Category Archives: Advertising

eTrade Poolside licenses William Tell Overture from UniqueTracks Inc.

eTrade‘s latest commercial – Poolside – uses the William Tell Overture recording from our classical music library as soundtrack.

Here’s a look/listen…

eTrade’s Poolside commercial uses the UniqueTracks recording of the William Tell Overture as soundtrack.

Quirky New TV Jingles Aimed at Young Women

I’m a big fan of the commercial jingle as a method of advertising. I think jingles sell better than their much over-used alternative – the licensed hit song. Jingles are written directly for the ad and, to me, tend to create better campaigns.

Sidebar: Example of licensed hit song in advertising – This morning I heard Chrissie Hynde’s I’m Special in an ad for the new Blackberry tablet. I written about why I don’t like hit songs in advertising here.

Jingles from years past were slickly produced by top-notch studio musicians and professional jingle (commercial) writers. New York City was the capital of jingle production and for decades there was a lively industry (recording studios, the music union, writers, performers) devoted to turning out jingle recordings. That industry is almost completely gone now.

What’s replaced it is the solo singer-songwriter. Not a famous voice, but a young, completely off-the-map performer with a very individual sound. These commercials have a quirky, low-fi, indie, DIY feel. Some very smart ad executives have discovered that this type of soundtrack really sells.

There’s recently been a slew of commercials employing this approach. For instance, listen to this commercial for Truvia.

Here are the lyrics

I loved you sweetness, but you’re not sweet you made my butt fat
You drove me insane, self-control down the drain
We’re over, I’m so done with that
I found a new love, a natural, true love, that comes from a little green leaf
Zero calorie, guilt free no artificiality, my skinny jeans zipped in relief
Its name is Truvia, I had no idea, no more sprinkling my coffee with grief.

Now the singing of this commercial is pretty, let’s say… idiosyncratic. Some would say, amateur, off-key, or just bad. But I think, if the commercial works, and it does to me, that the performance of the song adds a huge dimension to the spot. It’s actually the melody (if there is one) and the phrasing of the lyrics that makes this so quirky. The singing is not really in sync with the guitar playing. It’s more like she’s talking or it’s stream-of-consciousness not really in rhythm.

The target audience for this commercial is younger women. It’s got a light, fun, innocent mood to it. It comes off as honest. There’s a playful sense of humor. That’s appealing. Capturing honesty in a TV ad is a hard thing to do.

Here’s another ad, this time from Bisquick.

We see a young mother preparing pancakes for her two children. The lyrics reflect the thoughts of the children.

There’s one thing I’ll eat, any time of day
Dawn till sunset, I’ll never walk away
Blueberry pancakes, so good

The jingle creates a happy, laid-back, Saturday-morning vibe.

Here’s a recent campaign for the Subaru Outback.

I’ve been looking and looking my whole life through
Trying to find my way back to you
Cause I love you, I do
Cause I love you, I do

In this ad, the husband loses the car and basically creates a situation where the couple is stuck in the desert. He’s meandering around with his keys. And in the background the woman is singing “I love you I do” but in an ironic, semi-tolerant way. (she rolls her eyes, I get this look all the time)

This is marketing directly to women. I like the ads but I’m not the target of these products. The Subaru Outback ad is targeting young couples slanting the ad towards the mom or wife. Subaru is really big on this style. Here’s another ad from a Subaru campaign that is running now.

This time they are using a licensed song “Here comes the sun again” by M. Ward. But it’s similar with a low-fi production DIY vibe.

The appeal of these jingles is their innocence and honesty. Having a solo singer, with only guitar, singing in an individual style is what gives these spots their charm. It’s the exact opposite of what jingle advertising used to be and it comes off as fresh and youthful.

Who knew that artists, most of whom could tour in the Lilith Fair, would become the next big thing in commercial jingle writing.

It’s hard for an ad or a corporation to capture innocence. One way to do that is to use original music from an unknown source. There is an anonymity to these jingles. We don’t recognize the voices, the production is minimal, some even sound tossed-off with no real effort. This low-fi approach adds to the overall effectiveness of the ads. (It reminds me of films like Juno which came out of nowhere with unknown stars with a fresh new take on storytelling)

About the performers/writers

The Bisquik jingle is written and performed by Frances England She’s actually a kids music performer.

The Subaru Outback ad is by Miss Erika Davies

I couldn’t find the singer for this Truvia jingle. (what is listed on YouTube is for an earlier commercial, not the one cited in this post).

