The inspiration for this Cup of Copy was sparked by a commercial that I’m sure you all have seen before. Stop me if this sounds familiar: cut to a sad animal, preferably a crowd favorite (puppy or kitten), cue Sarah McLachlan and shuffle through several depressing pet photos while panning out.

Have you adopted or donated yet? If not, you are a horrible person – just kidding – but honestly you feel like you are. Why do these commercials make us feel so depressed? Is it the images, the soothing sound of “Angel,” or some combination of the two? Let’s look at music’s ability to influence content.

Music perpetuates an emotion. It is subliminally thrown into movies, shows, commercials, and any other auditory form of a message. It’s interesting how we connect various concepts or brands to sounds. Think about how you think of McDonalds just by reading the words “Ba da ba ba ba.”

Jingles can be an influential part of a message because it comes in a much more diverse level than a stagnant billboard or print ad. Jingles are the combination of a catchy tagline and an addicting melody. See if you can think of the jingles for these popular brands: Subway, Meow Mix, Double mint Gum, Kit Kat, Oscar Mayer.

Most likely you were able to connect those brands with some ridiculously addictive tune. Jingles are effective and have been since the early 1900’s mainly because:

They Stick

Songs have a way of latching on to your brain and beat you down little by little. No matter how hard you try to get a song out of your head sometimes it just won’t stop. This is an advertiser’s gold-mine because it creates an ongoing establishment for your brand.  

They are Memorable

Long after a jingle campaign has ended its run, many can still resonate as a nostalgic reminder of the brand. I cannot tell you the last time I have heard the Oscar Mayer jingle, but you can bet your wiener I still catch myself spelling Bologna.

They are Fun

Jingles are effective because they are genuinely entertaining.  A clever and upbeat tune can grow into a cultural phenomenon like the Cotton jingle- “The touch, the feel…”

Not Easy Being Cheesy

Yes, jingles are inherently corny, but they work! There is no methodical formula to creating a jingle, many have tried, few have succeeded.

If you look at the recent trend in jingles, they are becoming modernized. A lot of companies are resorting to hiring professional musicians to hype the brand. This is a drastic change from the old school jingle, but a trend that I don’t see slowing down.

T-Pain and Flo Rida worked on the song for Zoosk which is just one of the many examples of modernizing company jingles. Also, the did a competition trying to create a buzz around a jingle. Music is an extremely influential aspect of content. It is integrated into almost every form of advertisement and entertainment, and at the bottom of the music tree are jingles.

What’s your favorite jingle?