Advertising payoffs: when can the slogan be registered as trademark?

The topic of advertising payoffs – that short phrase that is often linked to a brand and mentioned after a company’s trademark – is analysed by Gilberto Cavagna of Gualdana in a contribution to Brand-News, an online journalistic publication on communication, media and marketing.

Referring to some iconic payoffs, such as Nike’s “Just do it” and McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it“, Cavagna explains what are the legal requirements to be registered as trademarks.

It is fundamental for the slogan to be distinctive. The promotional message must therefore have originality or richness of meaning; it should arouse surprise in those who read it, making them think of elements that are not necessarily explicit. That short phrase, in other words, must be a real distinctive element (like, in fact, the brand itself).

Among the examples analyzed by Cavagna in his article, the Audi and Oatly case.