If you have any comments or thoughts about this advertising trend, please post them as comments. How about this. How do you feel about ads that create a mood of innocence and honesty to sell? The purpose of any ad is to influence (some might say manipulate) behavior. These ads do that while pretending to be rather casual, even improvised. The tone masks the intention (or not?). What do your think?


If you’re interested in licensing some quirky music tracks for your advertising or other productions, UniqueTracks has some titles to check out.

Listen to:

  • Meditating
  • Mediterranean
  • Wishful
  • BossaNova
    part of the Bossa Nova album collection.

    And these are instrumental tracks.

  • Shag Party
  • Happy Hour
  • martini sessions
    from our Martini Sessions collection


    Imported from Detroit – Chrysler 200 Super Bowl commercial

    I thought the hands-down best commercial during this year’s Super Bowl was the 2-minute ad for the Chrysler 200 featuring Eminem. Brilliantly written and produced with a pitch-perfect narration by voice-over artist and Michigan resident Kevin Yon, the commercial shows downtown Detroit in all its glory as Eminem slowly drives the new Chyrsler 200 through the Motor City.

    The soundtrack begins with ominous low electronic rumblings and sound effects. Then, at about the 40 second mark, the instantly recognizable guitar-riff from Enimen’s song "Lose Yourself" (from the 8 Mile album) is layered on top. Finally, the addition of a gospel choir at the commercial’s high-point adds a sense of triumph to mix. It’s a brilliantly constructed soundtrack.

    Camera shots create a poetic montage inter-cutting Detroit’s gritty industrial landscape, with American flags, modern factories, boarded up buildings and Diego Rivera’s mural of factory laborers (from the Detroit Institue of the Arts). Shots of snow falling on downtown buildings add to the creation of a tough, resolute image. We end up at Detroit’s historic Fox Theatre. The marquis out front reads “Keep Detroit Beautiful” Inside, Enimen takes the stage in front of the gospel choir and confidently utters these words, “This is the Motor City and this is what we do”.

    All of the elements; the voice-over performance, the text, the soundtrack, the camera work, Eminem’s passion, work toward a climatic celebration of Detroit. It gave me chills the first time I saw it.

    Known as the Motor City, Detroit was built on manufacturing and as manufacturing has left the US economy, outsourced to other nations with cheaper labor costs, Detroit, like a lot of smaller manufacturing towns, has suffered. Suffered greatly. Must the American economy be so bereft of manufacturing? Are we right to just cede this important segment to emerging nations with cheaper labor costs?

    The "Imported from Detroit" ad reminded me of a video produced last year by filmmaker Scott Smith. Scott’s company, River Run Productions, created a film for the trade organization Opportunity2 called Advanced Manufacturing in Southern Iowa. Scott used UniqueTracks’ music as underscore for this 9 minute industrial film.

    The film shows one way manufacturing can exist in the American economy. Actually the advanced manufacturing, using robotics, laser optics and other high-end technologies shown in this film, are probably best done in America. The idea of factory work being associated with dimly lit, dirty, over-crowded spaces is not the reality in these high-tech manufacturing plants.

    Scott adds, "Iowa is known for its farming, but in Southeast Iowa, where we shot the video, 30% of the jobs are in advanced manufacturing. I didn’t even really know what advanced manufacturing was before I produced this video. I learned that everywhere you go you are surrounded by the results of advanced manufacturing. And once I realized that advanced manufacturing involved welding and robotics I knew I’d have some cool visuals to play with. Then we began looking for stories that would be of interest to the intended audience of middle school and high school students. And because of that young audience and the interesting visuals we wanted to find some high energy music that would help drive the video.

    Note: Scott used primarily rock music from UnqiueTracks albums Speed Demons and Modern Rock.

    I grew up, on the other side of the Detroit River, across from Detroit, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Both cities are manufacturing towns whose economies are linked to the making of cars. By the mid-1970s, when the automobile industry first bottomed out, almost everyone I grew up with in Windsor had left the city. As a boy, I watched from across the river as Detroit burned as fires swept the city during the riot of 1967. In a way, this event seems to be the flashpoint from which Detroit never fully recovered.

    The "Imported from Detroit" ad succeeds in attempting to show the human side of a city that has, as the ad says, “been to hell and back”.

