Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Motto and Slogan

The impacts of both a motto and slogan are great. They are both used to send points across and provoke emotions. However, did you know the two are totally dissimilar?

Many a time, people confuse the two and interchange each for the other. This may even go without noticing that they are referring to the wrong statement as a motto instead of a slogan. Nevertheless, getting the differences between them may save the day for most people.


What is A Motto?

A motto (derived from muttum in Latin) is categorized as a maxim, that is, a concise statement or phrase that expresses a fundamental moral principle or rule. A motto, in that case, is a phrase usually used to summarize, in a formal way, the general intention or motivation of individuals, social groups, families, teams, institutions, companies, or organizations.

A motto is normally and predominantly found in a written form as compared to a slogan (which is by word of mouth). It may also stem from age-old traditions of a social foundation or from other significant events such as revolutions, great changes that impacted on an entity, or even war.

Quite often, a motto is found below a shield in a banderole. This is normally in heraldry and following a tradition that stemmed from the Middle Ages where most nobles had a coat of arms and a motto.

Features of A Motto

A motto is mostly dependent on an entities’ tenets as well as the purpose it’s meant to serve. However, a motto normally:

  • Is meant to help people change a habit.
  • Reminds the people of who they are, their purpose, and what they stand for.
  • Provides a bracing shot of inspiration.
  • Increases productivity

A motto is also:

  • Short and easy to remember.
  • Emotionally intelligent


What is A Slogan?

A slogan is defined as a memorable motto that is normally passed by way of word of mouth as compared to a motto (which is in writing). It’s also a phrase that’s used in clans, commercial, political, religious, and other contexts and is usually a repetitive expression of ideas, goals, or purposes.

Usually, a slogan’s main purpose is to persuade a defined target group or members of the public to follow a certain course. It’s usually in the form of a short yet striking and memorable phrase that people can keep chanting or use in advertising.

Features of A Slogan

A slogan goes with the attribute of being:

  • Memorable
  • Appealing to the audience.
  • Very concise


Similarities Between Motto and Slogan

A slogan and motto have differences and similarities too. They are similar in different ways including:

  • They are both used as advertising features.
  • They are both short, memorable, precise, and catchy sentences or phrases.
  • They both serve to remind the users of their mission, purpose, or goals.


Difference Between Motto and Slogan

Even with the similarities, here are the differences between the two:

Meaning of Motto Vs. Slogan

A motto is a short and concise statement, or phrase (usually in writing) used to express the fundamental moral rule or principle of a group, institution, company, or organization. On the other hand, a slogan is a short and precise (usually by word of mouth) statement used to persuade a defined target group or members of the public to follow a certain course.


The main purpose of a motto is to grab the attention of a target group and remind them of who they are, their purpose, and what they stand for. A slogan, on its side, serves the purpose of expressing a belief, motive, ideal, or purpose that a group, political or religious group, organization, or clan stands for.


A motto is generally longer while a slogan is shorter than a motto.

Type of Statement

A motto is more of a mission statement while a slogan is a distinct cry phrase or statement used in rallies, media, or to call for aids.

Famous Examples of Mottos Vs. Slogans

Some of the famous mottos include:

  1. Ford – Quality is job 1 and Have you driven a Ford, lately?
  2. IBM – Think
  3. Apple – Think Different
  4. Microsoft – Be what’s next
  5. Google – Done be evil and Do the right thing
  6. Yahoo – Do you Yahoo?
  7. Obama’s campaign – Yes, We Can and Change we can believe in
  8. viii.LG – Life’s Good
  9. McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ It
  10. Nike – Just Do It
  11. Kenya Airways – The Pride of Africa
  12. Coca-Cola – Taste the Feeling

Some of the famous mottos include:

  1. Carnegie-Mellon University ~ My Heart Is in The Work
  2. Everton Football Club ~ Only the best is good enough
  3. Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg ~ Truth shall set you free
  4. Adidas ~ Impossible is nothing
  5. U.K. Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment ~ Who dares wins

Motto Vs. Slogan: Comparison Table


Summary of Motto Vs. Slogan

Clearly, a motto and slogan are statements used to serve almost the same purposes. However, the sharp distinctions between them in terms of mission purposes and goals, nature, type of statement, and length make lots of differences between them. Even though the two can be used to send the same points home, they cannot be used in place of each other.


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References :

[0]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/vegan-slogan-motivational-cow-eye-1433238/

[1]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/shield-motto-characters-saying-1729393/

[2]30 Of The Best Advertising Slogans | Superdream". Superdream, 2019, https://superdream.com/news-blog/best-advertising-slogans.

[3]"9 Reasons You Need A Personal Motto". Psychology Today, 2019, https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/changepower/201508/9-reasons-you-need-personal-motto.

[4]"Tagline, Slogan, Motto - What's The Diff? - Flock Marketing". Flock Marketing, 2019, https://www.flockmarketing.com/tagline-slogan-motto-whats-the-diff-2/.

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