mercoledì 19 gennaio 2011

Why are jingles so powerful?


Recall of advertising messages in dependent upon media weight. The stronger the creative, the stronger the commercial, thus media weight works that much harder in imprinting the core messages of the ads. Kids watch a ton of TV, so it's not surprising that they remember stuff from the first moment the boob tube is flipped on. Kids have a huge aptitude for learning at the early formative stages and they absorb everything around them like a sponge. Memorizing and subconscious embedding is obviously essential to learning, and it has been thus so since humans lived in fear of sabre tooth tigers. At whatever age, the mind doesn't discriminate between what is "useful" to learn from a survival or societal perspective and what is just unconsciously imprinted by the dark side of Madison Avenue (confession: I was/am one). One CEO of a major agency once told me that his agency was capable of making everyone of us think, buy or do stuff without us knowing why or even caring. Consumer markets have become markets of desires, not needs. Anyway, it is not surprising that kids remember jingles.

A music rug under a commercial will reinforce the feelings that the ad are attempting to telegraph. Mostly they are unmemorable unless some rock band or song that has been wildly popular is employed. Recently the geniouses at UPS's agency have surgically altered the sclerotic spaghetti classic "Amore"" and turned it into "Logistics". Sometimes a band gets known through its TV music debut(

Back in the horse and buggy days, the musical jingle pretty much dominated he 30 or 60 seconds of a commerical, either radio or TV. Most were sort of the Andrews Sisters variety with a couple of guys. I can recall many jingles that were pounded into my head in the 1950's and 1960's thanks to the agency media departments. (To my dying day I will remember a radio jingle for Heaven Scent, a perfume aimed at teenage girls and advertised on AM pop radio. It sort of helped that my father was SVP of a huge agency, so I watched all kinds of stuff in the wings in their formative stages. The creative team would get an assignment and immediately assemble a copywriter, an art director, and a musician.

In reality, the jingle today is mostly in the form of "stings" that punch up the company brand, the product brand name, or the benefits the features. The stings are just a few seconds long and are usually accompanied by the graphic logo at the end of the spot or can be at the head or threaded throughout the spot. Combining and synchoronizing audio and visual of the key idea really gooses message recall and that has turned from theory into law thanks to truck loads of data and research.

By the way, P.S. very powerful commericals have been created that have no music, or no music and no voice-over. This is your mind, this is your mind on drugs.

Sometimes I feel like a nut and sometimes I don't, but throughout my checkered advertising career I've been unwaivering in considering music and (let's not forget) effects as important as copy or artwork.

It doubles my pleasure and doubles my fun.  

Michael Gury 
Global Communications, Marketing, PR, Branding Expert
Greater New York City Area

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