    I am grateful to Scott Smith for his contributions to this article. Scott W. Smith is an old film school grad who after living in Miami, Los Angeles, and Orlandio ended up in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 2003. He and his company, River Run Productions, have worked on a variety of projects over the years including commercials, web videos, promotional DVDs, short films and documentaries. They’ve also provided camera support and field producing for various groups including the national TV programs The Montel Williams Show and The Doctors. In February, Scott added two Addy Awards to his shelf full of hardware that also includes two Regional Emmy Awards.

    I enjoy reading Scott’s blog articles on his site Screenwriting from Iowa

    This is what said about the blog last year: "For a more off-beat look at writing, the Screenwriting from Iowa blog provides screenwriters with a slightly removed take from the Hollywood norm. Scott Smith blogs about how people outside of Los Angeles can have their stories told and sold for production in TinselTown. It’s inspiring for those of us around the world who aspire to Hollywood magic without having to live in Hollywood itself."

    I thought the text to the "Imported from Detroit" ad was incrediblly well-written. I could not find out who wrote the copy but this text and it’s delivery by Mr Yon really pack a punch.

    Here is the full text of the ad
    I ‘ve got a question for you. What does this city know about luxury? What does a town that’s been to hell and back know about the finer things in life? Well I’ll tell you. More than most. You see it’s the hottest fires that make the hottest steel. Add hard work, conviction, and a know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us. That’s who we are. That’s our story. Now it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in the papers. The one being written by folks who’ve never even been here and don’t know what we’re capable of. Because when it comes to luxury, it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for. Now we’re from America. But this isn’t New York City, or the Windy City, nor Sin City and we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City.

    This is the motor city. And this is what we do.
    The Chrysler 200 has arrived
    Imported from Detroit.

    Music mentioned in this article:

    Speed Demons Speed Demons V2
    Speed Demons, Vol. 1 Speed Demons, Vol. 2
    Modern Rock V1 Modern Rock V2
    Modern Rock, Vol. 1 Modern Rock, Vol. 2

    Quiznos campaign – Irritatingly Bad Jingles

    I’ve posted in the past about commercial jingles and how I believe that, when done well, they sell products better than the current trend of simply licensing a hit song and using it as background soundtrack in the ad. Jingles are, typically, more targeted, with lyrics that speak specifically about the product.

    However, this Quiznos ad campaign shows just how bad a jingle can be. The song is Three Blind Mice (with new words). The herky-jerky, stumbling arrangement and intensely irritating vocal performance make this a hard 30 seconds to sit through.

    There’s a whole series of these ads now (with different “jingles”) Does this sell food? Certainly leaves a queasy feeling in my stomach. Jingle Power

  is running at least six commercials featuring a down-on-their-luck rock band singing in various settings bemoaning the fact that their credit is bad.  The actors are obviously musically talented, the drummer actually knows how to play drums, you can tell by looking at him.  I found out that the singer is a French Canadian actor/musician named Eric Violette,  (it’s not actually his voice we hear though, he’s lip-syncing).  

    I think these are very strong ads. They feature the time-tested, but somehow out-of-favor Commercial Jingle.  A jingle is a song written expressly for a commercial.  The music and words of a jingle are directly targeted to sell the product.  When I was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, jingles were the way most products were marketed on television.  Most people of my generation can still recite or hum the jingles from that time.  

    Jingles gradually lost favor with advertisers and were replaced by what we all now hear everyday on TV – the licensed pop song put in service of a product.  I’ve written before about why I don’t like this method of advertising. I call it “lifestyle” advertising, where the marketer tries to create an ad that will connect with to the viewer’s sense of identity therefore connecting the product too.  Using a pop song is the fastest/easiest way to do this. If you can connect your brand with a song by Wilco, for instance,  that’s a valuable cultural connection to make for your product.  Your product can now live in the same cultural space that the songs of Wilco inhabit appealing to fans of that music and others that want a sense of the contemporary.

    In actuality, I do not think this type of ad is very effective because when the spot gets placed into the ad mix that viewers see on a typical TV day, the lifestyle that the ad is portraying gets merged with all the other lifestyles from all the other lifestyle ads and the spots’ message gets merged as well into this jumble of  lifestyle imagery and pop hits.  The products, however, don’t get defined and their identities and marketing messages get muddled.  Viewers recognize the pop tunes but the connections to the products are lost.  Even with repetition, I believe these ads are a weak way to sell the product.

