You hum along, you call out a phrase or two, you tap along to the beat, and before you know it you find yourself singing out loud about soda, or a taco dinner or a carpet installation service. Jingles are sneaky. They slide into your ears and then into your mind and when you are standing in the aisle deciding which brand you are going to buy, a few recalled musical notes can remind you to reach for something that’s mmmm, mmmm, good.
“Mmm, mmm good”, is of course, the signature musical phrase of Campbell’s Soup. The heyday of the jingle was the 20th Century, when radio first took over living rooms and then moved into our cars. Advertising Age celebrated the jingle in its Advertising Century package, listing the top 10 advertising songs, which include McDonald’s “You Deserve a Break Today,” the U.S. Army’s “Be All That You Can Be,” and Oscar Meyer’s “I Wish I Was an Oscar Meyer Weiner.” The jingle fell out of favor for a while there, but with brands now creating their own content and feeding their own brand platforms, audio content is a great asset to have. And thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices and their ear buds, more people are listening to audio content at their desks, while exercising, cleaning house, in their cars or while shopping than ever before.
Gayle Troberman, exec VP-chief marketing officer of iHeartMedia, for one, believes the time is right to revive the jingle for the digital age.
“People don’t realize the scale of radio reach today,” she said. “Just in broadcast radio alone, we reach 270 million consumers a month. That makes us bigger than Facebook or Google. And when I think about what radio is great at, it’s a daily habit with your favorite personality, driving to and from work with your favorite show on, hanging out with and having conversations with people you know and trust. It’s an ongoing relationship.”
A jingle really lives well on radio, believes Jingle Punks President & CCO Jared Gustadt. “That’s where the jingle came from. The jingle interrupts entertainment in a pleasant way to say ‘look at this and please pay attention to this product.’ In a world of pre-roll ads and consumers opting out of commercials, the jingle is making a comeback,” he said. “From ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ to mattress warehouse ads, the jingle has the power to grab people’s attention in a cluttered market place.”
“Short messages and high frequency is a powerful way to get a brand to be top of mind and puts you in a consideration set,” Ms. Troberman said. “Jingles can be a crazy effective way to get into consumers’ heads with a message that this brand is this, and delivers this benefit. A brand can get into a consideration set because of simple reminders served at high frequency.”
iHeartMedia has a long working relationship with Bacardi, and last year the idea came up to use music to deliver its message. The brief turned out to be dead simple, get more people to drink Bacardi when they were out with friends. The team came up with a little riff that was just, ‘Drink Bacardi Tonight.’ The result was a 54% lift in purchase intent during the first wave of the campaign, and that lift continued throughout the year. “It shows the power of a great jingle, it gives a feel and a little tropical vibe and a little energy and it lands the one simple message benefit about that brand. When run with enough frequency, it works to put Bacardi into the consideration set,” Ms. Troberman said.
“Radio is really powerful for bringing a brand to front of people’s minds,” said Heidi Arkinstall VP of Global Brand Equity, Logitech. Logitech, she says, has “high prompted awareness,” meaning that if the brand is named, a consumer usually recognize it. “Radio can move a brand from the ‘back of the tongue to tip’.”