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.
Who says you’re too old for the Bunny Sleeper?
Almost an homage to the infamous Bunny Suit in the movie A Christmas Story, this product billed itself as “the grownup version of a child’s favorite.” But this ad also states that it now (then) came in a “frankly sexy, shape-flattering, body-warming sleeper.” Targeting a 14-40 year age demographic, how could this product lose?
Where’s Apple’s wrist radio? Nowhere. That’s where!
Sure this product didn’t bother with mp3 playing capabilities since the format didn’t yet exist, but for close to one hundredth the price of an iPod how could you go wrong? Plus, it sort of looks like you can shoot cool lightnning bolts back and forth. That mushroom-looking thing depicted below the girl’s hand is the “private ear phone” which seemed to utilize the tried-and-true, centuries-old technology of hearing horns.
Car? Boat? Car? Boat? Why not give both… at the same time?
You’ve probably seen the car ads during the holidays that seem to target bankers and other bailout recipients. They show poeple with enough free cash to give cars as gifts during the holidays. Big red ribbons, clever reveals, you get the idea. But what about the yacht enthusiasts who want to give out boats? Well, the Amphicar may have been the answer. If it hadn’t failed miserably, the super-wealthy could have killed two birds with one stone.
Shoppers tip: For those of us gift-giving on a budget.
There’s no shame in not being able to afford giving cars, boats or amphibious vehicles this year as gifts. For those with tighter budgets, consider giving out motorcycles. Not any ol’ bike, but bikes that have been seized from druglords. They’re cheap and they come with a story that’s hard to beat.