    Jingles on the other hand are written directly for the product.  A good jingle campaign, like the ads, will brand the company name right into the song.  A successful ad will, over time, have viewers singing along with the jingle, either subconsiously or even overtly.

    Lately I’ve heard a few fresh jingle campaigns.  Optimum’s Reggaeton Jingle and also AAMCO’s I Got A Guy campaign use jingles.  I am willing to bet that these ad campaigns were very succcesful as well.

    I was at a cocktail party last New Year’s and I was talking to a young advertising executive and I asked him why jingles lost favor.  His response was interesting.  He said that more often than not, it is the client, not the ad agency, that is pushing for the high-priced licensed song.  He explained it as the client getting bragging rights for the company.  They are able to boast to the industry and their competition that they have gone out and licensed a multi-million dollar song for their latest campaign.  To me, this is to lose site of the goal of the campaign, which is to sell, no?

    UPDATE: June, 2010
    The FreeCreditReport guys have been retired

    Other articles on this subject
    Where have all the jingles gone?

    Swiff it Good, The Music Industry in Chaos

    On or Off Target with Hello Good Buy? – Poll

    Target Corporation has been using the Beatles classic Hello Goodbye in its recent TV advertising. One spot aired during last Sunday’s Grammy Awards broadcast. They have changed the word Goodbye to Good Buy morphing the song’s refrain into an ad slogan “Hello Good Buy, Hello Good Buy, Hello Good Buy….” The campaign is “Say Hello to Good Buys at Target”.

    Hello Goodbye is a song from the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album and was a number 1 hit for the Beatles in both the US and UK in 1967.

    Licensing classic songs is attractive to advertisers (those with deep enough pockets) because they can then begin to trade on the cultural significance of the song. Hello Goodbye is part of the soundtrack for a whole generation (or more). By licensing the song, advertisers leverage this collective, accumulated experience channelling it to sell merchandise. But does our culture (do we) pay a price for this?

    How does hearing a classic song like the Beatles' Hello Goodbye
    as soundtrack in a TV commercial affect you?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    There are several spots using Hello Goodbye. Each has a different musical style or arrangement. Here is one version taken from YouTube.

    Optimum’s Reggaeton Jingle

    More evidence that the commercial jingle is making a comeback can be found in Cablevision’s campy ad for its Optimum’s Triple Play service (High Speed Internet, Digital Cable TV & Digital Phone Services).

    The jingle uses the dance style Reggaeton to create a fun, over-the-top spot that targets the urban, Latin American market. Reggaeton – a dance style that blends Jamaican reggae and dancehall with Latin American dance rhythms, hip hop and electronica – first gained popularity in Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican musicians and producers have spread the music to the U.S.

    It’s a jingle. The music is original and was written specifically to underscore the important elements of Cablevision’s Optimum campaign. The catchiest part of it, and the part that seems to be resonating with viewers, is the chanting of the toll free phone number – the “8–7–7-3-9-3–4-4-4–EIGHT” part.

    Here are some comments pulled from YouTube, Yahoo and other sites…

      lmao i lovee that comerical.. its catchy lol.. i cant even memorize my boyfriends number that fast..

      HAHAHAHA I Love this ssongg everyone sings it in school

      When I was sick in bed this was the only thing that kept going through my head “877 393 444 EIIIIGHT!” I want to kill them.

      This is GREAT!! Especially love when the hot mami’s sing,. “8–7–7-3-9-3–4-4-4–EIGHT!!!” Great!

      there is no point to this video but i love it it is so funny!!!

    When viewers are laughing and teasing each other with your commercial and the music, the jingle, has embedded your toll free number into their consciousness, then you have hit an advertising grand slam.

    Yes there are negative comments about the commercial as well but they are mostly complaints about frequency. The ad is being shown a lot. It is currently bombarding the NYC market. But again, the frequency is probably driven by the ads apparent success.

    I’ve been writing about jingles lately because I believe their power has been neglected by creatives at ad agencies. Jingles have an uncool or old-fashioned stigma and have, until recently, been ignored.

    Taken individually, lifestyle spots, which typically license hit songs from the 1970s/80s/90s pop catalog as their soundtrack, seem creative and funny but they run into problems when watched one-after-another during a commercial break. The ads tend to blur together. Instead of shining a light on the product, the overall effect is weakened by a slew of similar approaches. Everyone is branding the same upbeat lifestyle. There is no product differentiation. The commercial goes to great lengths to keep viewers entertained but it forgets its actual purpose.

