writing a jingle

Jingle all the way? Easier said than done! Writing a jingle takes creativity, planning, and research. 

Everyone knows famous jingles throughout marketing history. From Meow Mix commercials to those three famous NBC notes, good jingles have proven effective. 

When the general population recognizes those famous jingles, they likely don’t consider the process of writing them.

As an artist, you realize that how to write a catchy jingle is just as important as what’s in it. Keep reading to find some tips for writing jingles.

Start With a Script

Before anything else, advertising professionals should make sure they know what the client wants. How to write a catchy jingle is no different. 

Starting with a rough draft script and run it by the client before taking the process much further. Content should come first, then create the jingle. 

If a client isn’t happy with the message, it’s much easier to change it before it’s set to music.

Do Research The Market

A catchy and memorable jingle needs to be relevant. Before composers begin writing, they should pay attention to trending jingles. What kinds of beats and melodies are trending?

A jingle that’s in the style will catch on better than an old-fashioned one. It may help to listen to the top 40 radio stations. Artists should take note of all genres: pop, country, rock, rap, and more. 

Trending musical styles act as a helpful guide for writing a great jingle.

Don’t Be A Copycat

Using popular styles is a great idea, however, music plagiarism is never in style. Composers should also take care to create original content.

Copycat tunes and/or lyrics are not only unethical, they’re illegal.

Artists can check out online resources to help detect music plagiarism. If these resources aren’t available, playing a jingle for another music professional is a good safeguard against copycat work.

Do Grab Audience Attention

The rise in digital media is resulting in shorter attention spans. More than ever, the first several notes of music need to grab the listener’s attention. A good hook, or attention-grabbing opening, is vital to a successful jingle.

A hook should be ear-catching and interesting. The main idea or chorus needs interesting content as well. This is where the main message should come through.

Does the client want to highlight a phone number, website, or address? Jingle composers often use the following techniques to add interest to their content.

Alliteration and Assonance

Adding assonance and alliteration helps create catchy content. Beginning words with the same sound or letter is a great way to set information in the minds of consumers. Here are some examples of alliteration in advertising:

Welcome to the world wide wow. (AOL)

Don’t dream it. Drive it. (Jaguar)

Some studies suggest alliteration serves as a memory aid. Composers should always make sure alliterative content makes sense. This helps consumers consider the concept of that catchy tune while it’s stuck in their heads.

Rhyme Time

The quilted quicker picker upper (Bounty).

Click it or ticket (seat belt campaign).

It’s easy to remember something with a rhythm. Language is no exception. Adding a rhyme or two to your jingle will make it more memorable. 

A rhyming slogan is even better. Advertising is always the right time to rhyme.

Onomatopoeia

Words that sound like their meaning are a great idea for advertisers. Consider the Snap! Crackle! Pop!. And what about Plop plop! Fizz fizz! Oh, what a relief it is. from Alka Selzer?

Incorporating memorable sounds into a jingle helps the tune and content stay with listeners. 

A Catchy Question

Can you hear me now? (Verizon)

What’s in your wallet? (Capital One)

Writing a jingle where you ask the audience to think is a great strategy. Include common questions asked in daily life, like the Verizon catchphrase, and recognition increases even more.

If consumers ask the question, it may remind someone of the jingle and the product it’s representing.

Don’t Make It Too Long

While attention spans aren’t what they used to be, all is not lost. Some blame consumers’ inability to focus longer than eight seconds on competing content.

Whatever the reason, advertisers don’t have long to catch the attention of their audience. With this in mind, jingle composers need to keep their catchy jingle short and sweet. 

In general, an advertising jingle shouldn’t be longer than 30 seconds. Keeping ads quick helps your client’s message keep the attention spans of listeners everywhere.

Do Use Short Words

A jingle shouldn’t contain longer words than normal, either. If it’s something a person would not commonly say, it’s likely something the public won’t understand.

Jingles should be relatively short anyway. Adding long words takes away the opportunity to add other meaningful content.

Don’t Overcomplicate

In the words of Avril Lavigne, “Why’d you have to go make things so complicated?”

Avril isn’t the only one frustrated by overcomplicated strategies. Consumers don’t want complex musical elements. They want memorable and catchy.

Think about the three notes of NBC’s jingle or the sound your computer makes with it boots up.

These are all examples of sonic logos. Incorporating them into your jingle will help keep things memorable and simple. 

The alphabet song or nursery rhymes wouldn’t be effective memory aids if they were complicated. These tunes use easy-to-remember intervals (distance between notes). Simple melodies don’t confuse listeners’ ears, they engage them.

Do Use Action Words

Just Do It. Nike’s slogan is the best example of a slogan that gives a command. A jingle should be no different. 

Providing a call to action is an important tip for writing jingles. If consumers don’t take action after hearing a company jingle, what’s the point? 

A jingle should leave listeners with some kind of instruction to call, visit, or buy. 

Create FOMO

How to make memorable jingles? Establish a need with the listener(s). Nobody wants to feel left out and FOMO is real among consumers.

Fear Of Missing Out drives listeners to buy in to products and experiences. Creating a sense of FOMO through a company jingle makes listeners want to act. 

Don’t Forget Your Brand Name

Forgetting a client’s brand name in a jingle is like running brushing teeth while eating Oreos. There’s really no point to it at all.

Brand recognition is key in any marketing strategy. Client jingles must include the product or company brand. 

Take A Tip From Pavlov

A jingle becomes even more powerful when listeners can pair just a few notes with their brand. Think of McDonald’s (ba-da-ba-ba-ba), or the State Farm jingle (like a good neighbor). People know without hearing anything else, those words belong with that company.

This Pavlovian response comes from a few short notes paired with a brand over and over again. If people see and hear them together enough times, they two become synonymous. 

Use this Pavlovian response as a guide to writing good jingles. Pairing a catchy tune repeatedly with a brand can pay off big for clients and artists.

Do Be Professional

Everyone can tell a laptop basement recording from professional quality work. Artists work hard to make jingle content and melody what it should be. Why ruin all that work with shoddy production material or subpar performances?

Professional recording and production equipment are a must. If possible, hire professional musicians. Find a vocalist who knows what he or she is doing.

High-quality content with high-quality performance will provide clients with the high-quality product they want. Professional standards help jingle writers grow their craft as well. Clients will return and spread the word if they are satisfied with their highly polished results.

Don’t Be Inappropriate

Catchphrases and cute quips make for great jingle material. Content should always be appropriate and professional. Controversial topics and cringy content should be avoided.

Unless the client is specifically asking for eyebrow-raising content, shy away from it. 

Writing a Jingle Should Be Fun

It’s important to take the craft seriously. However, a creative process without fun will show in the final product.

How can jingle creators make fun content without having fun themselves? Read a joke book, watch funny youtube videos, and take breaks when needed. Find posters, funny memes, or other visually uplifting material to line the writing room.

Learn From the Best

Motivating factors vary from artist to artist. The creative process of writing a jingle will look different for each composer. There is no one right way of how to write a jingle for a business. 

The award-winning professionals at Killer Spots can serve your business by writing jingles, creating social media marketing, web design, SEO services, and more.

Send them a message today to find out how Killer Spots can help your business succeed.

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