The Lessons One Study Taught Us About the Place of Jingles in Marketing

In the digital age, marketing involves all aspects of the human experience. When advertisers decide how to promote their products, teams must think creatively to meet their goals. When it comes to creating a brand identity, giving the product a face or a song can help people connect directly with what is being sold. Many times, this can come in the form of a logo, a slogan, or a jingle.

In regards to our senses, sight and hearing are two that are almost always involved in a television/radio marketing campaign, such as the elusive jingle. These songs act as ways for us to familiarize ourselves with the companies providing the jingle.

In this study by Signs, researchers sought out to crack the code on what makes a jingle successful, and what factors could lead to a jingle fading away under the test of time. By interviewing over 500 people, they were able to gather data on what makes people truly remember a jingle they hear on television or on the radio.

Making a successful jingle requires a knowledge of the market you are targeting, as well as a talented team of creatives to generate content that people are going to subconsciously memorize. A significant number of survey participants even admit that a recognizable jingle doesn’t even need to be played to be remembered; the lyrics stand alone as memorable.

Achieving this type of brand recognition is not easy, nor is it guaranteed. Even with the best team coming up with ideas for a new jingle, there are still many factors that come into play.

On one hand, many focus on tried and true methods to creating a jingle. Like a popular song on the radio, there is a formula for building a loveable jingle; some development agencies are successful when following the standard, while some have luck thinking outside-the-box. Regardless of method, a popular jingle can be the make or break when it comes to selling your product.

In terms of what makes a successful jingle, there are some key tips to keep in mind regarding the length of the jingle itself. Keeping your jingle around or under 30 seconds is critical. Respondents were less likely to recall a longer jingle, as shorter jingles are more identifiable and usually easier for people to remember. All of the most popular jingles are eight words or less, making this a trend that brands ought to keep in mind when constructing their own jingles or slogans.

Creating a brand identity is crucial to the development of a business or an idea. Having something familiar for people to hold to can be the difference between someone simply knowing your brand and someone loving your brand. Our world is fast-moving and increasingly digital; more and more people every day have a television in their home. Neilsen’s official numbers estimate over 118 million televisions in homes across America alone.

As a result, televised advertisements can easily become a vessel for ideas to rapidly spread to the masses. These ads allow for competition between companies to see who can be the most compelling. They bid for your attention, so innovation is key to making a statement or getting someone to tap their foot along to the beat of your commercial. Wittiness, humor, or relatability are three ways that brands get consumers to relate or empathize with their content. This is the heart of what makes a jingle work—if people can connect to it in some manner, the study has succeeded.

As the write-up mentions, building a brand is extremely important. Today, brands have many different factors to consider when implementing a creative marketing campaign. Connecting to potential customers with auditory and visual tactics taps into the psychology behind why some jingles are so memorable.

Specifically, the write-up touches on rhythm as an important factor to consider. Even just bits and pieces of a jingle can help someone identify where it came from. In fact, some people likely only need a second or two to know exactly what the jingle is. The write up alludes to one reason why this may happen—overplaying. When these jingles play on the radio or TV over and over, they become ingrained in our heads. Whether we like to admit it or not, these songs become familiar to us automatically if we hear them enough.

Going back to songwriting, top 40 pop and radio artists are able to gain huge acclaim for their releases because they can be played an upwards of a dozen times a day on one single station. This creates an inflated reach of the art that can interact with millions of people at a time. With radio stations’ syndication reaching a global status, many people become familiar with these songs. As a result, the lyrics can become memorized without trying.

The lyrics and the melody, as the write up points out, are both important parts to how people remember a jingle. These two parts integrate to form a catchy slogan that people will connect with the brand. Often times, a jingle is solely memorable for either its words or the melody itself, making them mutually exclusive to the success of a jingle.

When it boils down to it, marketers want to know one thing: are the fruits of their labor prosperous? In other words, do these jingles have an impact on the spending patterns of consumers? To a certain degree, the answer to these questions is yes, in some cases. In the case of brands like Oscar Meyer, Coca Cola, and Hormel, the majority of people who recognized the jingle were loyal customers.

On the other hand, some jingles are favored more among non-customers. For Folgers Coffee, candy companies, and insurance companies in particular, their popularity comes mostly from people who do not buy their product. With that in mind, it makes sense that their slogans can turn out to be the most recognizable in general. Folgers, Kit Kat, and Nationwide are the three most well-known jingles among survey participants.

It’s important to be thinking creatively about what tools can be deployed to make an impact on an audience. In the case of jingles, they are a part of advertising past, present, and future.

How does that go again? Exploring the most memorable advertisement jingles - infographic
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