    Jingles, on the other hand, get right to the point and directly sell your campaign.

    The Jingle returns with AAMCO’s “I Got A Guy” campaign

    I’m very happy to see AAMCO using an actual jingle in their latest “I Got A Guy” campaign. I believe jingles sell better than today’s “lifestyle” spots. Lifestyle spots typically show glossy images of contemporary folk enjoying life while accompanied by a recognized hit song. The ad tries to gain influence from the song’s established popularity. Lifestyle ads are the most popular type of TV commercial. And that’s the problem. The spots all merge together in the viewer’s mind. So many ads are created in this style that viewers don’t differentiate between one spot and the next. Everyone is basically selling the same upbeat lifestyle therefore the products become muddled together or just forgotten.

    A jingle is more specific because it is written for the actual product. It’s a custom piece of music writing tailored tightly to the spot or campaign. Jingles are seen as hokey throwbacks but their power is still evident. If you are over 25 years of age you can probably still think of jingles you heard in your youth. That’s real branding. The jingle has ingrained the product into your consciousness, probably for life.

    Jingles have been out of the picture for so long that AAMCO is almost breaking new ground with their campaign. Their “I Got A Guy” campaign features the upcoming band Whiskey Falls. With echoes of great southern rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Whiskey Falls creates a hard-driving and very entertaining spot. Make no mistake – this is a jingle. It sells the AAMCO brand and even ends with AAMCO’s famous “Double A – M – C – O” brand slogan (a slogan which was conceived during a time when jingles were valued).

    The AAMCO spot shows what today’s jingle could be. The song doesn’t have to be lame or corny. There are plenty of modern music styles that could be composed directly to the product. The me, the jingle is a far better way to sell. It might not be the hippest way to sell but I’ll bet it pulls better.

    Listen to the AAMCO commercial (follow the link and click the little audio player on the top right of the screen).

    The other thing I like about the use of jingles is that they are a move away from the rampant plundering of our greatest recordings and the excessive attempts to link hit songs to products which they have nothing to do with.

    Swiff It Good
    The Pop Song In Advertising
    Where have all the jingles gone?

    Swiff it good – the music industry in chaos

    • Devo re-records their biggest hit “Whip it good” as “Swiff it good” in a TV ad for the floor cleaner Swiffer.
    • The Beatles song “All you need is love” is licensed by Luvs who use it for their campaign, “All You Need is Luvs”
    • “Blister In the Sun ” by the Violent Femmes, a seminal punk bank, is used in an ad campaign for Wendy’s hamburgers.
    • This summer Wilco licenses 6 songs from their new album Blue Sky Blue to Volkswagen who use all 6 songs in ad spots for their latest campaign marking the first time a multitude of songs by one artist/band is used in a single campaign.

    Where is today’s cash cow for the music business? It’s the placing of famous or upcoming pop songs in TV commercials. We’ve all heard and seen these ads. Led Zepplin’s “Rock’n Roll” has become the main branding vehicle (no pun) for Cadillac. The ad speaks to those 40-year-olds that can now afford Cadillacs by co-opting an anthem from their youth.

    There’s no doubt the trend will continue. Commercial jingles are a thing of the past. Today’s ad strategy is about branding. You put a product, no matter how bland, next to a song that has some “coolness” factor to it, or, in the case of the Beatles “All You Need is Love”, acknowledged cultural value, and voila, the product achieves instant significance or even hipness.

    But by glorifying a product, no matter how banal, the song is immediately devalued. If today’s protest song can be tomorrow’s theme for toilet tissue, then the power of a song to effect culture becomes weakened. The power of the song becomes about how much money it commands when it is licensed for commercial use.

    The Culture Is the Commercial

    Jay Babcock, the publisher of the art and music magazine Arthur makes this point…

    “What kind of culture sets up a system where the only way to hear good music is through TV commercials for products you don’t need?” Babcock said. “What little art is out there has to sneak in wherever it can, being stand-ins for jingles. It’s the sign of an unhealthy culture. The culture is eating itself.”

    A recent New York Post article reports that the recording artist Fergie recently inked a $4-million deal to sing about Candie’s teen apparel on her next album. “The 32-year-old Black Eyed Peas singer is the first global star to consent to product placement in her songs – agreeing to include the provocative clothing line Candie’s in her lyrics.”

