Comes from the days of radio. When all advertising had to be audio, a good way to get people to remember your product was to have a catchy short tune associated with it, often mentioning the product or company's name. This is even common with phone numbers for their services.
While not quite as common as they used to be, jingles work, so they will probably be around as long as we have commercials. They can even become quite popular and be released as a single. Some well-known jingles have been around literally for decades, periodically having their instrumentation/arrangement updated to sound more modern.
Sometime an agency will expend money rather than talent and use an existing song.
- The sponsors of Our Miss Brooks had some pretty catchy ones:
- "Brush your teeth with Colgate/Colgate dental cream/It cleans your breath (what a toothpaste)/While it cleans your teeth."
- "Dream girl, dream girl/Beautiful Luster Cream girl/You owe your crowning glory to/A Luster Cream shampoo." (This one was set to the tune of "Toyland" from Babes in Toyland.)
- The distinctive song used in the United States to advertise Mister Clean cleaning products has been around for about half a century, having been written in 1958.
- Chock Full o' Nuts coffee has a jingle that dates back all the way to the heyday of radio; as of late Spring 2007, they were running a contest for customer-created "modernizations".
- "Chock Full o' Nuts is a heavenly coffee..."
- Oscar Mayer has two: "I Wish I Was an Oscar Mayer Wiener" and "My Bologna Has a First Name."
- In Britain some recent commercials for Mr. Sheen polish and Toblerone chocolate bars have revived jingles first heard in the 70s.
- One of the longest-running jingles on British TV was for Fairy Liquid, a washing-up detergent, first heard in the late 1950s and used for well over three decades.
- A recent Fairy Liquid advert has restored this jingle. Well, sort of...
- R. White's Lemonade ran a single commercial, featuring the Secret Lemonade Drinker song, for almost 20 years.
- The legendary Burma-Shave signs are a non-musical example.
- Anna Russell's "A Practical Banana Promotion" included not only "Eta Banana," a parody of the Chiquita jingle, but also "Alas, What Should I Do," which sounds like just a rather mushy ballad when played the first time, but with subliminal advertising supposedly included. The song is repeated to reveal many contemporary (1950s) commercial jingles and slogans.
- The very first commercial jingle was General Mills' "Have You Tried Wheaties?" in 1926.
- An early part of Barry Manilow's career was helping major corporations sell you stuff:
- "It's a Pepsi Generation"
- "The original soft drink, Dr. Pepper"
- "I am stuck on Band-Aid"
- "You deserve a break today (at McDonald's)" Barry Manilow did not write this jingle (which makes me doubtful about attributing his authorship to the others). What is true is that when McDonald's introduced this jingle it was so popular that Manilow incorporated performing it into his stage show, thus causing the confusion regarding his authorship.
- "Grab a barrel of fun (Kentucky Fried Chicken)"
- "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there"
- Apparently, singing the jingle in State Farm commercials can make State Farm representatives materialize into the area.
- McDonalds' current jingle: "Buh-dah-buh-bah-bah, I'm lovin' it!" Taken from a Justin Timberlake song.
- Stan Freberg took this to a logical extreme with Omaha!, a parody of Oklahoma! for Butter-Nut Coffee, that ended up turning into a six minute mini-musical released as a novelty record.
- Similarly taken to an extreme by radio jingle company JAM Creative Productions with the aptly named "The JAM Song", highlighting many of the radio stations and shows (including American Top 40, the BBC, and VH1) sung for circa 1985, ending with a jingle for the fictional "Zorp Furble, Andromeda".
- Metalocalypse's first episode features the band Dethklok performing a concert consisting of a single death metal coffee jingle.
- Another Dr Pepper jingle: "I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, we're a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?" This was famous enough to be parodied by SCTV and Remington Steele.
- Phineas and Ferb with Doofensmirtz Evil Incorporated!
- The Simpsons has the "Canyonero" jingle, sung by Hank Williams, Jr.
- Hitachi's "Hitachi No Ki" (which is still used today, Japan only).
- The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) has the Mrs. Carillon's Pomato Soup jingle, set to the tune of "On Wisconsin." Leon/Noel hates the jingle so much that the tune causes him to have a fatal accident.
- Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: Calvin quotes the famous McDonald's jingle at one point in "Eggs for Calvin!".
- The Pajama Game has the cast sing a jingle for Sleep-Tite pajamas.
- The Tintin adventure Land of Black Gold has "Boum!" by Charles Trenet repurposed as a jingle for a breakdown assistance company, with lyrics about what to do when your car goes boom. Thompson and Thomson start singing along to it, and then their car mysteriously explodes.
- In A Face in the Crowd, Lonesome Rhodes creates a jingle for Vitajex. Its first verse runs:
Oh, Vitajex whatcha doin' to me!
Oh, Vitajex whatcha doin' to me!
You fill me full of oomph and ecstasy.
- Radio station jingles tend to date quickly. But they can also be evocative of places and times. BBC Radio Two's retrospective shows presented by forty-year veterans like Johnny Walker and Tony Blackburn are an opportunity to dust down and revive equally old jingles. On one level they sound ridiculously cheesy and 1960's/1970's, but for people who were around to hear them first time out, they are surprisingly evocative. In fact, one of the selling points for Radio 1's 50th anniversary was the use of many of their 1980s and early 1990s jingles played throughout, but with an added "Vintage" shout at the end of them (though one jingle was actually resung to include it).
- Parodied in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring The Land That Time Forgot. Kinga Forrester and Max introduce the Mesozoic Ranch Dino BBQ sauce and various dishes and after each little bit, a jingle starts to play. However, when Max remembers he left the Alliosarus cage unlocked and it got out, the jingle gains a mind of its own and mocks the two.
Jingle: Never should have tampered in God's domain! Moon 14!
Kinga: Yeah, yeah. We're in serious danger. We don't need a jingle right now.
Jingle: Jingle's self-aware now and saying what he wants to! Movie Sign!
- "Puppy Chow, for a full year, 'til he's full grown."
- 1961 Looney Tunes cartoon "Nelly's Folly" has a parody. Nelly the singing giraffe's first gig in America involves recording a jingle for indigestion medicine to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne".