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Author Topic: Sara Lee slogan: Double-negative vs. double-entendre?
JTWildStar
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Anyone ever wonder about the double-negative in the slogan for U.S. food brand Sara Lee? ("Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee.") This is unusual for a marketing slogan, and undoubtedly gives English teachers across America fits.

Anyway, I recall reading an explanation for this somewhere, a long time ago. It seems that the slogan used to be "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" (emphasis added), until it occurred to someone in Sara Lee Corporation that this was a classic double-entendre, and so they decided to change the slogan to avoid portraying their namesake/mascot as a nymphomaniac. Fortunately, they were able to come up with a modification that not only conveyed the same message but fit right into the original slogan, and even sounded similar.

I've yet to see this being discussed on the Snopes site. Does this sound familiar to anyone else, and if so, is it true?

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WNYKate
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I can't say for sure that it definitely didn't start out that way, but I lean toward thinking that that's UL material. I remember hearing once that the full slogan is "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee"

WNY "heard Sara Lee is a bitch" Kate

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She's a dead duck
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According to the Sara Lee FAQ page:

quote:

Q: What is the slogan for Sara Lee?
a. Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee!
b. Nobody Does It Like Sara Lee!

A: The correct answer is 'a'.

I guess you learn something new everyday; I always thought it was 'b'!

The website doesn't give any further information about their slogan (as far as I can see). There isn't any evidence from the website that their slogan was ever 'nobody does it like sara lee'.

-Sheduck

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JTWildStar
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quote:
Originally posted by She's a dead duck:
According to the Sara Lee FAQ page:

quote:
Q: What is the slogan for Sara Lee?
a. Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee!
b. Nobody Does It Like Sara Lee!

A: The correct answer is 'a'.


I guess you learn something new everyday; I always thought it was 'b'!

The website doesn't give any further information about their slogan (as far as I can see). There isn't any evidence from the website that their slogan was ever 'nobody does it like sara lee'.

Then again this could also be disinformation/revisionist history concocted by the Sara Lee Corporation, again to protect the image of its namesake/mascot. The same goes for the extended version of the slogan mentioned further above.

Indeed, the very fact that Sara Lee Corporation went so far as to explicitly state on their Web site that their slogan is not "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" tells me that they are concerned enough about their mascot's image to have changed the slogan at one time to protect it.

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Nightfall
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by JTWildStar:
Then again this could also be disinformation/revisionist history concocted by the Sara Lee Corporation, again to protect the image of its namesake/mascot. The same goes for the extended version of the slogan mentioned further above.

Indeed, the very fact that Sara Lee Corporation went so far as to explicitly state on their Web site that their slogan is not "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" tells me that they are concerned enough about their mascot's image to have changed the slogan at one time to protect it.

Or they are so sick of hearing their slogan butchered by people. Even if the orginal slogan was "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" does not mean that original author meant anything deeper, and you are reading into the slogan. But you'll have to prove that at one time their slogan was "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" inorder to continue that arguement.

--------------------
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Silas Sparkhammer
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Also, while it is a "double negative," it is a grammatically valid one. The verboten form of the double negative involves two forms cancelling each other out immediately, in a way that is either confusing or childish.

"I didn't not do it."
"You won't can't go."
"There aren't no people there."
"I ain't not neither!"

By the way, I learned it as Smith's Law: Everybody doesn't like something good.

Silas (I don't like chocolate) Sparkhammer

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Then both vanish earth's dominion, man is native to the skies.

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JTWildStar
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quote:
Originally posted by Nightfall:
Or they are so sick of hearing their slogan butchered by people. Even if the orginal slogan was "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" does not mean that original author meant anything deeper, and you are reading into the slogan. But you'll have to prove that at one time their slogan was "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" inorder to continue that arguement.

I'm not really arguing one way or the other. My original post was to ask if anyone else had heard the same story that I'd heard, or knew if it was true. My response was just me playing devil's-advocate to explore another angle.

You're probably right that even if "does it like" was the original form of the slogan, it probably was not an intentional sexual innuendo. However, that wouldn't stop it from being second-guessed by someone else in the corporation who was quicker to spot the double-entendre.

It's also quite possible that "does it like" was indeed the original form of the slogan but was changed at the 11th hour before it ever saw the light of day, much less became the butt of jokes among the general public. The story I heard did not specify whether "Nobody does it like Sara Lee" ever actually appeared in any Sara Lee ads, only that it was the original version of the slogan and that the wording was changed to remove the double-entendre.

Considering how awkward the current slogan of "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" is (why not just use "Everybody likes Sara Lee"?), it certainly seems plausible to me that this was a last-minute tweak. At the very least, I'd say this is definitely a topic worthy of further exploration on the Snopes site.

