With Red Bull being ordered to pay back money to everyone who bought a can after a court battle ruled the ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings’ claim misleading, Let us take a look at other such brands, whose slogans may not stand up to scrutiny.
1. McDonald’s: I’m Loving It
The catchy jingle-style tagline for McDonald’s may be well known, but so is the fact that some people don’t actually love the food from the fast food restaurant.
A social campaign by McDonalds in 2012 proved this: the company asked Twitter for their #McDstories, only to receive a string of negative tales, such as “I used to like McDonalds. I stopped eating McDonalds years ago because every time I ate it I felt like I was dying inside.”
If the Red Bull slogan was found misleading even though people admitted they didn’t really think they would get wings from drinking the caffeine filled drink, could this make the McDonald’s slogan also misleading?
2. Fortune Magazine: For the men in charge of change
The Fortune tagline ‘for the men in charge of change’ could be in in trouble, although it does not seem to appear on their website anymore.
The company, which runs lists such as the Fortune 500, 40 under 40 and Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, was originally set up in 1929, at a time when it was men in charge of businesses.
However, the fact that the magazine runs its Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs list shows that it is not only men who can be in charge of change any more.
3. Google: Don’t be evil
Normally seen as a moral code rather than a tagline, with Google facing another legal case about pictures appearing on its website that have been removed elsewhere, the ‘don’t be evil’ line is something that could see the search giant in hot water.
The company itself has admitted that the slogan may be changing; with Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmit saying in a 2013 conference that the company’s policy is “to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
However, the problem could lie, if taking this to court, in deciding what exactly is evil. Not sure yourself what evil is? Try Googling it.
4. Volvo: For Life
The idea is clearly that you’ll like your car so much that you will be a Vovlo fan for life, but the problem could arise if it is thought to mean that you will be able to keep your Volvo car for ever.
With the average life of a car 11.4 years, according to 2013 research from Polk, it stands to reason that a Volvo car will not be with you ‘for life’.
Given that Red Bull was not allowed to say that it ‘gives you wings’, a lawsuit against Volvo could go in a similar direction.
5. Malaysia Airlines: Going Beyond Expectations
This slogan does not seem like a bad idea, until you consider what the expectations that people may have of the Malaysia Airlines brand following the disappearance of flight MH370 in March and the downing of Flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine in July, which killed all 298 passengers.
The company itself has admitted that it has considered rebranding following the two disasters, with the company seeing a decrease in passengers.
With the airline’s commercial director Hugh Dunleavy being quoted as saying: “There are several options on the table”, this could be a tagline that does change soon.
Research carried out by CBS Outdoor in 2013 found that Maybelline, Burger King, Nike, KFC and McDonald’s are the most recognised taglines.