radio jingles

If the saying “I’m lovin’ it” feels familiar and reminds you of McDonald’s, it’s because an effective radio ad worked its magic on you. 

Radio jingles have been used since 1926 when Wheaties cereal recognized the mass potential of radio advertising. They aired the first-ever radio jingle and ever since then radio advertisement has often relied on catchy, can’t-miss-them songs. 

Radio ads have relied on this method for a few different reasons. Radio songs and jingles help listeners remember a brand name and set the tone for the company. 

They also engage customers and help create a specific mood that customers associate with the brand, even years later. 

Even if a product is not something a customer would normally use, they will still remember that product’s advertising jingle. They may even sing it or bring it up in conversation with others. 

If a company has the money they may even shell out big money for famous singers and actors to be part of their campaign, which only boosts sales and spreads their popularity. 

For that reason, radio jingles are a permanent part of our culture. Read on to learn about the top 10 jingles that have resonated with audiences over the years. 

1. Nationwide 

This jingle is at the top of the list for good reason. Nationwide insurance first premiered their famous “nationwide is on your side” jingle in 1965 and it has resonated with audiences ever since. 

The jingle tells customers that they can trust their brand and that they will be taken care of. The tone of the voice singing is also reassuring, comforting, and everything a customer would want to feel from an insurance company. 

The jingle is still so popular today that the company continues to use it. Most recently sultry, popular singer Jill Scott covered the jingle to give the tune a modern feel. It has certainly come a long way since the first version of the jingle. 

2. McDonald’s

“Ba da ba ba baaa, I’m lovin it!”

This jingle is so catchy that most people everywhere would be able to recognize it. That’s because McDonald’s launched this ad worldwide and translated it into 11 different languages. 

Part of this was because famous pop star Justin Timberlake was tied to the song. The singer, who originally rose to fame with the pop group NSYNC, could be heard crooning the jingle during both television and radio commercials.

McDonald’s spent the money to take the ad as far as it could go and it showed. The jingle could be heard everywhere you went, whether it was on television, the radio, or showing as an ad at an event or sports game.  

McDonald’s eventually registered “I’m lovin’ it” as a trademark and continue to use the slogan to this day. It’s still the longest-running campaign in McDonald’s history. 

3. Ricola

Hearing the drawn-out “Riiiiiicolaaaaaaa” probably brings to mind the scenery of a swiss hillside. That’s because this jingle’s campaign was as effective on television as it was on the radio. 

The cough drop company first used this ad campaign in Germany and Switzerland in 1993 and it was so popular that they eventually released it in other countries. This led to a huge increase in brand awareness that was ultimately quite profitable. 

The television commercial often featured a yodeler, mountainous hills, and people coughing followed by popping a Ricola into their mouth. The iconic jingle is used in their advertising to this day.

4. Rice Krispies 

This popular jingle remains as effective as it ever was, even today. 

It’s so popular that in 2020 Kellog’s released a full-length single featuring the three Rice Krispy elf mascots singing a modern pop version of the song. This song is even available on Spotify! 

The song also got a very rock and roll makeover by the world-famous rock band The Rolling Stones a few years before they became a household name.

Then-bandmember Brian Jones wrote the tune and it was their take on the famous “Snap! Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies!” lyrics with an edgier twist. 

5. Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms has always run a popular ad campaign for plenty of reasons, but it was their “They’re magically delicious!” slogan that has stuck in people’s memories for years. 

Lucky Charms has always created effective television commercials featuring their leprechaun mascot, Lucky, as he tries to protect his precious bowl of cereal from the kids trying to eat it. 

Their advertising was so successful that it’s recognizable beyond just the main catchphrase.

Many people can recognize the part of the ad that details the eight different marshmallow shapes and colors in the cereal as well. The jingle behind the words is lighthearted and mimics the sound often heard in daytime cartoons for kids. 

6. Spaghetti-O’s

This very popular jingle was loosely based on a 1950s love song by Jimmie Rodgers, “Uh-Oh I’m Falling In Love Again.”

The Spaghetti-O’s jingle is so memorable that it became a regular part of American vernacular that had nothing to do with canned food and is sometimes still heard today.

Locked your keys in your car? Maybe you managed to spill water all over your paperwork. Your first response might have been to say, “Uh oh, spaghetti-o’s.”

This slogan boosted sales for the company and it is still one of the most-bought canned foods today. 

7. State Farm

State Farm Insurance has run such a competitive and brilliant ad campaign for years now that nearly anyone would be able to place where the ad came from if they heard it. 

Their jingle slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” is not only memorable because of the words, but the actual music underneath the lyrics is catchy and rhythmic. The music on its own makes listeners want to hum and repeat it. 

When they employed actor J.K. Simmons to read the slogan during television and radio commercials it permanently cemented itself into cultural history. 

State Farm used this slogan from 1971 until they retired it in 2016, but it remains as memorable as ever. 

The words of the slogan successfully painted the exact right picture; a company that would watch out for them, as a neighbor might. 

For all these reasons, State Farm’s jingle remains one of the most memorable jingles of all time. 

8. Campbell’s

If you were born after 1930, chances are you grew up hearing the all-too-familiar “Mm-Mm, good, mm-mm good” jingle all about soup. 

The television commercial featuring this jingle often aired during after-school hours to ensure that kids would be able to see it and, in turn, ask mom to buy the Campbell’s soup next time she made a trip to the grocery store. It also played on the radio. 

This jingle was catchy enough that Campbell’s revived it in the early 2000s when sales were dropping. The jingle carries a certain nostalgia that connects with customers even in a day and age where canned soup isn’t as popular as it once was. 

9. Kit Kat

Kit Kat hit it big when they released their famous jingle in 1986. This iconic jingle almost compels listeners to finish the lyrics themselves when they hear it because it’s so catchy. 

In a strange turn of events, this jingle was not meant to be the original choice for Kit Kat’s advertisements. It was a “throwaway piece” according to the song’s composer, Michael A. Levine.  

As the story goes, the ad agency for Kit Kat presented this now-famous jingle as a secret “no” option because they couldn’t present just one song to their client. The jingle audiences all know and love now was never supposed to be famous the way it is today. 

But, luckily for Kit Kat, it ended up working out big for the company anyway! 

10. Toys R Us

The Toys R Us ad campaign is brilliant in that not only did it employ the use of a hard-to-forget jingle, but it was targeted at impressionable and receptive kids. 

The melodic “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid” jingle was heard everywhere in the 1980s and 1990s whether it was on television or the radio. 

The company managed to make being a “Toys R Us kid” synonymous with being a kid lucky enough to get toys from their parents.

Every child wants toys and every child wants the same toys their friends have or better ones than their friends have. The jingle created a sense of being in an exclusive toy club.

While Toys R Us eventually closed all its retail stores in 2018, their iconic jingle remains one of the most popular in culture to this day.

Create Radio Jingles for Your Business Today 

After reading all about radio jingles, it should be clear why a memorable marketing strategy is so effective. 

Creating a catchy jingle, video, or other forms of advertising can make or break a business. If you’re looking to create a catchy campaign for your business and have ever wondered “how much does a radio ad cost?” Killer Spots Agency has answers for you.

Browse through their advertising services and find out about the many ways that you can boost your business today. 

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