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WNYKate
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by JTWildStar:

Considering how awkward the current slogan of "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" is (why not just use "Everybody likes Sara Lee"?), it certainly seems plausible to me that this was a last-minute tweak.

I see it differently. Slogans are meant to be catchy and to stand out. Because saying "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" is more unusual than "Everybody Likes Sara Lee", it makes you listen better to make sure you heard it correctly. And then it sticks in your head.
Which is exactly what advertisers are aiming for, isn't it?

"Nobody doesn't like" WNY Kate

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Tierce di Picardi
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I think "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" covers the idea that everyone who's tried Sara Lee likes their products (that is, according to the slogan), but there could still be *gasp!* people who have never had a Sara Lee cheesecake or whatever (that *gasp!* was from the perspective of the advertisers; I don't find it all that shocking [Smile] ). "Everybody likes Sara Lee," would lead people to say, "Oh, yeah? How about people in Third World countries without Sara Lee?" Kate's comment about the phrase, "Everybody doesn't like something..." makes sense to me, too.
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JTWildStar
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quote:
Originally posted by Tierce di Picardi:
I think "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" covers the idea that everyone who's tried Sara Lee likes their products (that is, according to the slogan), but there could still be *gasp!* people who have never had a Sara Lee cheesecake or whatever (that *gasp!* was from the perspective of the advertisers; I don't find it all that shocking [Smile] ). "Everybody likes Sara Lee," would lead people to say, "Oh, yeah? How about people in Third World countries without Sara Lee?" Kate's comment about the phrase, "Everybody doesn't like something..." makes sense to me, too.

Somehow I doubt Madison Avenue has people living in Third World countries in mind when they come up with advertising campaigns and slogans, especially those meant for an American audience. [Big Grin]

As for the "extended" version of the slogan mentioned by Kate, I actually have a twisted conspiracy theory about that too. [Big Grin] Assuming the slogan was changed "Nobody does it like..." to "Nobody doesn't like..." at the last minute before being unveiled to the public, the marketers may have thought (as did I) that the new slogan sounded clunky, and tacked on an extra phrase at the beginning in hopes of making it sound a little less clunky. (No, it didn't work.)

Note to the forum leader: Please delete the next post, which is an accidental re-post. Sorry about that.

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JTWildStar
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by JTWildStar:
quote:
Originally posted by Tierce di Picardi:
I think "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" covers the idea that everyone who's tried Sara Lee likes their products (that is, according to the slogan), but there could still be *gasp!* people who have never had a Sara Lee cheesecake or whatever (that *gasp!* was from the perspective of the advertisers; I don't find it all that shocking [Smile] ). "Everybody likes Sara Lee," would lead people to say, "Oh, yeah? How about people in Third World countries without Sara Lee?" Kate's comment about the phrase, "Everybody doesn't like something..." makes sense to me, too.

Somehow I doubt Madison Avenue has people living in Third World countries in mind when they come up with advertising campaigns and slogans, especially those meant for an American audience. [Big Grin]

As for the "extended" version of the slogan mentioned by Kate, I actually have a twisted conspiracy theory about that too. [Big Grin] Assuming the slogan was changed "Nobody does it like..." to "Nobody doesn't like..." at the last minute before it was made public, the marketers may have thought (as did I) that the new slogan sounded clunky, and tacked on an extra phrase at the beginning in hopes of making it sound a little less clunky. (No, it didn't work.)


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HazyCosmicJive
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by WNYKate:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JTWildStar:
[qb]Slogans are meant to be catchy and to stand out. Because saying "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee" is more unusual than "Everybody Likes Sara Lee", it makes you listen better to make sure you heard it correctly. And then it sticks in your head.
Which is exactly what advertisers are aiming for, isn't it?

Nah. What about "Ocean Breeze Soap will get you clean"? [Big Grin] [Wink]

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bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by JTWildStar:
As for the "extended" version of the slogan mentioned by Kate, I actually have a twisted conspiracy theory about that too. [Big Grin] Assuming the slogan was changed "Nobody does it like..." to "Nobody doesn't like..." at the last minute before being unveiled to the public, the marketers may have thought (as did I) that the new slogan sounded clunky, and tacked on an extra phrase at the beginning in hopes of making it sound a little less clunky. (No, it didn't work.)

Note to the forum leader: Please delete the next post, which is an accidental re-post. Sorry about that.

