Writing a catchy jingle can be fun, but it’s not easy. Knowing how to make that one 30 second song that engages an audience to commit it to memory is more science than art form.
The most popular jingles have tricks that make their song one that gets hummed around the office. Let’s examine 6 iconic jingles, and the secrets of their success.
1. Fanta “Wanta Fanta?”
Those lovely Fantana ladies have the right idea. A good jingle makes sure the audience knows the name of the product. The Fanta commercial mentions the product name constantly. If the audience doesn’t know the name, something is wrong.
2. McDonalds “Big Mac Song”
Lesson: Knowing Your Product
Never has a commercial been so straightforward and effective. The Big Mac Song simply lists the ingredients. A good jingle can just be about the benefits of a product. Of course McDonalds won’t mention the high cholesterol, or high risk for obesity with the commercial. Special sauce sells burgers, not heart attacks.
3. Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum “Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun”
Lesson: Stick to the Slogan
Sometimes the best place to get a jingle from is the slogan itself. If it’s good enough to plaster on billboards and print ads all over the world, it’s good enough to set to music. The Doublemint commercial took what already worked and expanded on it. It didn’t hurt to have a set of attractive twins to use as pitch women. That’s always a secret to success.
4. Kars4Kids “1-8-77-Kars-4-Kids”
Lesson: Use your Phone Number
We’ve seen other companies successfully do this as well. Using your phone number in your jingle is probably the catchiest and easiest way to instill a call to action into your viewers. Empire did the same thing (800-588-2300-EMPIRE)… or at least, I think that’s the jingle off hand.
They also allowed users to enter their own Kars4Kids jingle in a recent contest as a fun exercise in engagement.
5. Chili’s “Baby Back Ribs”
Lesson: Be Melodic
While this little ditty explores a number of lessons, what it excels at is being melodic. People all over the country tried (and failed miserably) to recreate this melodic tune with their co-workers, friends, family, or slightly drunk softball teams at the local bar. While they failed, everyone knew where to go for baby back ribs.
They also had a jingle contest. – thought I’m not sure if any of these will ever replace the original!
6. McDonalds “I’m loving it.”
Lesson: Keep It Brief
No one can tell you how long the original ad was that contained McDonalds now famous “I’m lovin’ it” slogan. All they remember is they walked away humming a little hip-hop melody and dreaming of quarter pounders. A good jingle should be to the point. If the point is the slogan, then make the slogan memorable by keeping it brief enough to commit to memory.
7. Coke “I’d Like to Buy The World A Coke”
Lesson: Be Memorable
There is no commercial more iconic than Coke’s “I’d Like To Buy The World a Coke.” Maybe it’s the commercial, set in the sun, filled with a bunch lovey dovey hippies in a field, conjuring up thoughts like “why are they singing in a field?” Or maybe the song was that good.
At the end of the day you don’t need catchy gimmicks or tricks, if the song is brilliant. Many couldn’t recite the whole song, but it was so memorable that the New Seekers re-recorded the song into a full length version.
Be great. That’s all a jingle really needs to work.