The Six Essentials of a Great Jingle

There is something simply irresistible about a well-crafted jingle. It has the power to move the most immoveable listener and infect an entire generation with its message. How awesome would it be to have the whole world singing your tune? Just ask Coke or McDonalds. The brand recognition generated by such a song is astonishing. So what goes into creating a great jingle? What are the six essentials for great jingling?

1. Simple Melody

Just like in pop music, less is more. Melodically simple, a well-crafted tune clings to the brain. To avoid complexity, melodies have limited range, rudimentary motion and small intervals. When the tune is catchy and easy to sing, the audience can’t help but sing along.

2. Simple Lyrics

The words of a winning jingle are clear and natural. They convey the most important information with simple, concise and timeless lyrics, avoiding pop culture references and cliché.

"I am stuck on Band-Aid Brand ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me." killed the term 'adhesive bandage' forever in popular culture and replaced it with their brand name.


3. Repetition

Possibly the oldest devise in advertising and music alike, repetition bombards the listener with some feature, insuring that the tune sticks. It may be melodic, lyrical or both, but the object is, in 30 seconds, to get a foothold in the listeners head.

But mere repetition is pointless. Humans are adept at filtering out unwanted noise or stimulation. Sometimes a more subtle approach is necessary to make it past the ‘noise filter.’

4. Meaningful Content

It seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many ads fill the airways with muddled or ambiguous content. Writing a really catchy tune with a fun lyric that everyone wants to sing is awesome, but if it doesn’t plant the brand in the listener’s head, it’s just a really catchy ad fail.

5. Proper Musical Style

The sound and style of the jingle needs to match the product and appeal to the desired demographic. It should project the personality of the brand, aligning perfectly with the brand’s Sound Identity.

6. A Great Hook

The hook of any song is that feature which is most easily remembered. It may be the chorus or a horn line or a rhythmic drum lic. Whatever it is though, it is the part of the song that everyone sings along. It is sometimes nonsensical, but always the ingredient that proves “a hit, is a hit, is a hit.” (Hesh, Sopranos Season 1)


And there you have it: the Six Essentials of a Great Jingle.

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