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How the Jingle Went Out of Advertising

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Let the Holidays ring with the familiar songs that have become simultaneously linked to the leading consumer splurge from year to year. Music is never more powerful than when we are in the mall hearing Holly Jolly Christmas, Winter Wonderland, and Santa Baby, around the holidays. With each passing song, we are reminded to buy presents because X-mas is getting closer and closer, according to The Globe and Mail.

Music helps sell things throughout the year as well. It is one of the most powerful tools to boost the most sales possible with its catchy mnemonic pitch, but why has it been on decline the past few decades? It is still on local radio stations, but television has turned away from the jingle that puffs up the product, long ago. What happened to the jingle? The most successful tool in advertising has plummeted to non-existence, but why is such a successful tool being thrown in the garbage like an old sock?

As the world turns, the consumers change as well. The sweet, innocent, naïve, jingles like the “Jolly Green Giant” or “Everyone Loves a Slinky,” just doesn’t sell. People just don’t want a cute product anymore. This kind of jingle may have been desirable in the sixties, but here in the turn of the century, we need more to get us interested. “Instead of extolling the virtues of the product, the idea was to celebrate the lifestyle of the consumers of the product,” said Roger Enrico, the former PepsiCo CEO. It isn’t about the product anymore, it’s about who is using the product. This is what launched the new Pepsi campaign generation.

Instead of focusing on the product, Pepsi focused on the flawless, young, attractive, and frivolous customers that were supposedly buying their product. Pepsi kept the jingle alive with celebrities Michael Jackson, Faith Hill and Britney Spears with a soft-rock song: “It’s the Pepsi Generation, comin’ at you, goin’ strong… you’ve got a lot to live, and Pepsi’s got a lot to give.” With this new campaign, Pepsi dropped the product-specific songs in favor of insightfully selected radio hits, or music that sounded like the product with the thinking as Judy John, CEO and chief creative officer at the Canadian arm of Leo Burnett says, “ people already know the song, so they have a good feeling about it.”

“The jingle hasn’t gone away, it’s just been condensed,” says Andrew Simon, chief creative officer of Toronto’s Blammo Worldwide, the agency behind a batch of recent Fallsview Casino ads. “The mnemonic intent is still there, even if it’s just in a little clip”, says Simon. Instead of giving the specifics of a product in a long in depth jingle, advertisers have moved away to the mnemonic jingles like “I’m lovin it.” So, the jingle that helps sell has not gone away, but has merely condensed to a more suitable ring for the consumers buying the product.

How the Jingle Went Out of Advertising by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes