3 Things A Successful Advertising Jingle Must Have

Posted On: May 30, 2019    Written by: Abe

The best advertising jingles work for a number of reasons. But it’s not just luck - there’s a great deal of science that goes hand in hand with the art of creating a great jingle.

Research shows that our brains are hardwired to respond to music, and that’s why a jingle can be so effective when a brand or business uses one in their ad campaigns. In fact, one 2012 study from The Vienna University of Economics & Business found that 74% of respondents said that ‘a jingle helped them to remember the name of a certain product or brand.’


The best jingles rely on three things.

  1. Simplicity
  2. Rhyme
  3. Repetition

Simplicity

‘The simple things in life are often the best.’ It might be a cheesy marketing line from the early 90s, however there’s also real truth to this. An advertising jingle with a simple melodic hook and uncomplicated lyrics will always stand out and be recalled long after it’s been heard. Lyrics that are simple and easy to remember will always work better than those that are complicated and ‘wordy’. In the same way, a simple melody or ‘hook’ with a few notes is much easier to remember than a complicated one.

Think of some of the biggest songs of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine...

  • The Rolling Stones ‘Brown Sugar’...
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts ‘I Love Rock ‘N Roll’
  • Kelly Clarkson ‘Since U Been Gone’

All have easily recalled, simple, very singable melodic hooks that, once you hear them, you’ll struggle to get out of your head!

A jingle is usually much shorter than song, often running for between 10 to 30 seconds. Brevity is the friend of a jingle writer because there is only a very short amount of time in which to develop lyrics and a melody. Including complex lyrics like phone numbers of lots of detail will not help the jingle to be catchy or memorable, because simplicity is key.

Rhyme

Rhyme is a very important component of an advertising jingle, and indeed any song. Rhyming words are also easily recalled and seem to roll off the tongue easily.

For example:

  • Good onya Mum, Tip Top’s the one
  • We’re happy little Vegemites as bright as bright can be… we always eat our Vegemite for breakfast lunch and tea
  • You’ll be smiley, when you call Kiely
  • A little bit of this, a little bit of that… a whole lot of everything, tell me where you’re at
  • Red red wine, white white wine, sparkling wine too…. Wine2home dot com dot au
  • This land and me, we’ve got our history

As predictable as it might sound, words that sound like they fit together will stick together. (See what we did there?)

Repetition

Say it once. Say it again. Say something else if you have time, and repeat what you said originally. Repetition is the name of the game in a catchy advertising jingle, as you want the name of the business or product to be front and centre in the mind of the consumer.

With a 30 second advertising jingle, and particularly one that’s retail focussed, it’s often important to try to include the name of the business or tagline as early as possible, and ensure it’s also the last thing that’s heard. A good jingle writer will try to hit these ‘first and last’ points without making the jingle sound dated or annoyingly bad. (There’s a difference between annoyingly bad and annoyingly catchy!)

Equal parts art and science. Composing a jingle is just that - a mix of the art of writing music & lyrics to achieve a ‘feel’, and a mix of science - with simplicity, rhyme and repetition all working together. A professional jingle composer will delicately balance the two, and create a jingle that is memorable, catchy, and sticks in the minds of your audience.

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