Tag Archives: media

The Case for Jingles

Tuesdays With Coleman

Does your brand use jingles?

They’ve certainly become harder to find.

Listen to commercial breaks on TV or radio. Whereas advertisers once deployed jingles en masse, it’s more challenging to find a commercial that uses a good old-fashioned jingle.

We sometimes hear from those in charge of brands that jingles are played out, or that it’s “time to mix it up.”

Steve Karmen’s resume includes jingles for Budweiser, Doublemint, Michelob, Hershey’s, “I Love New York” and countless others.

According to Karmen, “Unfortunately, jingle is an unacceptable word today. Jingle implies old. Jingle implies stodgy. Jingle implies not with it.”

So, are jingles played out? Is it time to mix it up?

If we consider the current media landscape, we know it’s as challenging as ever to catch someone’s attention and deliver a message with frequency.

Isn’t that exactly when we should be creating audio that sticks in consumers’ brains? Fill in the blanks:

“______…the San Francisco treat”

“I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…._____baby back ribs”

“Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that _______”

“Like a good neighbor, _______ is there” (fun fact: that’s one of a number of famous jingles written by Barry Manilow)

Maybe the auto insurance industry is on to something, because State Farm brought the tune back to their commercials.

And how about, “Liberty, Liberty, Liberty. Liberty.”

“We are Farmers. Ba, ba, da ba, ba, bum bum bum.”

“Nationwide is on your side.”

Are those jingles played out? Is it time for them to mix it up?

And sure, those are national advertisers with very large spot buys, but they don’t have the market cornered on successfully using audio signatures…and it doesn’t have to be a jingle.

Audio signatures, like jingles, are memorable and create sticky brand connections.

Here’s one of the simpilest, most effective audio signatures of all-time:

What do you think of when you hear this?

The simple ticking of a clock means 60 Minutes is on. Just a few bars of the Fox Sports theme means it’s time for football.

Are those played out? Is it time to mix it up?

When you hear this:

You may not only instantly recognize Curb Your Enthusiasm, you may associate the music with the beginning of the show, the end of the show, or anytime Larry David does something really stupid. This audio signature isn’t just identified with the show, it helps define the show’s brand.

How effective is the theme music on the Serial podcast?

The song has been played nearly 300,000 times on YouTube.

What if Serial decided to change the song every season or every episode to “keep it fresh”?

Is it played out? Is it time for them to mix it up?

The audio signature is memorable and creates a sticky connection with the Serial brand.

This works on a local level, too.

I still hear jingles for local radio stations in my head. I don’t say Mix 101.5, I sing Mix 101.5.

Even a voice can be a very powerful audio signature. Jack FM listeners may not know the name Howard Cogan, but they surely know his voice. It is synonymous with the attitude and essence of the brand.

Is it played out? Is it time to mix it up?

The answer of course, is no.

When you’re in the business of building a brand that incorporates audio, consider how a jingle and/or audio signature can create that stickiness you’re looking for.

It just might get stuck in someone’s brain.

And in 2019, when the battle for attention is more ferocious than ever, getting stuck in someone’s brain sounds like a good idea.

Media is for Branding, not Commoditizing

Tuesdays With Coleman

I spotted a billboard this past week for a cable company that claims you can run a TV campaign for as low as $250.

For less than half the price of a Toro lawn mower, you too can run a TV campaign!

Would you rather have a Kenmore Elite vacuum cleaner?

Or a TV campaign for your business??

Because they’re both the same price!!!

Kenmore Elite 31150 vacuum cleaner

You can buy a TV campaign for $250, but it won’t pick up pet hair like this baby

I’m comparing the $250 TV campaign to household items because claiming you can have a television campaign for 250 bucks on a billboard immediately turns television advertising into a commodity.

Is that really a good idea?

The campaign may get the desired results for the cable company. If sales volume is the goal, then on paper, attracting a bunch of new clients that wouldn’t have otherwise spent money seems like a good idea.

Plus, it’s on a DIY platform of sorts, where clients can build their own schedules and even create the spot online. Great!

Anyone out there think a business can run a successful TV campaign for $250? Click below for the answer.

OK, fine. For the sake of argument, let’s just pretend a business can run a branding or tactical campaign the client will consider a success for $250.

Is that really how we should be selling the value of television advertising?

Every form of media advertising has the potential to be wildly effective, with the right message and delivery.

But it should never be treated as a commodity.

At Coleman Insights, we help media properties build strong, long-lasting brands that listeners keep coming back to because the brand means something important to them.

They’re not thought of as commodities.

It’s natural in the face of increased competition to want to find a way to win at any cost—but selling TV campaigns for $250 can only devalue the product.

Not to mention that it puts the focus on the price, not the results.

As I wrote back in December’s “Direct Marketing Is Easy. Brand Marketing is Hard,” brand marketing takes patience and discipline. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Just as programmers carefully craft the positioning of their radio stations based on strategic research to give them the greatest chance of success, sales teams carefully craft campaigns and schedules designed to yield the greatest returns over time for their clients.

Our work is all about increasing the perceived value of media brands. We encourage the sales departments of those brands to engage in the same mission.