The Importance of Jingles for Advertising Your Business

Bob Leighton
Last updated by Bob Leighton

Stanley Steemer LogoWhen you think about Stanley Steemer, the carpet cleaning company, what comes to mind? "Call 1-800-STEEMER, Stanley Steemer keeps your home cleaner!" You just sang it in your head didn’t you? That’s the power of a catchy jingle.

With this simple phrase, the company can make sure every listener remembers that no one cleans carpet like Stanley Steemer. As successful companies know, despite today's emphasis on digital marketing techniques, there's still a time and a place for everything, and some of the most classic advertising tactics can still be extremely valuable. Jingles for advertising are one of those tried and true tactics.

What Are Jingles in Advertising?

Few things can drive an advertising message home like a catchy jingle. Whether your listeners love it or hate it, a good jingle will relate your brand name with a concept, idea, or promotion. Listeners who catch your radio commercial may not notice a jaunty techno beat in the background, but they will notice your snappy jingle. The next time a listener sees a sign or ad for your business, they will immediately associate your jingle with your advertising, creating a relationship that increases the likelihood they’ll choose you next time they need you.

Repetition to the Sound of Music

When you're trying to think of letter placement in the alphabet, do you hum the ABCs in your head? L, M, N, O, P … why do you think this is the method that so many of us (as adults, too!) employ after learning it as children? Because it’s effective. Plain and simple. The human brain processes memories uniquely and more easily conjures up data or information if repetition is involved – like memorizing a song.

While music and radio have been around for hundreds of years, the first singing commercial is thought to have aired on Christmas Eve in 1926 – still a relatively newer approach to advertising. Why say it when you can sing it? Ask the folks at General Mills – that first singing commercial was for Wheaties, still an American breakfast staple to this day. That commercial ushered in a now well-known radio advertising strategy called the jingle. It didn't take long for the rest of the advertising industry to take notice, and jingles soon became a major marketing tool.

Jingles Are Easy to Remember

A good jingle is unique, fun, and, most importantly, memorable. A radio or TV spot is a great way to advertise, but with the steady stream of information most of us see over a short period of time, it's easy for your message to get lost in the crowd. A jingle with your phone number, company name, or other identifying features makes it much easier for listeners to remember you, and what makes your company unique. A good jingle is catchy and creative, boasting the information you want listeners to remember above all else.

Jingles Help Define What You Have to Offer

Like most effective advertising methods, a jingle should tell the world what you have to offer that your competitors do not. As a memorable and attention-grabbing song, the right kind of jingle will enhance what your company has to offer. A good jingle will get stuck in listeners' heads, but will also make a statement about what makes your company unique. A good jingle will leave a lasting message that will stay with potential customers long after first hearing it.

Jingles Attract Customers

In addition to enhancing brand awareness, creating a message that will stick in a listener's memory, jingles serve one other crucial purpose: attracting customers. A clever, unique, and memorable jingle can create a bond with a listener, making her feel an emotional connection to your brand, your products, and your services. When your jingle is pleasing to listen to and full of vital information listeners want to know, you can easily create a new customer base with a few simple lines of song.

As an advertising method that has stood the test of time, jingles offer many advantages to marketers willing to take the plunge. As a simple, classic method of advertising, jingles associate your brand with a source of information, providing a memorable way for your customers to learn more about what you have to offer. Whether your jingle is something short and sweet or a little longer and more informative, the right jingle can make a world of difference in your advertising strategy.

The Power of Catch Radio Jingles

Jingles can be crafted in several different ways. Should it rhyme? Should it contain the company tagline or slogan? What about trying to include a website URL or phone number? There are some hard, fast tips about jingle creation, however. Simplicity is the biggest. It’s a jingle – not an entire creative brief or billboard. Being clear and concise is key. Listeners shouldn’t have to think too hard to hum or recite it back. Another must is catchiness. Think of Peyton Manning’s Nationwide campaign – Chicken Parm you taste so good, marketed to fit the insurance company’s actual jingle, Nationwide is on your side. That jingle was solid, simple, and catchy for many years. In 2016 Nationwide switched up their jingle to showcase their many sides.

Why Jingles Work

The right jingle can act like an earworm and become a familiar, repetitive sound the brain will store and recall. I said right jingle because there’s a kind of science behind crafting the right sound for a brand. Consumers may react negatively with your brand if your jingle is annoying, unpleasant, or disruptive. Sometimes just like with a favorite song, even the opening few notes will generate memory triggers and people will automatically start singing the song or jingle. Think of McDonald’s. Ba da da da daaaa … you’re loving it, right?

A Practical Example:

In this video, Derek Lee from 104-7 KCLD takes to the streets of Downtown St. Cloud asking random people to name the advertiser in a jingle. Further proof that jingles are a powerful tool for brand recognition and top of mind awareness - especially when used in a radio ad.

Local Clients Using Jingles Effectively

National brands aren’t the only advertising clients using jingles effectively. Local small businesses have adopted jingles as part of their branding strategy with great success. The idea behind a good radio campaign is to always be focused on top of mind awareness – that coveted recall space in consumers’ brains that will lead them to a certain business or service when the time comes. And, making it simple, catchy, and strong. If you want to create a memorable radio ad you need to include elements that capture the listeners' attention.

On a local level, many of our branding clients use radio jingles because they're so effective. They also use them as TV jingles if they're running television ads. If you're looking for a local company to create your jingle, we recommend Creative Radio Jingles.

88% of the businesses in our Top Advertising Strategies eBook have a memorable  jingle. Click here to read their stories.

You can also listen to audio files of the best radio jingles on their individual blog posts.

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Music is a big memory trigger. Music can invoke both emotion and nostalgia. In that same vein, radio advertising with music is an effective marketing strategy. A well-written jingle will stay with consumers, playing on repeat in their heads, helping to achieve in top of mind awareness for your brand

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