Are jingles ready to make a comeback?

Discussion
Source: Ace Hardware TV spot: “EGO, Milwaukee and Stihl”
Apr 07, 2022

In a survey by audio research platform Veritonic, Ace Hardware’s jingle, “ACE is the place with the helpful hardware folks,” was the only tune by a retailer landing on the top-ten list of “audio logos.”

In the forward, Scott Simonelli, Veritonic’s CEO, noted that an increasing number of brands are incorporating sound into their marketing because consumers are listening to more audio and podcasts digitally. “As the consumption of audio continues to burgeon, what a brand sounds like is becoming as important as what it looks like,” he said.

Based on Veritonic’s survey of 2,800 U.S. consumers, the overall top-ten sound logos were: Folgers, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Farmers Insurance, KFC, Little Caesar’s, Ace Hardware, Safelite, Red Robin and Arby’s.

The Ace Hardware jingle particularly stood out for its familiarity. The eight remaining retailers landing among Veritonic’s ratings were Ashley Hardware, Menards, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Kay Jewelers, Michaels, Wayfair, Traeger and Dollar Shave Club.

In the QSR space, the seven restaurants recognized were KFC, followed by Little Caesar’s, Arby’s, Red Robin, Popeyes, McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

Not unsurprisingly, Spotify believes in the value of sonic branding. In a blog entry from January, Spotify wrote, “Just as jingles worked to keep brands top of mind in the heyday of TV, a specific sound or a consistent voiceover artist in your digital audio ads can stick with people.”

Advertiser Perceptions’ second-half 2021 Podcast Advertising Market Report found 53 percent of U.S. advertisers increasing their spend on podcasts in 2022, with more than half spending more on digital/streaming audio in general. The study stated, “Advertisers recognize the listening audiences are growing and loyal, and they now rank podcasts on par with TV for driving brand favorability.”

“Sound is the fastest human sense, faster than smell, taste, sight and even touch,” wrote Kevin Grady, senior partner, design at the brand consultancy Lippincott in a recent column for Fast Company exploring voice technology applications. He added, “Combine that with the fact that music elicits emotion, which is a big driver in brand loyalty, and the potential for sound in branding is crystal clear.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why are most U.S. retailers and brands no longer investing in developing strong jingles? Do you think sound branding will make a comeback with digital streaming, podcasting and other digital audio opportunities?

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Braintrust
"While there are many more media options these days and consumers consume media differently, the advent of social platforms such as TikTok make this a prime time for a comeback"
"For many brands, jingles are designed as longer-term investments."
"A lost art indeed. Those of us who are a certain age remember many jingles and catchphrases from our youth."

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16 Comments on "Are jingles ready to make a comeback?"


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Bob Amster
BrainTrust

I don’t know if jingles will make a comeback or not, but I can say with certainty that I remember several jingles, and the products they represented, from more than four decades ago. There must be something to them…

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

I too remember the jingles from the ’50s and ’60s. But entertainment was quite different then.

Katie Thomas
BrainTrust

An enthusiastic yes for jingles. They show incredible brand awareness and retention for consumers. Jingles provide broader longer-term benefits, including building nostalgia and connection with a brand.

While there are many more media options these days and consumers consume media differently, the advent of social platforms such as TikTok make this a prime time for a comeback of the jingle.

Natalie Walkley
BrainTrust

Yes! I am an enthusiastic yes too. There is something so jolly about a jingle.

David Slavick
BrainTrust

This is a great topic. Music breaks through to the soul of the consumer. You deserve a break today. As a teenager my interest in advertising originated with exposure to a Leo Burnett creative who had the awesome job of creating a music bed to match the radio format for client spots. How the commercial sounded on urban stations vs. rock or easy listening was an investment in creative execution to optimize effectiveness. My, how things have changed over the years. The character Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men would be very happy to hear about jingles making a comeback — love to see it!

David Weinand
BrainTrust

A lost art indeed. Those of us who are a certain age remember many jingles and catchphrases from our youth. As video became the defacto marketing tool it’s understandable why jingles waned but, yes, I agree that with the popularity of podcasts and other streaming platforms – jingles should make a comeback.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

As soon as I saw the picture of Ace the “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks” jingle popped into my head. That shows how powerful jingles are. Although not strictly a jingle, the Home Depot music has been used extensively on TikTok and Instagram reels. In today’s world of short social media stories which are blended with music, there is most certainly space for catchy jingles.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Imagine “See the USA in your Chevrolet,” “Doublemint, doublemint gum,” “Roto, Roto Rooter,” “Have you had your soup today?” or “Nothing says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven” in today’s popular music genres. It’s not impossible but very, very challenging.

