When you think of a memorable jingle, what comes to mind? Is it the Folgers jingle, the Oscar Meyer Weiner jingle or maybe it’s the famous “Give Me a Break” jingle from Kit Kat?
Whichever one it is, it’s likely now to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day (sorry!).
And even though jingles have declined in popularity since the 90’s and may not be right for your brand or your marketing mix, they shouldn’t be discredited since they do have a great impact on marketing. Think about it – you may not be able to remember your spouse’s cell phone number, but you can certainly recite the entire “Toys-R-Us Kid’ tune. The fact remains that jingles are memorable brand assets that audiences can recall for years and can still be a powerful contender in creating an authentic brand impression for consumers.
During Day 1 of Virtual HITMC20 Part Deux, we met Peter Radd of Raddtunes.com. Former pianist for the Motown legends, The Four Tops and Musical Director for The Temptations, Peter now is a full-time professional musician and jingle composer nationwide.
Peter led us through an informative session that taught us how to spot the difference of a true jingle versus other musical tactics that brands use to sell their product or service. Here is what we learned:
Jingles that are songs that tell a story
Many brands use songs to position their service as a potential solution. Peter’s first example took a look at FreeCreditReport.com. They used a song that they had written that set a familiar scene, had a main character with a point of view and very catchy lyrics.
And although the commercial appeared to be using a true jingle, it was really just a very clever and memorable original song.
Jingles that are song parodies
Another way companies use song to promote their brand is through song parody. This concept uses the familiarity of a popular song to propel the brand name of the product. Peter showed us an example of Ozempic which used Pilot’s popular song “Oh Ho Ho Its Magic” to promote it’s brand Ozempic and Trelegy who used Jackson 5’s song “ABC” to promote how easy it is to use their product.
While these are quite effective, catchy and may look like a true jingle, they are in fact just a song parody piggy backing on tails of a popular song.
Jingles that are true jingles
Peter describes a true jingle as a short catchy piece that promotes the brand, identifies the company or product and gets stuck in people’s head. There are many famous jingles but Peter pointed out that the best jingles are used to identify a company or product and grease the wheels of a purchase. The most common ones are the familiar phone number jingles you hear all the time on the radio or TV like the Empire Today carpet jingle…..I’m sure you can hear it now – “Call 1-800-588-2300 Empire”
Jingles that are strictly sound
Lastly Peter presented his personal favorite which is solely a piece of music that is used to brand a company. They are similar to a jingle however, the pieces of music have no words or lyrics, but just a familiar sound clip that becomes highly recognizable to the consumer. Think of the most recent McDonald’s commercial and their “Ba Da Ba Ba Bah, I’m Lovin’ It” jingle. They eventually replaced the words with just a sound clip of the “Ba Da Ba Ba Bah” which is now known all over the world.
Check out Peter’s full video to see all of his amazing examples including another extremely well-known company that can be recognized by just a simple sound clip. Can you guess who it is?