When it comes to running a business in the 21st century, brand recognition is one of the most important things to take into consideration. If you want customers, you’re going to need leads, and if you want leads, you’re going to need to get recognized.
Almost everyone considers advertising, and we all know the importance of merchandise. But have you thought about coming up with a company jingle?
Your brain might automatically think that company jingles are old and dated, but check out this list of the most memorable advertising jingles. Some of them aren’t even very musical, just rhythmic and melodic phrases that stick in people’s heads.
No doubt, you recognize all of these corporate jingles. It doesn’t take long for this recognition to turn into good times you spent with the product. That is the power of brand recognition.
Whereas most advertising works on a purely visual level, a jingle allows you to infiltrate people’s brains sonically. You can effectively dominate your local cultural consciousness by branching out to other forms of advertising.
This article will walk you through all you need to know to create the best company jingles.
Phase One: Research
Our auditory associations are highly generational and cultural. Because of this, companies looking for jingles need to make sure they know which market they’re targetic.
What generations of people are coming into your business or calling you up? — are they a younger crowd, or older? You don’t want to create a jingle that calls to mind Engelbert Humperdinck if your audience is all under the age of 21. Conversely, you don’t want to drop the newest Travis Scott song on a bunch of elderly people.
For young people, make sure you keep up with social media trends, so you can stay relevant.
But that’s all you need to get specific about.
Language is extremely specific to the way we live our lives. Language is how we imagine, build and structure our world. You need to tangle the language if your company jingles to your demographic as well.
You’re not going to want to use a lot of slang if you’re addressing technical professionals. You’re also not going to want to be too cold if you’re shooting for a more casual crowd.
Phase Two: Get the Music Right
Once you know what sort of music you’re going to be making for your jingle, you have to hammer out the music and get it right. Make sure you work closely with any jingle-writers that you hire to get exactly what you want. Always choose to work with someone who’s willing to co-operate; it’s your business after all.
(Speaking of which, unless you’ve had some serious musical training, don’t try to write your own jingle. In all likelihood, it won’t go very well. The songs are short, but the music is much more complicated than it seems.)
You have to keep your jingle simple, poppy, easy to remember, and easy to sing. Now is not the time to show off your love for the avant-garde jazz styling of Eric Dolphy. The ultimate test as to whether or not your jingle is working is whether or not people are willing to sing it back.
The thing is, it doesn’t even need to be technically good; it can even be extremely annoying like the Fanta ad, and it will work.
For the most part, you’re going to want to stay in a major key. The melody should be so simple that you can rework it into several different concepts. Just think about all of the varying ways the Nationwide jingle has been played.
Phase Three: Get the Lyrics Perfect
You have to get the music right, but you have to get the lyrics more right. In the case of a jingle, the music is just the vehicle you’re serving up a lyric in.
What should your lyrics be?
Well, for one, they should not be the modernist poetic stylings of Wallace Stevens. They should be short, repetitive, child-like, simplistic, they should stick in your head like gum to the bottom of a table. You might only get one shot to capture the hearts, minds, and imaginations of your audience; make sure you aim well.
Make sure you use rhyme. People remember rhymes. That’s why they’re so popular in almost every form of popular music.
Make use of assonance as well. Words that sound alike, that start with the same sounds, that flow together rhythmically like drum hits. All of this can only serve to help people remember you.
In your lyrics, don’t be afraid to get corny. There’s no such thing as a “cheap” sale, so why should there be “cheap” lyrics? Feel free to use puns, silliness, pop-culture reference, and sentimentality to your advantage; people eat these things up.
Speaking of sentimentality, don’t forget to suggest a relationship. Don’t be afraid to tell your customers exactly what you provide, and exactly what their relationship to you is. On our list of the greatest ad jingles, we list Toys R Us, who did a wonderful job of getting straight to kids’ hearts.
One of the reasons they did so well is because, years later, when those kids were grown up, their sentimental attachment to those songs made them share the product with their kids. Which is a sweet moment that means more business.
Phase Four: Come Up With a Few Options
There’s a reason why musicians do several takes of songs, why movies end up with deleted scenes, and authors go through many drafts of the same scene. You’re stepping into the world of art here, and things aren’t always as cut and try as they seem. As a businessperson, you might just want to pay for the product and get the job done, but it isn’t as simple as that.
When it comes to creativity, everything is a matter of taste. You might be disappointed by how annoying the jingle your writer came up with is, only to find yourself whistling it in bed at night. Inversely, you might love a jingle, but never be able to remember how it goes.
This is why it’s important to get several options. Bring your team in and have them listen to all of them. Then give yourself some time to sit and think about which jingle works the best.
Heck, you can even call a meeting a week later and ask your team which jingle has stuck in their head the most. This is a great, scientific way to choose a jingle.
If you can afford to, it might serve you well to hire several jingle writers. As long as the musicians/company jingle maker is getting paid, and you’re not using any of their music without their permission, they’ll happy to work for you, even if you don’t end up using their song. Session musicians record songs that never see the light of day popular musicians all the time.
The point is, you need to think outside of the box when it comes to jingles. You’re not going to get 100 percent of the way by hammering it out with facts and logic. You’re going to need to get a little strange.
Phase Five/Six: Test It Out/Refine
A good business person knows that to succeed, you’re going to have to fail. Some of the most successful business people of all time tanked their first companies abysmally.
When your jingle hits the air, don’t rest on your auditory laurels. Get out there in the world. Listen to the way your song sounds coming out over the radio, after a song in a Spotify ad, in-between shoes in a commercial, etc; it’s one thing to hear it in the comfort of your office, another to hear it amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The hustle and bustle of life is where your jingle is going to have to shine. It needs to cut through the raw fabric of life. Does it sound good, catchy, reliable in this context?
Take note of whether or not people hum along to the song, or seem to have it caught in their heads afterward. Take note of whether they’re talking about the jingle or not. It’s a good sign even if they’re making fun of your ad or calling it annoying; mimicry means repetition, and repetition means recognition.
If your jingle isn’t catching, that’s alright. You can use one of your alternate takes, or refine your current one. The more you fail, the closer you get to success.
Create the Best and Brightest Company Jingle That No One Can Forget
Human beings are creatures of symbol, language, associations, sound. If we’re going to remember a business, we’re going to remember it because of a symbol that’s attached to it; an image, some language, or a song. A company jingle allows you to combine language with songwriting for the purposes of your company.
Now that you know the six phases of creating a great jingle, there’s nothing stopping you from dominating the business world.
For more information, contact us today.