    I don’t know that this matters to some bands, they are living in a music business that is sinking into chaos by the day and they are looking for cash, a reward for their work. When Wilco, a major act, licenses 6 songs to Volkswagen saying they are doing it as a way to get their music out there, you know the music business has drastically changed and these artists are looking for the type of payday that used to be available to successful bands through albums/radio play/touring. That old model of success is, apparently, broken.

    According to Greg Lane, senior vice president of ad agency GSD&M in Austin, Texas, ad pop it is a mutually beneficial relationship. “It’s a marriage of two brands. It’s the client’s brand, be it AT&T or iPod, as well as the brand of the band itself,” Lane said.

    “Part of the deal is, you’re never going to make everyone happy. And there’s no such thing as bad press. Even if fans are upset, it might not affect sales of what’s being advertised “it might increase sales.”

    The artist does pay a price for dealing in “ad pop”. Their fan base can get turned off and look for music elsewhere.

    As the respected musician Tom Waits says “By turning a great song into a jingle, advertisers have achieved the ultimate: a meaningless product has now been injected with your meaningful memory of a song,” he said. “The songs and the artists who have created them have power and cultural value, that’s why advertisers pay out millions for them. Once you have taken the cash, you, your song and your audience are forever married to the product.”

    Wilco song in Volkswagen commercial

    Of Montreal song “Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games” re-recorded with the words changed to “Let’s go Outback tonight” for Outback Steakhouse

    More on this subject…
    The Pop Song In Advertising

    Where have all the jingles gone?

    Where Have All the Jingles Gone

    commercial_jingles In Defense of the Commercial Jingle

    There was a time when advertisers packaged their marketing messages within the lyrics and melodies of songs written specifically for TV commercials. The songs came to be known as jingles because they were catchy, singable tunes. Today, commercial jingles have essentially disappeared from American TV advertising. Advertisers now are more sophisticated. The jingle is seen as a corny, throwback to a time when viewers would accept a sing-songy tune written about a product. 

    Modern Day Branding
    These days TV advertisers seek to position their product within the “lifestyle” of their target market. The task is to create an ad campaign that reflects this lifestyle. Television commercials today often don’t even mention the product, you just see happy people using it, hopefully dressed the way you do. The implication is; they use it – you should use it too.

    If the target market is baby boomers, the commercials borrow heavily from pop tunes from the 1970s (Cadillac uses Led Zeppelin’s Rock ‘n Roll). If it’s a younger market, then the tune is borrowed from the 1990s or 2000s. Some new and relatively unknown bands have even been launched to greater popular acclaim because one of their songs was used in a TV commercial.

    So yes, creating ads around lifestyle choices is more sophisticated. But does it sell the product? After all, that’s what these things are supposed to do. They’re supposed to sell.

    The problem with making branding all about style is – everyone is basically branding the same one or two styles. How does a consumer differentiate between all of these similar messages? They all just blur together. Products are wrapped in the images and sounds of our shared popular culture. The ads are smart, hip and chic but in the end, they all blend into a reflection of a single modern lifestyle. Everything is the same. This is hardly what TV advertising should be.

    We all hear famous songs grafted into ad campaigns, we may even like the commercial, but do we necessarily remember the product? Here is a list of pop songs used in TV advertising within the past 12 months (this article was originally published in our newsletter in 2005). Can you name the product?

    Dust In the Wind by Kansas
    Rufus Wainwright covering The Beatles’ song “Across the Universe.”
    Live Richly by Spice Girls
    100 Years by Five for Fighting
    Vertigo by U2
    One Way or Another by Blondie
    Love Sick by Bob Dylan
    Picture Book by the Kinks

    Commercial jingles have been forgotten. They’re out of style. A decision has been made
    by marketers that jingles are not the right way to reach the modern demographic.

    Jingles are obviously not as cool, nor do they have the cache of a hit record, an Eminem track for instance, but advertising jingles actually sell the product for which they were created. Chances are better that a viewer will remember the product when it is presented through a jingle. “Remember the product” – that’s what an advertisement should do.

