Brainfood: The slogan doctor - L'Oreal: because you're worth it

If you had a slogan that had worked for nearly 30 years, you'd need a good reason to change it. But that's what L'Oreal has done - and hardly anyone has noticed. In 1973, the New York office of the McCann ad agency came up with 'Because I'm worth it'. It was meant to strike a feminist note: this was, you may recall, only a year after Helen Reddy's I Am Woman had reached number one. The line was first spoken by Cybill Shepherd, promoting Preference hair colour. Later on, Jennifer Aniston was famously associated with it. But the feminism - the product of a feisty female copywriter, according to L'Oreal chairman Lindsay Owen-Jones - got lost.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

When Aniston spoke about what she was worth, women were reminded of her much-publicised earning power. They found that hard to identify with.

Worse, the line refused to work in translation. In the vast Chinese market, women simply didn't understand such individualism. So, to make the slogan 'more inclusive', it became 'Because you're worth it'. Now it speaks directly, and flatteringly, to the customer, but it lacks the audacious swagger of the original. It will be interesting to see how long this one lasts.

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