IT is now recognised as an integral aspect of advertising that can help make or break a product.
But 160 years ago, the first advertising slogan broke new ground when it was published, helping a British firm become a successful global brand in an era when that was no mean feat - and inspiring others to follow suit.

What was the slogan?
August 1859 saw what is recognised as the world’s first advertising slogan appear in print - “Beechams Pills: Worth a Guinea a Box”.
They promised to “dislodge bile, stir up the liver, cure sick-headache, female ailments, remove disease and promote good health”.
And it, of course, cost less than a guinea to buy them.

Beechams - as in the cold and flu remedy?
That’s what the Beechams name is now associated with, but in those days, the pills were marketed as a pick-me-up and became very popular with the British public as a general health booster.
The British Medical Association investigated in 1912 and found that they were actually a concoction of powdered soap, aloes and ginger - but sales continued apace.

And they benefited from advertising?
The forward-thinking firm founder, Thomas Beecham, realised that a punchy slogan would grab attention. By 1895, he spent £100,000 a year on advertising - an astonishing figure for the era. His heir, Joseph, spent $5 million in the US alone between 1903 and 1913.

And other firms took note?
Carving out a slogan became the thing to do as firms realised that a catchphrase that grabs attention could be worth its weight in gold.

Remind me of some famous ones?
Take your pick from a plethora of hits - although some have, of course, hit the spot better than others.
Through the years, the most memorable include “Beanz Meanz Heinz”, “Opal Fruits, made to make your mouth water”, “Guinness is good for you” and “Drinka pinta milka day”.

A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play?
It’s a slogan often credited to racing commentator Murray Walker, but although he was involved with it as the then-account director for advertising firm Masius and Ferguson, he didn’t come up with it himself. It was coined by ad-man Francis Harmar Brown at the firm in 1959.

Any others that spring to mind?
Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Finger lickin’ good” endures, as does the famous Cadbury’s Milk Tray line: “All because the lady loves Milk Tray.”
Other taglines that linger include “Have a break...have a KitKat” and British Rail’s “Let the train take the strain”.
“Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for anything else” was a hit for Castlemaine XXXX Beer in the 1980s, while “Ah! Bisto” dates back to 1919.

And what was the one about an egg?
One of the most famous slogans in history is easily the “Go to work on an egg” line, used by the United Kingdom’s Egg Marketing Board in the 1950s and 1960s as part of a campaign worth more than £12 million, which included a series of TV adverts starring the comedian Tony Hancock and actress Patricia Hayes.
The idea was that having an egg for breakfast was the best way to start the working day and author Fay Weldon is credited with having come up with the slogan that captured hearts with its wholesome simplicity.

And how are Beechams faring?
In 2000, a merger brought them into the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) fold, with the Beechams name still used to sell over-the-counter cold and flu remedies as the brand endures.
Nowadays, GSK are definitely worth more than a guinea and have an advertising budget of around $1.7 billion.