The age of advertising jingles is unfortunately past us and current advertising campaigns merely use soundtracks from established recording artistes. Sometimes advertisers may choose to use relatively unknown soundtracks like in the ads by Apple or Geico which in turn boosts the song’s popularity. But using original ad jingles have declined even to the extent that Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and a Half Men no longer composes ad jingles but writes children songs. Even when they have to tell a story, advertising uses the plain narration style much in the spirit of Surf Excel’s Bhala uski kameez mere kameez se safed kaise? Of course, it doesn’t help that most advertising is focused either on alcohol products or pharmaceuticals. In case of the latter, they use fake-real people who mysterious recover from relatively uncommon illnesses like old men peeing often or unable to get it up and in case of the former, the ads although superior in terms of production quality have little recall value.
I’m no advertising executive but I’ll be glad to have consumers ‘singing’ ads that sell my products. Ad jingles have that unique ability of sticking in your head making you hum them sometimes at inopportune times. Doordarshan during the 80s had terrible programming but some of the ad jingles have lived on whether it is that of tandorusti ki raksha karta hai Lifebouy or Milk Cooperative’s Doodh Doodh [video] or even jab mein chhota bachha tha…Bajaj bulbs or Galle Mein Kichkich kya karoon, Vicks ki goli lo khichkhich door karo [video]. These jingles weren’t great songs but were catchy enough to have you sing them the next day or even a decade later, as I was humming the Bajaj bulbs tune during grocery shopping. In my case, the more ridiculous the jingle sounds, the more likely I’m to remember it and hum it at wrong times.
Since I no longer have access to Indian advertising, I’ve to make do with american ads which as I mentioned sadly lack jingles. But fortunately, in the past few months there have been few commercials with some awesome jingles.
The slacker band guys of FreeCreditReport.com have two catchy and extremely hummable tunes. It has transformed the otherwise spam-like online service of asking for your personal details by trying to give you something free into something respectable. If people like a product’s ad, they might be likely to trust the product as well, right?
Well I was shopping for a new car, which one’s me?
A cool convertible or an SUV.
Too bad I didn’t know my credit was whacked,
cuz now I’m driving off the lot in a used sub-compact.
F-R-E-E, that spells “free,” credit report dot com baby.
Saw their ads on my TV. Thought about goin’ but was too lazy.
Now instead of lookin’ fly and rollin’ phat,
my legs are sticking to the vinyl and my posse’s getting laughed at.
F-R-E-E, that spells “free,” credit report dot com baby
The jingle with its simple lyrics accompanied with apt visuals of guys in a second-hand car and getting laughed at by girls at the light yet appearing so cool resonates with college guys or just-out-of-college struggling guys with a hacked credit history. Although FreeCreditReport.com is not really free (annualcreditreport.com is), I’m sure its white rap lyrics have won over some fans.
Subway Five Dollar Foot-long
Another jingle that is making the waves is Subway’s Five. Five Dollar. Foot long. The ad features a variety of characters showing an open palm for five and stretching out their hands to show a foot-long distance. Beware of singing this aloud amongst people who haven’t heard the jingle before; you can cause some preferred yet serious misunderstandings. You don’t want to appear to be a cheap gigolo or perhaps, that connection is just in my head. Mind numbingly simple, this jingle cuts straight to the chase of Subway’s new offer of promoting their traditional foot-long sandwiches. So much so that Quiznos has come out with its competing five-dollar offer albeit with a horrible 5-dollar-eating Asian woman ad with no sound. On the other hand, you have a bright green Godzilla towering over a Asian chick in a flouroscent city, among other characters. Which will you remember more? And more importantly sing more often.
K9 Advantix – Ain’t No Bugs on Me
Kittens and puppies always make the best subjects in ads for pet care. And when you have a cute Labrador pup singing praises of his anti-flea medication in a childish voice while taunting other kids, it instantly reminds you of your competitive childhood. There might be bugs on you mutts but there ain’t no bugs on me. Listen to it and try not humming it later. You might just want to go get that medication, sprinkle it on you and sing that jingle to your friends. Or maybe it is just me. Nevertheless a cool jingle.
Another jingle featuring Band Aid, I am stuck on Band-Aid, and a Band-Aid’s stuck on me sung by two kids mostly a cute black girl reminds you of your childhood because this product was/is widely popular in India as well. It might be unknown to most that this jingle was a rejected tune from Barry Manilow. Rejected or not, it fits perfectly for Band-Aid.
Any other ad jingles that you have heard in recent times and have been unable to get out of your head?