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Let’s be Frank

Lifting the lid on all things marketing, language, copy & transcreation.


Oops! We broke it… Why we’ve taken a hacksaw to the world’s most famous slogans.


If you’re out and about in London this week, you might spot some of your favourite slogans, except… terrible.

That’s our fault.

We’re plastering broken versions of iconic brand lines across billboards all over London




To prove something we know all too well:

Great brand lines are hard to make, and easy to break.

You see, we translate marketing copy. Which means we spend all day every day getting up-close-and-personal with beautiful bits of brand writing.

We see how much craft and creativity goes into them.

And how easy it is to wreck them.

Translate something just a-little-to-the-left of perfect, and you end up with copy like this:

On a dark blue backgroun, the Frosties logo, Tony the Tiger, and the words 'They're pl-l-leasant!'

Copy that says what you meant to say, but not how you meant to say it.

We want to bring this to life for everyone, whether or not they speak another language. And what better way than with some of the best brand brand lines ever written?

Which is why this week, the likes of Nike, B&Q, and Maybelline see their iconic lines reimagined… as the same thing… but considerably worse… and on massive billboards.

IT'S FINGER TONGUIN' TASTY at Piccadilly Circus

Then, we lift the lid on the stories and strategies behind those iconic slogans

But what is it about those original lines that makes them so powerful, and so delicate?

What a lucky coincidence – we’ve literally built an online experience to answer that exact question.

Click through to delve into the nuts and bolts of the world’s most famous brand lines. The strategic brilliance. The writing excellence. The insights and accidents that made those few magic words so magic to begin with.

And boy oh boy, are some of those back stories bizarre. We’re talking cereal wars. We’re talking murderers. We’re talking moths, salmon, and pandas. Honestly, you just need to read them.

On an orange background, the B&Q logo and the words 'You should be able to do it if you B&Q it'

But why is it so easy to break a great slogan, just by saying the same thing with different words?

The best slogans are built to be direct – they use sound and association to hit you in the heart before the head. Which can sometimes mask just how clever and creative they are.

And that’s exactly what this campaign sets out to spotlight.

It’s no accident that when you see our broken brand lines, you know instantly what the original is.

On a red background, a Kit Kat finger breaking and the words 'Discontinue work. Consume a Kit Kat'


The best slogans aren’t just memorable – they’re indestructible.

Some of these lines have been around since before your Nan. Some have refused to retire. Some are still recognised and repeated decades after the last time they appeared on any billboard.

Our online experience shows there’s no set route to a great slogan. But whether they took months of trial and error, or were conjured up in a mad moment of inspiration, these great brand lines represent a fine alchemy of creativity, strategy, and gut feeling.

One that’s all too easy to ruin – you just need to change a few words.

But when it comes to copywriting or translation, a few words is all you’ve got.

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