Beyond the Jingle – Music’s Importance in Advertising

Nationwide is on your side.

I know exactly how you voiced the sentence above. You probably even had an image of Peyton Manning and Brad Paisley pop into your head.

How does a simple five-word phrase elicit those thoughts? Because it’s an advertising jingle.

JAY Advertising was happy to host a lunch and learn for marketing and advertising professionals as part of the Rochester Advertising Federation’s (RAF) R/ADWEEK. Our session – titled “Beyond The Jingle” – covered how important jingles, sounds, and music are in the world of advertising.

Greg Shainman, our Creative Supervisor, kicked off the event by playing upwards of 10 jingles or music notes. The entire crowd shortly not only realized that they recognized the sounds, but that they could also relate the sounds to a brand.

Shainman explained why that isn’t a mistake. He described the science behind sound; how sound is the primitive sense for humans. He went into detail how mnemonics factor into music and why certain notes are more memorable, more recognizable than others.

Hold off before you go copying Nationwide or Farmers (We. Are. Farmers. Bum ba-dum bum bum bum). Shainman explained that a catchy tune is only part of what makes a jingle useful. It also must appeal to your target audience. Think of Mountain Dew and the killer commercials they put out. They hired hip-hop group Migos to write a song for their latest spot. The ad featured up-and-coming action sports stars and rolled to an up-beat tempo. Is Mountain Dew trying to attract a 50-year old woman to try its latest product? Probably not. But it is targeting that woman’s 13-25 year-old children, nieces, and nephews.

Shainman described how the University of Phoenix used music to entice its target audience. The online college understands its place in the industry and tries to appeal to an older generation, like veterans, parents, and others who may not have had the chance to attend college right after high school. The college ran an ad with a remake of the famous Wizard of Oz song “If Only I Had A Brain.” 18-year olds now probably don’t recognize the tune or song, but the University of Phoenix’s target audience sure remembers it.

Identity, Engagement, Currency

It’s no secret that consumers have become more savvy when it comes to advertising. We’re inundated with so many ads every single day that we’ve learned (whether subconsciously or not) to block out ads. This impacts music choices when it comes to advertising. Shainman explained that a jingle or music must meet three important factors: identity, engagement, and currency.

Identity – What’s going to make your brand stand out? How can something as small and short as a single note get consumers to think of your brand? Remember to keep your target audience in mind and understand what triggers their senses.

Engagement – A person – hopefully a potential customer if your targeting is correct – hears your jingle. So what? It means nothing if they don’t take action or engage with your brand.

Currency – Not only do you want consumers to engage with your brand, but you want them to spread the word to their friends, families, coworkers, social media, and more. Today’s digital age makes sharing content easier than ever and consumers want to be the one that their friends hear it from first.

Music in Advertising Moving Forward

Steve Forney, our Chief Audio Engineer, has worked in the audio industry for more than three decades. He has seen firsthand how the industry has changed through the years.

“Advertising will never die, just change,” Forney said.

So how is the audio industry changing when it comes to advertising? New technology is definitely playing a vital role. As Forney pointed out, 91% of people listen to music, the radio, and/or podcasts every day. 91% of people pop in their headphones either at the gym, work, on the road, or elsewhere. Advertisers must adjust to that. They must ensure their ad sounds perfect no matter the platform.

Entertainment is changing the way we look at (or hear) the audio industry. Consumers are searching for the most realistic sound possible. Watching a game on your couch? There’s audio that makes it seem like you’re in the stadium. Listening to music? Immersive audio can make it feel like you’re front row.

Forney concluded his presentation with a mini tour of the audio room at the Studio at Linden Oaks. While there, he gave the history of the HBO theme song that our Chairman and co-founder Ferdinand Jay Smith produced and conducted.

JAY Advertising is proud to be a member of the RAF. Our Director of Digital Services, Colleen Condon, serves as the Federation’s Web Chair. If your brand is looking for a new start in 2020, contact us today!

Comments are closed