How is this still a thing? A severe case of the jingles

Let’s talk about jingles, an advertisement method the majority of us love to hate. Repetitive, cheesy and annoying, many of the jingles I have heard in my time have irritated me, nevertheless many have secured a spot in my long-term memory. And that’s the catch.

Some of the biggest products and companies in the world are successful due to their overly catchy jingle being drilled into their consumers’ minds. The use of repetition is important in advertising as customers often go with a familiar brand or name. Once you’ve heard ‘who made all the pies, who made all the pies, the bake shack did, the bake shack did, they made all the pies’ several hundred times in one week, when lunch comes round, where else to grab a pastry than the bake shack in Tauranga?

As for New Zealand, other than the national anthem, and Dave Dobbyn songs, jingles are the only tunes that every Kiwi knows the words of. If you don’t know the iconic ‘The Warehouse, where everyone gets a bargain’ (emphasis on the bargain), or ‘there is nothing like a crown for picking it up and putting it down (emphasis on the down), then I’m sorry, but you do not classify as a true Kiwi. Founder of Publicis New York, Linda Kaplan Thaler was quoted telling Forbes in 2010, it takes a lot more than just liking a jingle for it to be successful.

“You have to listen to it and want to sing it. Essentially you become the advertiser for the brand.”

Although we passionately belt these jingles when they play on our radios, deep down we hate that we know every word, and even more so, hate the company that has inflicted this bizarre lack of control upon us. Alternatively, consumers may dislike a jingle so much it becomes a joke and the business or product is actively avoided. Either way, they are still being talked about.  

When asking ‘why is this still a thing?’, it is important to remember that although we despise jingles, some companies need this advertising method to survive.

Smith’s Sports Shoes, Pizza Hut, Novus, Mitre 10 Mega, and many other brands wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it wasn’t for their infamous singalongs. Who knew a ten-second snippet of someone shouting ‘show us your crack’ could capture the nation? Beats me.

So, as much as I hate to say it, I think jingles will be around for a little bit longer, even if they make some of us (me) want to smash our radios in.

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