"[It] does exactly what it says on the tin
" is a popular phrase in the United Kingdom
, which originated in a series of television advertisements
by the woodstain and wood-dye manufacturer Ronseal
, initiated in 1994 and still being broadcast as of 2008
. The slogan was created by Liz Whiston and Dave Shelton at the London advertising agency, HHCL
. The idea of the phrase was to emphasise that the company's products would act and last for the amount of time exactly as described on the tin can. The word "tin" is generally used even when the product is sold in a different type of container, although "box" is also sometimes used. The expression quickly entered popular culture
in the UK
, used to describe anything that is exactly as it appears or claims to be, is particularly simple or straightforward, or works exactly as advertised.
The phrase is a registered trademark of Ronseal in the UK.
The phrase is also very commonly known and used in Ireland, the Ronseal advertising campaign having also been shown there and UK television being widely available. In 2004, toothpaste manufacturer Colgate began a similar copycat advertising campaign in Ireland stating that its product, "does exactly what it says on the tube."
It is semi-comparable with the expression "What you see is what you get".