Kenmare ND - Upside Down Under

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Upside Down Under

By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News


Quality never goes out of style...

Posted 11/03/15 (Tue)

In the cut-throat world of marketing and public relations, people have to be on their toes at all times or they lose accounts to other firms.

Some of these people come up with some really clever slogans while others are just plain lame.

We’ve decided to reprint some of them for no other reason but to give you a laugh. Some of them are a number of years old, while others are more recent. Many of them come from television advertising.

Most of us have heard the slogan of the New York Times, “All the News that’s Fit to Print.” There’s a parody newspaper in Roleau, Saskatchewan called the Dog River Howler with the slogan, “All that matters is story and character.”

A commercial comes on TV and we see this old man fixing his bow tie in a mirror. Then he says, “We make money the old fashioned way, we earn it.” It was a Smith Barney commercial, a company that has now been absorbed by Morgan Stanley.

Back in the ‘70s, one of the auto companies came up with a clever idea that stuck for a lot of years. “When America has a Better Idea, Ford Puts it on Wheels.”

Timex watches had a good slogan too, but it backfired on live television.

A representative of Timex was live on the Mike Douglas Show one day to prove that “Timex Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking.” Unfortunately after the individual submerged his arm, and the Timex watch, into a tank of water, the watch stopped ticking. It was a really embarrassing moment on early live TV.

Perhaps one of the most ingenious slogans of all time was used by the Levi Strauss Co. for advertising its Levis jeans.

“Quality never goes out of Style,” could be used for just about any product, any time. Unfortunately, Levis outsourced its demin manufacturing from San Francisco to Mexioc and yes, the quality has dropped.

In the early 1980s, when I was a lazy college student as well as a National Guard member, I recall a slogan the Army used that didn’t seem to fit my lifestyle. “We do more before 9 o’clock than most people do all day.” I used to think, how is that possible?

Do you remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons?

That program used the slogan, “The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat.” And, along with that was video of a skier going off the side of a slope and tumbling end over end.

Many people claimed that was President Gerald Ford in that video because he loved to ski but it was well known that he was clumsy and a poor skier.

Clara Peller, a little old lady who was hard of hearing, was sitting around a table with two other women talking about something when she piped up and said, “Where’s the Beef?”

It became one of the most well-known slogans of the 1970s and represented Wendy’s.

The French language side of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., uses the slogan, “Ici Radio Canada,” which translated to English is “This is Radio Canada.”

But it isn’t radio at all, it’s television and is said to be confusing.

The name actually comes from the CBC when radio was the big thing in the 1920s and was never changed when TV began.

I found a GM dealership in Edmonton, Alberta that has a catchy slogan because of who it is and where it is. This dealership is advertised on radio a lot with the words, “Come on Down to Wheaton on Whyte.”

Closer to home, Virgil Hill is one of North Dakota’s best known sports figures and many of his fights were held in Bismarck.

One of his opponents, James Kinchen came to town and while having a press conference, he coined the phrase while trash talking Virgil Hill, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the Kinchen.”

There’s a tavern in Sabin, Minn., that many people from Fargo frequent. The slogan has never been on a radio or TV commercial or in the newspapers, but it uses the phrase, “Pry one open at the Crowbar.”

Finally, one of the best slogans I’ve ever seen or heard, comes from a Bismarck firm that people just loved while it was used.

The Dietrich Sanitation Service that I’m not sure exists anymore was hell bent on customer service. And they did a good job and they were efficient.

So when they used the words, “Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Garbage Back,” everyone in Bismarck talked about that for years. The slogan was on the side of the trucks so everyone could see it. Very clever!