1) You can edit your posts here (although not delete them). Your second post can be made much less noticeable by editing it and deleteing all text except an explanatory note. The board norm for explaining a duplicate or accidental post is the single word "waffles" (don't ask)

2) I have never heard the slogan in any other form than the extended version (I even remember the tune it was sung to). It's always made perfect sense to me (especially when remembering Pohl's Law - "Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it"). What's "clunky" to you is "memorable" to many, and "memorable" is what all advertising agencies strive for.

buf 'the "two all-beef patties" ad much drive you up the wall then [Wink] ' ungla

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"Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."

George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

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Were-Apteryx
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quote:
I'm nobody, who are you?
Emily Dickinson [Laughing out loud]
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Chanks
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Wow. [Eek!] I have always thought it was "nobody does it like sara lee"..even when seeing the commercials on TV where it's sung and written. Am I that blind/deaf?? I'm gonna have to wait for one of those commercials to come on again. I'm in shock.
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Tootsie Plunkette
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I did a commercial art project in high school way back 1969 using Sara Lee and their slogan. And I don't think it was brand new at that time.

I think I may still have that piece around here somewhere.

And I can sing the tune, too!

Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee!
Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee!
Everybody doesn't like something...
*ding*


--------------------
--Tootsie

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PinkMartini, NaSpook of the North
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Sorry, but when I heard those commercials in the '80's (and they were on all the time, it seemed like), I heard "Nobody does it like Sara Lee!".

Is this a case of CYA?

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Macroview
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quote:
Originally posted by Tooooooootsie...:
I did a commercial art project in high school way back 1969 using Sara Lee and their slogan. And I don't think it was brand new at that time.

I think I may still have that piece around here somewhere.

And I can sing the tune, too!

Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee!
Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee!
Everybody doesn't like something...
*ding*

Thanks for remembering the whole jingle. My guess is the jingle came first. Then it got shortened to a slogan where "doesn't like" was misheard as "does it like". Next came the correction in the FAQs. Supposing there was a "nobody does it like Sara Lee "slogan it would have been an intentional double entendre. Its way too obvious to be otherwise. If they then wanted to change it they would have dropped it all together not come up with something that sounds like an allusion to the original. But the Sara Lee jingle is classic in its style and my guess is an 40's era radio ad.
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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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c. 1985, plus or minus a couple of years... I'm at Disneyland, having lunch at the Blue Bayou restaurant, which overlooks the loading area for the Pirates of the Caribbean. Lovely setting: quiet, placid, with the illusion of an evening at the swampside, with the beautiful little fireflies (and I still don't know exactly how they do that!) and the food was great, and the ambiance was unbeatable...

And the waiter, offering the dessert course, admitted, "Oh, the cakes are Sarah Lee."

Could have been one of the best hours of my entire life...

Silas (easily pleased) Sparkhammer

--------------------
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Then both vanish earth's dominion, man is native to the skies.

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snopes
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quote:
This is unusual for a marketing slogan, and undoubtedly gives English teachers across America fits.
Why would it "give English teachers across America fits"? There's nothing grammatically wrong with a double negative, as long as it expresses the meaning the writer intends.

- snopes

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LizzyJingleBells
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I would just like to throw in my $.02 and say that I, too, always thought it was "nobody does it like Sara Lee." I guess you hear what you want to.

I would like to contradict the slogan, however. While Sara Lee's pastries are fine, I wish they would have stayed out of the meat and cheese market! We got their meat and cheese in our deli, and let me tell you, it is not as good as they would have you believe. Not to mention that it is also far more expensive than other brands we carried. Give me the cheesecake anytime, leave the roast beef alone.

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If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would suffice. - Meister Eckhart My Blog

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saranay
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I just had to but in with an honest-to-goodness ad from downunder. And I quote: "Nobody does it better - LJ Hooker, you're the best!" Sung to the tune of a Bond tune. uh huh. They're real estate chain. yeah. [Roll Eyes]

Emma

I can post - woohoo!
Do you realise how sad that makes me sound?! [Big Grin]

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Psyche the Werepenguin
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quote:
Originally posted by saranay:
I just had to but in with an honest-to-goodness ad from downunder. And I quote: "Nobody does it better - LJ Hooker, you're the best!" Sung to the tune of a Bond tune. uh huh. They're real estate chain. yeah. [Roll Eyes]

Emma

I can post - woohoo!
Do you realise how sad that makes me sound?! [Big Grin]

It's the little angelic girl who sticks her head out the door at the end, and in an adorable smile and cute voice says "Thank you Mister Hooker!" that always turns my stomach.
[Cool] [Cool]
I've been a tennant with LJ Hooker as my real estate/landlord - I don't trust them!

Welcome to the board Emma/saranay from another inhabitant of Brisvegas.

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