The power of a tagline: 20 years of Should’ve gone to Specsavers

We delve into how Specsavers created a line so powerful that the public has ended up doing the advertising leg work for it

It’s hard to think of a brand copyline that works so hard, yet feels as effortless, as Should’ve gone to Specsavers. That single, seven-syllable line has long stretched beyond the sphere of tagline and into the realm of playful everyday vernacular (in the UK at least). While there are many other very famous brand copylines – Nike’s Just Do It is an obvious one – Specsavers’ is rare in actually mentioning the brand. Among the few that come close are Have a break. Have a KitKat, or in a far more outdated example, I feel like Chicken Tonight.

Should’ve, as the campaign is shortened to for those in-house at Specsavers, carries a comical and broader cultural resonance than most. The punchline of numerous TV segments, headlines and more, the brand’s savvy tagline has effectively meant that over the years it’s garnered no small amount of ‘free’ advertising as the line was picked up, adopted and duly splashed access both digital and print media, totally divorced from anything to do with the brand. Even the Speaker of the House of Commons has trotted out the line, directing it at PM Boris Johnson during a particularly lively PMQ session recently.

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