“Be All You Can Be” was the recruiting slogan of the United States Army. Created by a clever ad man, it remained in use for over twenty years, earning its author, Earl Carter, an Outstanding Civilian Service Award. It is said to have inspired many thousands of Americans to sign up to become their very best as part of the military machine.
“Yes, we can” was famously the line that took Barack Obama to the White House. Delivered in a speech to downhearted Democrats after Obama lost the New Hampshire primary in January 2008, it dramatically changed the course of the presidential campaigns.
Both slogans epitomise the power of words to inspire. The combination of a sense of belief and optimism drives change. Positivity engages people, while negativity drains the soul. At the same time, the very simplicity of the language gets to the core of the message clearly and quickly, making it easy for everyone to grasp their meaning and sing, chant or generally stand behind.
The words of both slogans also tap into something quite primal – we are naturally attracted by the promise of realising our full potential. Both evoke personal passion and that emotional connection is a game-changer.
In just a few words – in just two slogans – there is much we can learn. The ability to persuade relies on a positive, simple message. Make it meaningful on a human level and you are on to a winner.
“Be all you can be” is something we all want, be it in our business or family lives. We can learn from others and from their inspirational stories – because, quite clearly, “Yes, we can”.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting a series of blogs, client stories and interviews from across Indigo’s networks to encourage the best in us all.