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Writing for Slogan Competitions

Old advertising image with tiger
The Golden Age of advertising

Slogan competitions (often known as ‘tiebreakers’) are a fun and potentially rewarding way of exercising a writer’s creativity. For information on more traditional writing competitions see Prizes and competitions.

The following are examples of winning slogans from real tiebreaker competitions.

Co-Op/Ariel Alpine

Prize: a holiday in Austria.
Complete the sentence: I would like to win a holiday in Austria because… (12 words or less).

Winning slogans:

  • ‘Land of beauty wine and song, in a place where dreams belong.’

  • ‘Forests lakes and mountains majestic, that wonderful blend of Alpine freshness.’

  • ‘I picture a wonderful scene, with Alpine air so fresh and clean.’

  • ‘Viennese gateaux, strudel, schnapps, and Ariel on standby to handle mishaps.’

  • ‘Those snowy peaks are a beautiful sight, Alpine fresh and Ariel white.’

Charter Quality Ham

Prize: a Mediterranean cruise.
Complete the sentence: Charter Quality Ham is a firm family favourite because… (12 words or less).

Winning slogans:

  • ‘We’ve cruised the aisles, selected the best, quality assured by Charter’s crest.’

  • ‘Quality prime is something rare, just the ticket for first class fayre.’

  • ‘Dishes fit for the Captain’s Table, are created with the Charter label.’

  • ‘The label means plain sailing at the table.’

  • ‘Charter Quality on the label sets the course to the Captain’s Table.’

Take off/Flora

Prize: £2,000 in Thomas Cook vouchers.
Complete the sentence: I deserve to take off with Flora because… (20 words or less).

Winning slogans:

  • ‘Whilst striving for a healthy heart, Flora gives me a ‘flying’ start!’

  • ‘As a lifelong user of delicious Flora spread, the prize is health, the bonus is ‘The Med’!’

  • ‘Over Channel, Atlantic or Med, Flora’s the healthiest, tastiest spread.’

  • ‘I would declare over the Pacific, Atlantic and Med that Flora is always the tastiest spread.’

Sainsbury's/Heinz Tomato Ketchup

Prize: a school minibus.
Complete the sentence: My school deserves to win a minibus with Heinz Tomato Ketchup cos… (12 words or less).

Winning slogan:


  • ‘Footballers willing, transport lacking, could ‘ketch up’ opposition with Heinz backing.’

PG Tips pyramid bags/Safeway

Prize: Egyptian Tour/Cruise.
Complete the sentence: PG Tips always makes a great tasting cup of tea because… (12 words or less).

Winning slogans:

  • ‘This novel Pyramid brewing technique guarantees a flavoursome cuppa unique.’

  • ‘Success reigns when it pours.’

  • ‘Loose, triangle, circle or square; the best tea tasted anywhere.’

  • ‘Bond goes on mission impossible to get the best leaves.’

  • ‘The Sphinx told Brooke Bond the secret.’

  • ‘In days of old, pyramids held gold, guess what? They still do!’

  • ‘Choice tips in great shape, ensure a brew no-one can ape.’

  • ‘Given this flavour and pyramid style, even the inscrutable Sphinx will smile.’

  • ‘The quality stands out like the pyramids.’

  • ‘Pyramids maximise tea-leaf movement, but PG needs no improvement.’

  • ‘Tender leaves have room to brew, pyramids are great, letting flavour through.’

  • ‘No competition can ape the flavour.’

  • ‘Relax ‘take it easy’, the pyramid is tops.’

  • ‘It lifts the tastebuds to the top of the pyramid.’

  • ‘It’s the taste that launched a thousand sips!’

  • ‘It’s often stirred, but never beaten.’

  • ‘They know how to fill everyone with ‘infusiasm’.’

  • ‘Cleopatra knew it’s the ‘Safeway’ to a great cup of tea.’

  • ‘With a PG infusion you are sure of a phar-aoh cuppa.’

  • ‘A sip of tea does for me what doctors could never do.’

  • ‘It makes life richer for the pourer.’

