If a tag line can define a product and make the product memorable, how much more effective would it be if the tag were a lyric in a catchy tune? A jingle is a catchy tune intended to promote the recognition of a product. If that tune also contains a clever tag line, it may rattle around in consumer skulls for decades.
While most modern product jingles are matched with popular tunes, who among us can recall a year later what product was associated with a familiar Beatles' or Rolling Stones' blast from the past used in a TV or radio ad? The tunes seem to behave like memory foam, where they eventually revert to the association with earlier times rather than with the products being promoted.
Interestingly, the top ten jingles of the twentieth century selected by Advertising Age magazine, did not include a single popular tune. Here they are:
- "You deserve a break today." (McDonald's)
- "Be all you can be." (U.S. Army)
- "Pepsi Cola hits the spot." (Pepsi-Cola)
- "M'mm! M'mm! Good." (Campbell's Soup)
- "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet." (General Motors)
- "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener." (Oscar Mayer)
- "Double your pleasure, double your fun." (Wrigley's Doublemint Gum)
- "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should." (Winston Cigarettes)
- "It's the real thing." (Coca-Cola)
- "A little dab'll do ya." (Brylcreem)
All of these jingle tags sold vast quantities of product and became a part of the shared American experience. If you were conscious at any time during the last half of the twentieth century, some of these jingle tags are still playing in your head as you read this.