Advertising slogans modals of probability

Try to guess what companies, products or services the following advertising slogans are for. The gaps are where the names of the products or companies have been taken out. If you know it because you have seen it before, you can use “It is…” Otherwise, you will need to use phrases like “It is almost certainly…” and “It could be…” If you can’t make any positive statements, try saying what it can’t be. Start with the ones that are easiest to guess.

“Your flexible friend.”

“Reach out and touch someone.”

“Vorsprung durch technik.”           (translation- “Quality through technology”)

“A little dab’ll do ya.”

“It’s what your right arm’s for.”

“Grace… Space… Pace.”

“Betcha can’t eat just one.”

“Tastes so good cats ask for it by name.”

“Where do you want to go today?”

“If it’s on, it’s in.”

“Raise your hand if you’re sure.”

“Don’t just book it. __________ it.”

“Plink, plink, fizz, fizz.”

“It’s good to talk.”

“The pause that refreshes.”

“Put a tiger in your tank.”

“No __________, no comment.”

“_______________ is good for you.”

“Finger lickin’ good.”

“Because I’m worth it.”

“Lipsmackin’ thirstquenchin’ acetastin’ motivatin’ goodbuzzin’ cooltalkin’ highwalkin’ fastlivin’ evergivin’ coolfizzin’ _______”

“All the news that’s fit to print.”

“It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”

“Be all you can be.”

“Let your fingers do the walking.”

“Nothing sucks like an ________.”

Useful language “It may well be a British product”

“There’s a chance that it is something electronic”

“I’m almost certain that it is a product for kids/ some kind of food”

Now look at the list of products on the next page and make statements about which one could be which. You should be able to use more certain language this time (although not “It is…“, unless you have suddenly remembered).


Lay’s chocolate

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

L’Oreal cosmetics

Nike sportswear

Pepsi cola

Esso petrol stations

FT (Financial Times)


Access credit cards

AT&T (phone company)


Yellow Pages listing book

Electrolux hoovers

Brylcreem hair gel for men

Courage Tavern Ale

Meow Mix cat food

Microsoft software

Radio Times TV listings mag

Sure deodorant

Thomas Cook travel agents

Alka Seltzer (a tablet that has a painkiller and settles your stomach that is dissolvable in water- very suitable for hangovers!)

BT (=British Telecom)


The New York Times

Timex digital watches

US Army

Answer key


“Your flexible friend.”                                                 Access credit cards

“Reach out and touch someone.”                                          AT&T (phone company)

“Vorsprung durch technik.”                                                     Audi

“A little dab’ll do ya.”                                                Brylcreem hair gel for men

“It’s what your right arm’s for.”                                  Courage Tavern Ale

“Grace… Space… Pace.”                                                       Jaguar

“Betcha can’t eat just one.”                                                     Lay’s chocolate

“Tastes so good cats ask for it by name.”              Meow Mix cat food

“Where do you want to go today?”                          Microsoft software

“If it’s on, it’s in.”                                                         Radio Times TV listings mag

“Raise your hand if you’re sure.”                              Sure deodorant

“Don’t just book it. __________ it.”                         Thomas Cook travel agents

“Plink, plink, fizz, fizz.”                                              Alka Seltzer

“It’s good to talk.”                                                                   BT (=British Telecom)

“The pause that refreshes.”                                    Coca-Cola

“Put a tiger in your tank.”                                                       Esso petrol stations

“No __________, no comment.”                                         FT (Financial Times)

“_______________ is good for you.”                   Guinness

“Finger lickin’ good.”                                               KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

“Because I’m worth it.”                                             L’Oreal cosmetics

“Just do it.”                                                                              Nike sportswear

“Lipsmackin’ thirstquenchin’ acetastin’ motivatin’ goodbuzzin’ cooltalkin’ highwalkin’ fastlivin’ evergivin’ coolfizzin’ _______”                                  Pepsi cola

“All the news that’s fit to print.”                                The New York Times

“It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”                             Timex digital watches

“Be all you can be.”                                                                US Army

“Let your fingers do the walking.”                                         Yellow Pages listing book

“Nothing sucks like an ________.”                        Electrolux hoovers




What do you think the following words from the answer key above could mean. If you don’t know the word, don’t use your dictionary but guess from context and use the same language of certainty and uncertainty as before.

flexible (double meaning)                           dab                                   it’ll do

ale                                                                 grace                                pace

betcha                                            meow

It’s on!                                                           mag                                  fizz/ fizzy

tank                                                               snap                                  crackle

pop                                                               crispy                                I’m worth it

smacking your lips                                      quench                ace

buzz                                                              fast living                          take a licking

tick                                                                sucks (double meaning)


Discussion questions

Why do you think the advertisers chose that slogan in each case?

These are all included on lists of the best advertising slogans ever. Why do you think they made it onto the list? (Pick a few examples to illustrate your point)

Do you like these slogans? Why/ why not?

Do you have any other favourite advertising slogans? Why do you like them? Do they have double meanings?

What part of TV ads have most impact on you and are most memorable (e.g. the music, the images, the celebrities used or the slogan)?

How would you define a good advertising slogan?

Can you create an advertising slogan for the product your teacher gives you?

 Useful language “It has a double meaning”

“I reckon it is supposed to make you think of…/ it is meant to give an impression of being…”

“It sounds good because (it rhymes)”


PDF version for easy saving and printing: Advertising slogans modals of probability

5 Responses to Advertising slogans modals of probability

  1. Jane says:

    This is a great lesson idea, Alex. Unfortunately the link to the pdf version isn’t working for me. Would you be able to check it?

  2. alexcase says:

    Working for me. Do you Adobe installed on your computer? If not, should still be able to see it in Google Chrome browser.

  3. Jane says:

    OK; maybe it’s a problem my end then. When it tries to open in my Chrome browser I just get a black screen.
    Great lesson idea anyway. Thanks for sharing!

  4. tefltraveler says:

    The pdf is also not working for me (the PDFs on the other pages here are fine)

  5. alexcase says:

    Have added the link again, so hope it’s okay now.

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