For today, of the top 10, Ace is the only one that comes to mind. A local electronics chain, PC Richards, has had the same one for more than 30 years. When it plays people start whistling it.

Can jingles still work? Sure. They are like putting the stamp on the envelope. But few of us use stamps anymore.

Brian Cluster
BrainTrust

Jingles can make a comeback. With podcasts gaining popularity in the last few years, there are opportunities to use jingles there as well in traditional and streaming radio.

As a San Diego resident and hardcore Cubs fan, I can’t help but retain the short O’Reilly jingle that is part of every broadcast. Jingles can be effective in the right setting to reach the right audience for sure.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

The world has evolved from the brand jingle glory days of the 1960s-’90s to one where viral TikToks dominate the mindshare and proportion of time spent consuming content. The industrial advertising complex has shifted from full-page New York Times advertisements, broadcast-quality commercials, and billboards to the digital world of instant gratification and organic reach that TikTok and other platforms offer.

Certainly, jingles could make a comeback; however the medium and form factor will need to shift to attract the customer’s attention where these potential customers are. The days of iconic brand jingles as we knew them are behind us, as society has yearned for easily consumable content, in the version of 15-30 seconds of viral content that is done in an authentic and storytelling-like way.

Brands and retailers are now flocking to TikTok with their brand pages and extending their reach with collaborations with well-established content creators. The game may have changed, however there is room for viral content, whether in the form of jingles or authentic posts.

Natalie Walkley
BrainTrust

+1 for jingles to make a comeback (and honestly they almost have already with TikTok trends). If you haven’t already, search “Flea Market Montgomery” and I apologize in advance if it gets stuck in your head. 😉

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

For many brands, jingles are designed as longer-term investments. These cannot be constantly changing as customers may no longer associate the brand with a specific audio piece. The second reason is that many brands have already invested in jingles for long term impact. You can’t forget Netflix or Ace or Kroger. The trademarks already exist, but sound marks are not common. In the EU, less than 0.01 percent of trademark applications are sound marks according to Euipo.

However retailers have begun to realize the importance of over 70 million podcast subscribers and there are interesting opportunities to incorporating sound in the retail experience. Selfridges was able to develop a way for different sensory emotive sounds as customers moved through different parts (and departments) of the store. Incorporating personalized sound will be an interesting trend as messaging is adjusted based on customer information and even real-time information – such as when a user opens an email or receives a text message.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Jingles? I’m not so sure. Sound hooks? Absolutely! Jingles to me are a sort of bad rhyming marketing, think lowbrow ad hip hop. Sure they are memorable, sometimes almost unshakable, but not always for good reasons, kind of like “ear worms” of a bubble gum rock song you can’t get out of your head, but desperately want to. But sound — now sound — is powerfully effective when it comes to creating associations and triggering memory recall, so the bottom line is retailers probably aren’t paying enough attention to sound branding. And let face it, people are moving away from words as a preferred method of communication and moving toward micro-prose, symbols, images, video, and — wait for it — sound.

Lucille DeHart
BrainTrust

Like everything else, jingles, logos, and taglines are all part of a whole. None should live independently from one another and each needs to contribute to the bigger message. I think sound is a critical component to a brand, more so in the CPG and service space than the fashion/apparel space. I mean, who can say Law and Order: Special Victims Unit without the dun-dun sound echoing in their head?

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

I don’t think there’s much mystery: the rise of jingles corresponded to the supremacy of radio. It’s been an 80 year slow-erase.

Anil Patel
BrainTrust

I feel that it’s all about making and breaking trends. Any change – be it videos or jingles — goes through a certain lifecycle: it is generally first not so widely accepted by the audience, then they hit the threshold of reaching the masses, and finally undergo a tipping point. The same thing happened with jingles since the audience now seems to be more inclined toward short videos, audios, monologues, and podcasts.

I believe there are myriad elements of sound branding. Digital streaming and podcasting are just two of them. Currently, podcasts and digital streaming are gaining a lot of traction since brands can leverage them across any platform and tap more customers.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"While there are many more media options these days and consumers consume media differently, the advent of social platforms such as TikTok make this a prime time for a comeback"
"For many brands, jingles are designed as longer-term investments."
"A lost art indeed. Those of us who are a certain age remember many jingles and catchphrases from our youth."

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