Writing tips for slogan and tiebreaker competitions

Follow the Rules

It should go without saying, but if you don’t follow the rules to the letter you stand no chance — they’re not just for other people. Pay particular attention to your word count. Don't try to squeeze in few extra ‘little ones’ — they will get noticed.

Hit the Three Ps

The product must be at the heart of your slogan. If possible also include a reference to the prize and/or the company sponsoring the competition. For example, in the Charter Ham contest every one of the winning slogans manages to make a connection between ham and cruising: ‘Captain’s table’, ‘first class ticket’, ‘plain sailing’.


The killer slogan will hit all Three Ps:

  • Product;

  • Prize; and

  • Promoter.

Remember to rhyme

Many winning slogans rhyme, usually in the form of a couplet:

‘Those snowy peaks are a beautiful sight,
Alpine fresh and Ariel white.’

‘This novel Pyramid brewing technique,
guarantees a flavoursome cuppa unique.’

Occasionally there might be an opportunity to experiment with a longer verse form (such as a Tercet or Quatrain, see Writing poetry) but considering the small word count a Couplet is likely to be your only option.

Use puns

Another route to success is to base your slogan on a pun of a well-known expression or saying:

  • ‘The taste that launched a thousand sips.’ (The face that launched a thousand ships)

  • ‘Richer for the pourer.’ (For richer or poorer)

  • ‘Success reigns when it pours.’ (When it rains, it pours)

However, teeth-clenching, tortured word play of any description is likely to get you noticed:

  • ‘Footballers willing, transport lacking, could ‘ketch up’ opposition with Heinz backing.’

Establish connections

Try to establish a connection between the different elements in a competition — common ground between the prize, product and promoter that will focus your attention on fruitful associations. For example, in the Ariel Alpine competition three of the winners make connections between Austria, the Alps and snow, and the concepts of freshness and cleanliness.

Brainstorming a slogan

Your first step in creating a brilliant slogan is to brainstorm a list of relevant words and phrases to use as raw material.

In the PG Tips/Safeway competition the subject was Brooke Bond PG Tips and their pyramid tea bags. In this case the dedicated slogan-writer would write down everything they could think of connected with tea-bags, PG Tips, the pyramids, Egypt (the prize) and tea-drinking in general. Since we’re also trying to charm the company by saying how great their tea tastes we’d also think of words that conjure up thoughts of flavour and quality.

The following is a selection of words and phrases extracted from the winning PG Tips slogans (‘ape’ is a reference to the famous PG Chimp adverts). This is the sort of list you might have created yourself through a brainstorming session.

Ape — ‘Infusiasm’ — Sphinx — Best — Infusion — Sphinx’s smile — Brew — Leaf movement — Square — Brooke Bond — Leaves — Stir — (James) Bond — Loose tea — Stirred — Choice — Success — Circle — Novel — Taste — Cleopatra — PG Tips — Tastebuds — Tasted — Cup — Pour — Tea drinking — Cuppa — Pyramid — Tea-bags — Flavour — Quality — Tender — Flavoursome — Rich — Tea-Leaf — Gold — Safeway — Tops — Great — Shape — Sip — Triangle.

How many more could you have thought of? One obvious word that’s been left out is ‘teapot’. Could we have done anything with that? How about…

‘No flavour worries when you drop, a pyramid bag in your teapot.’

Could have been a winner?

Before you start crafting your slogans, devote at least twenty minutes to thinking up key words and phrases. The more effort you put into gathering your raw material and the more exhaustive your list, the easier your job will be. You’ll find more tips on brainstorming and word lists in the chapters Writing comedy (under How to write gags and jokes) and Coming up with ideas.

If you want to give your brainstorming a head-start try Winspiration. This website has a selection of winning slogans and comprehensive word lists on a variety of subjects.

Where to find slogan competitions

There are many internet sites devoted to competitions. In the UK three popular sites are:

UK Competitions


The Prize Finder

Although many of the competitions listed on these sites are based in the UK a significant number are open to contestants worldwide.

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