Jingles: A 100-year-old Marketing Tactic (that Still Works!)
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Jingles: A 100-year-old Marketing Tactic (that Still Works!)

Jingles work and are an effective means of marketing and advertising.

Jingles work and are an effective means of marketing and advertising.

“Gimme a break. Gimme a break. Break me off a piece of that ____ ____ ____!” “The best part of waking up is ____ in your cup.” Can you fill in the blanks? We bet you can because guess what? Jingles work and are an effective means of marketing and advertising.

As consumers, we know jingles are powerful. We’ve all had days where we can’t stop humming a short, catchy tune. Because large companies — such as McDonald’s and Nationwide — tend to be the types of businesses that utilize jingles, many small business owners assume creating a jingle would be a waste of time and money. However, we’re here to tell you otherwise.

What’s a jingle?

It’s important to start here. A jingle is an audio slogan designed to describe and help consumers remember information about a product, service, or company. Effective jingles are short, catchy, and nearly impossible to forget. These little songs became prevalent in the marketing and advertising world in the 1920’s when commercial radio really took off.

Why should my business consider a jingle?

General Mills began producing Wheaties in 1924. Although Wheaties are one of the world’s most popular breakfast cereals today, the cereal did not do well at first. By 1926, sales were so low that General Mills executives decided to cease production. However, the company changed its mind after airing a jingle for Wheaties on Christmas Eve 1926. Sung by an a cappella group called the Wheaties Quartet, the jingle made its radio debut in Minneapolis, MN. When General Mills noticed a drastic increase in sales in Minneapolis, they decided to air the commercial nationally. This decision saved the breakfast cereal and made it a staple in US households.

While General Mills’ experience with jingles borders on a feel-good story, there’s no doubting the power and effectiveness of a good jingle. Here are a few reasons you should consider making a jingle part of your brand and marketing strategy, no matter the size of your business.

People will remember you.

While logos and visual advertisements are necessary components of any business’s marketing strategy, few people daydream about these visual elements. However, there isn’t much you can do when a catchy tune gets stuck in your head. According to psychologists, rhyme, melody, and rhythm can increase our memory drastically. Think about it. Are you more like to say your ABC’s or sing them? Put simply, a jingle will help your customers and potential customers remember who you are, what you do, and how you can be of service.

Your business needs a personality.

Your brand isn’t limited to your logo. Your brand includes multiple elements — such as your logo, content, messaging, and customer service — that contribute to how your business is perceived. A jingle is an additional opportunity to control how your customers and potential customers see your business and to give your business a personality. Do you want to be perceived as classic like Coca Cola, fun like Toys R Us, or trustworthy like State Farm? A jingle can explicitly or implicitly say exactly what you want your audience to know.

Jingles work.

We’ve already said this, but we can’t emphasize it enough. Jingles work. While these little tunes started on radio, they are now prevalent online and on television. Large companies continue to utilize this form of marketing because they continue to have success in terms of sales and notoriety. Years of research can back this up. What other reason do you need?

Where can I use my jingle?

Jingles started on the radio in the Roaring Twenties, but thanks to almost one hundred years of technological advancements, jingles can appear in several other areas. Where you choose to use jingles should be determined by your target market, but we have a few general suggestions:

  • Television commercials
  • Radio
  • Online radio platforms, such as Pandora and Spotify
  • At the end of of online videos
  • On your phone’s “message on hold” system

How can I make a jingle?

It’s okay to acknowledge that you aren’t a musician. Various companies, including Treefrog, can help you create a jingle that meets your needs. While we don’t have a jingle department, we work with several wonderful vendors. Here’s a jingle we recently helped create for Midwest Rentals, one of our clients:

By analyzing your audience, the Treefroggers can help you determine the most effective ways and platforms to utilize your jingle.

Like big businesses, small businesses can really benefit from adding a jingle to their marketing strategy. If you have questions regarding jingles or other aspects of marketing, advertising, and communication, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Just for fun, how many of these jingles do you recognize?

Treefrog | Lafayette, IN Marketing

Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.