Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Whatever happened to jingles?

One of the funniest moments of this year's Academy Awards ceremony (at least to me) was when Neil Patrick Harris sang "He won an Oscar, bum ba-dum bum bum bum bum," to the tune of the Farmers Insurance jingle, after J.K. Simmons, Farmers pitchman, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Proof that jingles work, or at least are memorable -- or more memorable than commercials without jingles.

And yet despite research showing the effectiveness, or memorability, of jingles, few brands today employ them.

Indeed, try to think of a commercial you've seen in the last year that featured a jingle. [I'll give you a minute.]


The only brand the spouse and I could think of, in addition to Farmers, was Nationwide, yet another insurance company, which not only uses a jingle but quarterback and funnyman Peyton Manning to sing it. [Chicken parm you taste so good...]

Actually, while Googling "famous jingles" I came across State Farm's "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there." Yet another insurance company!

But is anyone, other than insurance companies, using jingles*?

Back when the spouse and I were kids, and then teenagers, it seems every big brand had a memorable jingle. And everyone knew and sang them.

Fun jingle fact: Did you know that Randy Newman co-wrote, with Barry Manilow, those catchy Dr. Pepper jingles from the 1970s, "The Most Original Soft Drink Ever" and "Be a Pepper"? 

Commercials also had much more memorable spoken hooks. "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature"; "Calgon, take me away!"; and "Ancient Chinese secret" (also Calgon) are three that immediately spring to mind. And apparently they spring to a lot of other people's minds as well, as when you type "ancient" into Google the first suggestion that immediately pops up is "ancient Chinese secret." And when you type in "Calgon," "Calgon take me away" immediately pops up as the first suggestion.

*If you think of something, let me know via a Comment.

1 comment:

Dave S. said...

Coming in very late here, but I was reminded of the Lite Brite jingle when "American Idol" trotted it out as an '80s toy, which it certainly is not, and get off my lawn while you're at it.

Also I will sing the Apple Jacks song (or most of it anyway) when buying it at the grocery store. (Sorry, could not find an acceptable video.)

However, even though it is not for a real product, this is the best jingle (based of course on this).