    Remember these old commercial jingles?…

    Rotorouter that’s the name
    And away go troubles
    Down the Drain

    When you say Bud,
    You’ve said a lot of things nobody else can say
    When you say Bud,
    You’ve said you care enough to only want the king of beers
    When you say Budweiser,
    You’ve said it all

    If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer
    Miller tastes too good to hurry through

    Hershey, the great American chocolate bar…br>

    My baloney has a first name
    It’s O S C A R
    My baloney has a second name
    It’s M A Y E R
    Oh, I love to eat it everyday
    And if you ask me why, I’ll say
    Cause Oscar Mayer has a way
    With B O L O G N A

    If you’ve ever heard these jingles, you were, no doubt, humming the tunes as you were reading the text (you are also probably over 35 years old). Some of these commercial jingles are 30 years old and some of you still remember these products and their TV ads. That’s branding, isn’t it?

    Vigilante Saves the Day…
    Here in Brooklyn New York there’s a local company, Vigilante Plumbing, that advertises on cable TV. Their TV commercial uses a jingle. It is a low-budget, corny – actually it’s so bad, it makes you laugh – it’s a take-off on a Spaghetti-western style soundtrack. I’ve heard people sing this jingle while waiting in ATM bank lines, always to great snickering by others also waiting. When a Vigilante plumbing truck drives by, I’ve heard pedestrians start singing the Vigilante jingle back at the truck as it passes, laughing as they sing.

    But what great advertising this jingle has been! Ask anyone in Brooklyn, (population 2.5 million) about a plumber, – they’re going to tell you Vigilante Plumbing. Vigilante didn’t have to go license “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. They used a low-budget, kitschy song and they are the top-of-mind plumbing outfit in a city of 2.5 million. Not bad.

    Maybe there’s a meeting point between this example and the ultra-chic marketing we see everyday. Maybe an advertising jingle can even be cool. Jingles have been off-the-radar for so long now, that perhaps the young creative at a Madison Avenue ad agency that comes up with a cool jingle
    will actually appear to have a fresh idea (for proof of this see my blog post about the jingle-based TV commercial for

    Sergio Zyman was the chief marketing officer for the Coca-Cola Company in the 1980s. His book, The End of Marketing As We Know It, speaks to the disconnect affecting TV advertisers more concerned with building images than selling products.

    Marketers who haven’t made the connection between creating images and selling products often don’t do a very good job at either of them. … But too many marketers pay too much attention to the people in their ad agencies who talk about production values, WOW concepts and winning
    awards and they don’t think enough about their objective and how the images they create are going to help or hurt them in achieving sales. They don’t really understand what goes into branding and positioning, or what branding and positioning need to do. So, the images they create are fuzzy, irrelevant, or boring.

    Marketers are making a big mistake when they hide behind the concept of building images so that they won’t be held accountable for producing any results It’s pure baloney, or worse, to suggest that marketing isn’t about selling products and making money.

    My all-time favorite commercial jingle is from my childhood and featured a character named Choo Choo Charlie. The product was Good and Plenty candy.

    Once upon a time there was an engineer
    Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear.
    He had an engine and he sure had fun
    He used Good & Plenty candy to make his train run.
    Charlie says, “Love my Good & Plenty!”
    Charlie says, “Really rings my bell!”
    Charlie says, “Love my Good & Plenty!”
    Don’t know any other candy that I love so well!

    I still remember the commercial, the animation, the song, the product. I don’t remember anything about the commercials I saw last night.

    The End of Marketing As We Know It

    by Sergio Zyman

    If you have a business and need to market your products in any way, then this book will make enlightened reading.

    Remember the New Coke? A disaster, right? Or how about the commercial where “Mean” Joe Greene meets a little kid holding a bottle of Coke? A masterpiece, right? Wrong, on both counts. Sergio Zyman, who was the chief marketing officer at Coca-Cola, will tell you that while the New Coke nose-dived, it – and the subsequent reintroduction of Coke Classic – helped to reconnect people to the soft drink and revitalize a brand that was losing market share to Pepsi. And as for “Mean” Joe Greene, while people loved the ad, it wasn’t doing what good marketing should do: sell product, which is what Zyman’s book, The End of Marketing As We Know It, is all about.

    Who Killed the Jingle?

    How a Unique American Art Form Disappeared
    By Steve Karmen

    Did Madison Avenue get too sophisticated for its own good? Too cheap? Too sneaky? In its quest to combat the technology that allows viewer to “zap” the commercials, “tune out,” or eliminate advertising, did the advertising world invent “integration” (putting the product into the programming) rather than make the commercials lovable, hummable units of entertainment themselves? Karmen explores the demise of the advertising music business and why the future of advertising is so precarious.