Did your favorite make the cut?
Automaker slogans are a lot like commercial jingles: The best ones get stuck in your head forever. You may not have heard a slogan for years, but when someone whispers “zoom-zoom” you instantly know what they’re talking about. Unlike traditional corporations, car companies are constantly reinventing themselves. That means the need for a new slogan every few years or so. But the best slogans never truly die. They live on in our memories. In no particular order, here are five of our favorite automaker slogans from years past.
No. 1 – The Ultimate Driving Machine, BMW: There’s not really much to say about BMW’s most famous slogan. It’s badass and just a bit pretentious, just like the automaker’s cars. Enjoy this commercial of a 325i driving around some vases.
No. 2 – Like A Rock, Chevrolet: You couldn’t have lived through the 1990s and not heard Chevy’s all-American pickup truck slogan. Chevy Hardcore took a look at the history of the motto which was developed by longtime GM ad partner Campbell-Ewald. The man behind the actual song is Bob Seger (& The Silver Bullet Band), although he initially refused the automaker's request to use his work in its campaign. Seger is from Lincoln Park, Michigan, which is a stone’s throw away from Detroit. He eventually let GM use his song in its ad campaign because he wanted to help out the city’s struggling auto workers. The campaign didn’t save GM from itself but it did sure help to sell a lot of Chevy trucks.
The slogan ran in commercials from 1991 to 2004. While you may not remember the details of these spots, Seger’s voice belting out “ohhhhhhh like-uh rock!” is unforgettable.
No. 3 – Zoom-Zoom, Mazda: Mazda had a quirky idea of what a slogan should be. A kid whispering “zoom-zoom” and a commercial that doubled as a showcase for world music certainly didn’t fit the mold. But zoom-zoom stuck with people, putting the image of a car that was fun to drive in their heads. Mazda has recently begun backing away from its zoom-zoom identity, instead preferring to make an emotional connection with drivers as its brand moves upmarket. Last year in an interview with Automotive News, Russell Wager, VP of US marketing at Mazda, said that when he asks people what they think of Mazda, "nine times out of 10 they say 'Zoom Zoom.'" However, people had trouble defining what zoom-zoom meant.
Unfortunately the iconic slogan has been all but retired. But the commercial that launched it will live forever.
No. 4 – Love, It’s What Makes A Subaru, A Subaru: Subaru has been absolutely killing it the past few years. While the cars the company makes are leading the sales charge, the marketing department deserves some credit as well. Back in 2008 Subaru worked with Minneapolis ad agency Carmichael Lynch to launch its new slogan. According to Adweek, the “Love” ads touch on four thematic pillars: longevity, safety versatility and adventure. While the earlier ads could be heartwarming—and sometimes heart-wrenching—Subaru’s newest spots have gone to the dogs. Literally. Dogs are a safe bet in the advertising world although the power they have over humans hasn’t been effectively leveraged by an automaker until Subaru came along.
Just look at this damn dog having the time of his life, all thanks to a Subaru Impreza!
No. 5 – Grace, Space And Pace Jaguar: Perhaps Jaguar should ditch the British villains and instead launch an ad campaign around grace, space and pace. Those three words were used to help sell Jags back in the 1950s and 1960s, and no other automaker before or since has come up with such a concise description of luxury performance. Unfortunately the world as a whole has gotten less loquacious, with texting and emojis taking the place of words. But Jaguar makes cars for stuffy Brits and those who wish they were stuffy Brits. It doesn’t need emojis. All it needs is voice actor who is instantly recognizable and an F-Type R screaming down a silent hillside while some rousing classical music plays.
Basically, Jaguar needs to look at this video and modernize it. Also, the new commercial should end like the old one, with a literal jaguar roaring.