Is it time to bring the jingle back?

Once upon a time, creating a clever earworm was the best way to lodge brands in people’s brains. So why did we give up on the jingle, and is it set for a return?

We all know the way songs stick in our heads. Chart music is built almost entirely around this premise, and back in the early days of advertising, commercials used the same methods. But there’s a sense that the golden age of jingles is past. It doesn’t take much to remember something like Just One Cornetto, or A Mars A Day, but catchy ad songs of recent years are few and far between. And that’s even with the wild success of things like Dumb Ways to Die or Honda’s Grrr.

“I think the most successful ones almost become part of the culture,” says Grant Hunter, Executive Creative Director Europe at Iris. “I have fond memories of We All Adore Kia Ora, or One More Cornetto. Even though it’s annoying, people adopt it, embrace it, and love it for what it is.”

For ad veteran Dave Trott, the power of jingles far outstrips that of glossy film or images. “If you want free media, if you wanted to go viral, visuals don’t go viral,” he told CR. “They don’t get passed on. You can’t repeat visuals in the street. What you repeat in the street is language. You’ve got to look at what our job is, and that’s to get into people’s brains. Language gets into people’s brains.”