What makes a great jingle?

I’ve been fortunate enough to be working on a couple jingles lately, which got me wondering: What’s the best jingle of all time?

There are lists floating around on the Internet — such as this one and that one — that address this question. To me, the Coke jingle in the Youtube clip above beats them all. It’s direct, memorable and warm. I don’t feel like I’m part of some calculated marketing program when I hear it (although undoubtedly I am).

Other hard-to-forget jingles include the Oscar Mayer theme (“My bologna has a first name…”) McDonald’s  “You Deserve a Break Today,” Burger King’s “Have it Your Way” and, in recent years, Chili’s “I Want My Babyback Ribs.”

What makes them successful? What are the hallmarks of successful jingles? I’ll venture
a few suggestions:

  • They stick in your ear, and your mind.
  • You can sing them – so the melody isn’t overly difficult
  • Somehow they get the point across without seeming too aggressive – like the Coke song above.

Here’s my most recent effort:

Local Shops 1

It’s for an online business network called LocalShops1, founded by my former colleague at the St. Petersburg Times, Ester Venouziou. She is giving local businesses a high level of promotional support, the kind that the big chains usually get but Mom-and-Pop shops rarely get. The song will, I am told, be used in a radio and television campaign promoting Ester’s business. (Here’s the website of my business, Music For Media Productions, with other samples of my work in case you’re interested.)

What do you think? What are some of the best jingles YOU’ve heard?

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2 Responses to “What makes a great jingle?”

  1. Desiree Says:

    Coke and McDonald certainly have among the very best jingles.

    Here’s some more good jingles that I can recall:
    “Snap, crackle, pop” Rice Krispies
    “I am stuck on Band-Aids ‘cause Band-Aids stuck on me.”
    “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun” McDonald’s Big Mac
    “N-e-s-t-l-e Nestlé makes the very best… chocolate”
    “See the USA in your Chevrolet”
    “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet”
    “Be all that you can be” U.S. Army

    And an awful jingle: “Meow, meow, meow, meow” Meow Mix (UGH!)

    So many wasted Saturday mornings in front of the TV!

  2. Music and memories… « MusicForMedia: Creating music for a multimedia world Says:

    […] its ability to deliver you to a specific time and place. Obviously, this trait shows why music is so powerful in the advertising and marketing worlds. A simple three-note melody can instantly bring to mind a product or […]

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