If you’ve seen one of Peyton Manning’s commercials for Nationwide Insurance, you’ll immediately understand the impact a jingle has on your audience. Nationwide’s jingle is catchy, creative, and above all, gets stuck in your head. In fact, it’s been memorable since 1977, and in more recent years, the jingle has evolved for newer audiences, adding elements of authenticity with its Songs for All Our Sides campaign. Perhaps most importantly, it makes it easy for the listener to never confuse Nationwide with a competitor like State Farm, which also features its own jingle dating back to the 1970’s.
There are jingles for some of the most popular and enduring brands. Audiences will instantly think of McDonald’s when they hear “I’m lovin’ it,” — even without the words — and probably think of the Meow Mix song just hearing their cats meow at dinner time. Some jingles are longer but no less memorable — consider the FreeCreditReport.com band that was intensely popular in the early 2000’s. Even Cotton has a jingle, which has evolved over the years.
The brands mentioned here are all completely different. They want to reach disparate audiences with distinct needs, interests, and pain points. Yet there are a few things that all of their jingles have in common.
While some jingles are cheesy (remember the Mentos ads from the 90’s?) and some are annoying, effective ones are also ear worms. Like Peyton Manning, listeners will find themselves humming the tune or singing along. A jingle can be what helps keep a brand top-of-mind.
Strong jingles are never dull. That doesn’t mean they need to be fun or funny, but it does mean that it needs to touch the audience in some way. McDonald’s taps into the pure enjoyment of their food, for instance, while Nationwide has worked hard to represent the nuances and variety of its customer base. You’ll need to take a creative approach when developing a jingle, too — run-of-the-mill efforts provide run-of-the-mill results.
They Make a Brand Distinct.
All jingles tap directly into branding. We already mentioned how jingles help differentiate Nationwide and State Farm. Listeners also won’t confuse a McDonald’s ad with a Burger King ad, and part of that is thanks to the iconic jingle. That’s because music is powerful, and when coupled with the right lyrics, your jingle can have an awful lot to say about who your brand is, what kind of customer you’re trying to reach, and what experience you can offer them.
Think You Don’t Need a Jingle?
Some business owners and marketers make the mistake of thinking that jingles only work for fun and frivolous consumer products, like candy bars, despite the way they’re used by more serious industries, as with our Nationwide and State Farm example. When a jingle is properly developed, it can be utilized by any kind of brand or industry.
Take a moment to seriously consider whether or not a jingle could add something to your branding efforts. Here are a few questions to ask:
- Are you interested in growing your business? As with most aspects of marketing, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to raising awareness and generating revenue. While you may already see results from your marketing, there are always new goals to reach and new audiences to impact.
- Do you have a lot of competition? There are a lot of businesses in Joplin, from law firms and healthcare brands to automotive and home improvement companies. Competition is steep, no matter your industry, and continuing to stand out and capture mental real estate is critical.
- Do you lack clear creative direction? Strong branding requires a focal point, and a jingle can help solidify that. It can be a staple of your advertising and support future marketing.
Jingles can play an important role in marketing and be a powerful tool for long-term branding. The tone and words can express a great deal about who your business is, all while getting stuck in your audience’s heads and helping you stand out above your competition.
In early May, we’ll be hosting mini jingle workshops with a select number of Joplin business owners. If you're interested in a jingle workshop for your business, click here to learn more.