Many brands have commissioned and produced custom jingles to use in their advertising and organic reach content. From a retail focus with clear call-to-action to more subtle branding music, jingles are a powerful tool in a marketer’s toolbox. Why? Because we’re all hardwired to respond to music.
Music moves us, and we remember lyrics of our favourite songs because there’s a melody. That’s why we remember brand names and slogans when they’re embedded a jingle.
In this collection of blog articles, we’ll unpack:
Custom jingles seem to move in and out of popularity as times change, but one thing remains constant. The simple fact that as humans, music connects with us. Music makes us feel, it entertains and evokes memories
That’s why radio networks build complete formats around music playlists and invest so much time and resource researching what people want to hear. They know that music is powerful and that people will change stations if they aren’t hearing their preferred music. These stations want to build large audiences who’ll listen to their broadcast content (and in turn are spurred to action by the commercials they hear.) One Australian radio network has even teamed up with an outdoor billboard company to promote the song they’re currently playing to passing motorists!
Some people in the advertising industry have a real love/hate relationship with jingles. They love to hate them! Granted, there have been some shocking jingles produced over time that really do sound bad and having jingles a bad name. We’re all heard jingles with low production values, cheap sounds, poorly constructed lyrics and very cheesy melodic hooks, but they aren’t all tarred with the same brush. A well produced jingle that’s cleverly composed, well recorded and professionally produced should just like a song you might hear on the radio (even if the lyrics are slightly less subtle!)
Brand music is another type of a jingle - although it’s not really a ‘jingle’ in the true sense of the word. Much less retail and with usually no call to action lyrics, a branding track is piece of music composed simply to be used to promote and underscore advertising and other communications from a brand. It aims to convey a sense of feeling and emotion rather than inspiring a call to action like a retail jingle might do. A brand music track might include a vocal tag or simply a melodic hook at the end as the sonic trigger - and it’s this sonic trigger that is recalled
McDonalds have done this well with I’m Loving It having moved from sung vocals of Justin Timberlake to just 5 musical notes.
A professional jingle composer should be able to produce in any musical genre. A brief might request a custom jingle to be produced in a catchy, pop style. It might call for smooth crooner-jazz or an edgy urban sound. A good jingle composer should be able to work in any of these genres with a range of instruments, sounds, loops and plugins at her disposal to help create whatever is required.
Technology has changed how a jingle producer works. Gone are the days of needing multi-million dollar studios with racks of outboard equipment and huge mixing desks. These days, jingle production can be done ‘inside the box’ - with a computer and a few audio plugins.
However it doesn’t matter what software a producer uses, or how many guitars he owns. It’s all about what he can hear and imagine and what he can create because great skill will always trump a great studio. It’s not the gear - it’s the ear!