later and still use them especially if I can't find a crossing light I ask a responsible adult to help me cross the road, see above clunk click every trip that was Jimmy Saville, a child molester.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,263 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison

    Speaking of 40 years later:

    We are cheaper we are cheaper we are cheaper than anybody else

    We are cheaper we are cheaper we are cheaper than anybody else

    We are cheaper we are cheaper we are cheaper than anybody else

    We are…The Gap

    i guess repetition does work 🤪

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,446 ✭✭✭The Continental Op

    For mash get smash.

    That one did I still remember it 40 maybe 50 years later.

    /gets coat.

    Wake me up when it's all over.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,234 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    "For mash get smash" is a counter-example because, although everybody remembers the slogan, practically nobody buys the product. (Well, not more than once.) A memorable slogan is not the same thing as an effective slogan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,572 ✭✭✭Floppybits

    That's it though, it's a slogan that everyone remembers but did it make people buy it. I just don't see how the gamble aware ads have an impact, like you see an add for bet365 or any one of them and at the end they throw in "when the fun stops, stop" and I'm does it have an impact, same with those poxy Harry Redknapp betting ads. Do they have an impact?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,446 ✭✭✭The Continental Op

    On the other hand the object of the slogan is for it to be associated with a product to help make the product better known. There can be few people that ever heard the Cadbury's Smash advert that don't know that Cadbury's Smash is a dried potato product. The next step is obviously getting customers to buy the product but if you can massively increase awareness of your product them you are also increasing the chance people will buy it.

    In other situations the world and his wife knows a product or service exists and the advertising is to make sure that the product or service is in the customers mind when they make a purchasing decision. Notable among those would be British Rails be "Let the Train Take The Strain" which in hindsight would never have been made had BR known what we all know now.

    Wake me up when it's all over.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,234 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    The whole "every gambling ad must be followed by a less impactful ad about the dangers of gamblin" thing strikes me as bizarre. I doubt very much that it's based on any kind of research about efficacy; it's a political compromise between the concerns of welfare agencies and the interests of gambling companies.

    Rationally, if gambling is so harmful that we need to be warned about the harm, why allow it to be advertised in the first place?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,915 ✭✭✭✭zell12

    This is a classic, and it works

    This Mars one also stands out, clever marketing

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,958 ✭✭✭kirk.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,078 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    Aren't the gamble aware ads run by the gambling companies?and aren't they basically gambling ads?

    I'm sure I've seen a roulette wheel and the bloke from SkyBet on the gamble aware ad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,078 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    Yeah this was exactly the point I was going to make. If you ask why Boris Johnson won No.10 in 2019, most people will say it was to 'get Brexit done'.

    But we don't tend to remember the bad ones. Anyone remember enda Kenny election posters in the early 2000s with 'I'll make them pay for their crimes'? Probably not. There's something about a 3 word phrase that makes a good slogan. 'Morning In America', is a famous Ronald Regan election slogan. Trump used them well too. Lock her up, build the wall. Make America great again (4 words). And you mention a few famous 3 word slogans above.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,751 ✭✭✭growleaves

    "Hope and Change"

    Any vague indefinable feelings of dissatisfaction can potentially be got rid of with 'change'.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,234 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    Pretty much all political parties campaign all the time on the basis of offering change. The dimmest politician can see that a party promising "more of the same!" is unlikely to sweep the polls. Even incumbent parties tend to promise change at election time.

    "Hope and change" is associated with the Obama campaign in 2008 (although in fact the slogans the campaign actually used were "yes we can!", "change we need" "change we can believe in" and simply "hope"). His opponent, John McCain, used "reform, prosperity and peace" which is less snappy, but still leads with the idea of changing things.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,234 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    I'm open to correction here, but the current state of play in Ireland is, I think, that the gamble aware message is promoted voluntarily by the gambling industry (and financed by participants in the gambling industry) in an attempt to demonstrate social responsibility and, I strongly suspect, to stave off tougher restrictions, or a complete ban, on gambling advertising being imposed by law.

    There's a bill currently before the Oireachtas which would require gambling ads to include a warning of the risks of gambling and information about support services, and which would impose many more restrictions on gambling advertising. I suspect the industry would like to avert this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,078 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    Fair one. I was thinking of this guy. He's in a few gamble awareness ads.

    This is an ad for skybet dressed up as gamble awareness. It has in the top corner too.

    That's just good capitalism though. Can't really fault them for getting around the rules. It's not their job to care about harm caused by gambling.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,234 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    Ok. It's clear that that ad is made for the UK market, where the legal/regulatory environment is not necessarily the same as in Ireland. I agree with you that this is an ad for Skybet. I'm not aware that they are under any legal obligation the the UK to promote gambling awareness in this way, but maybe they are. Assuming they aren't, though, they are doing this (a) to promote awareness of the Skybet brand; (b) to enhance the brand by demonstrating some kind of social responsiblity and (c) in this hope that running ads like this will avert the risk of legal regulation which would require them to run tougher ads, or restrict or stop them advertising altogether.

    Whether this is "good capitalism" or not is another matter. It's capitalism, but unless you regard capitalism as inherently virtuous, I don't see that it's "good capitalism" in the sense of ethically good capitalism. If it prioritises Skybets profits over averting or remedying the social harm resulting from Skybet's business, then it's evil capitalism, not good capitalism.

    Is it good in the sense of effective — effective, that is, to maximise the advertiser's profits? We don't know. We've identified the ways in which the ad is supposed to work but, as already noted in this thread, ads don't always work to acheive their objectives.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,078 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    I completely agree they do it to help stave off more effective legislation by government. It plays well for the government to work with industry in the UK too.

    I mean good capitalism in the sense that it's doing capitalism well. I don't expect capitalism to conform to good or bad in a moral sense. Capitalism is completely amoral in the pursuit of profit. For example this ad is trying to sell more gambling products to more people, dressed up as an ad to help problem gamblers.

    It's capitalism doing its thing. I don't blame them for that. So in a sense, this is a slogan designed to be minimally effective.