We all know those insanely popular commercial advertisements have those jingles that are just so catchy. The songs from advertisements often (or more likely, always) seem to get stuck in our heads and we find ourselves humming or singing those earworms out loud. Usually, it’s just one line or a tagline slogan in an ad that we find ourselves remembering. Baby Boomers can all recall the Wrigley’s Gum commercial back when it was the song for “Double your Pleasure, double your Fun,” and we might even miss the old Toys R Us ad that brings us back to childhood: “I wanna be a Toys R Us Kid!”
These types of tunes have been used in advertising for commercials and skits for years, because of a few things: they are easy to remember, they utilize branding efficiently and it creates a sense of familiarity and connection with the product or service.
You can see ads on signs or in pictures and graphics, but what provides us with the most pull is the music that we hear even when we don’t see it. In fact, how many commercials do you know that don’t use music?
Music that has a simple tune, or sometimes put into words gives those words or images more meaning and power, and most marketing companies work to deliver recognizable songs that will stay with us long after the commercial is over.
Here are some of the best examples of those “stuck in your head” songs from advertisements throughout the years. Just hearing the name of the product will immediately bring those catchy jingles to mind.
1. FOLGERS COFFEE
It brings back some nostalgia since this song has been around for a long time. Most of us weren’t even drinking coffee when this song was first performed on a commercial, but even now we all know what “The best part of waking up” is.
The slogan line was developed in 1984 and the song was created by Suan Spiegel Solovay, Bill Vernick, and Leslie Pearl. The lyrics have changed throughout the years depending on what was happening in the commercial, from a hard shoe dancer, to a Christmas morning with siblings, to a man on a video chat for work with no pants – the music and lines have stayed the same.
2. KIT KAT BAR
We all need a break now and then, so when it’s time to “Gimme a break, gimme a break…” This crunchy chocolate bar product is usually what you think of, or at least the song when you hear someone say the words “Give me a break!”. Folger’s this same jingle has been around for quite some time as well – the commercials in terms of characters, storyline, etc. changed over the years but the jingle remained the same.
Ken Shuldman and Michael A. Levine created the tune – in an elevator nonetheless. The song initially was going to be the SECOND option for the jingle, not the first. Michael Levine was approached to write the song as something for them to say “no” to, known as the ‘throw-away’ song. It’s a good thing that the producers needed to hear more than one song and submit it to the test audiences because they preferred “Gimme a Break” much more!
The tagline “eat fresh” helped to propel this fast-food chain as the second-biggest advertiser behind McDonald’s, but it wasn’t just the tagline that everyone remembered. What everyone thinks about with this restaurant is the jingle about their “Five-Dollar Footlong” subs, which came about in 2008 and has been a huge success.
There was a franchise owner in Florida who noticed business was slower on the weekends, so he started to sell the sandwiches at $5 on weekends and saw the sales shoot up almost instantly, and then two other nearby Subway stores started to offer the deal as well. Jared Fogle commercials came up with the new ad campaign and its simplicity is what made the promotion continue long after it was forecasted, as a permanent staple within the restaurants. Just using the words “five dollars” and “footlong” over and over became infectious and later even had fans creating their own versions online.
4. STATE FARM
The idea that insurance is “like a good neighbor” is genius, because that’s exactly what everyone wants in their insurance – someone there when you need them to help you out, but more business-like instead of a close friend. The tune for this jingle is still used even if no one is singing it in their ads today. It is comical how certain slogans for ads become a paradise for other advertisements – in the current wake of COVID-19, there are many shirt advertisements using a parody of this very tagline that says “Like a good neighbor…Stay over there!”
The song for this tune was created back in 1971 by none other than the infamous Barry Manilow and is still used today. Manilow apparently wrote many jingles throughout the beginning of his career, including the old “Stuck on Band-Aid” tune.
5. MEOW MIX
Even if you don’t have a cat, you know this ad for cat food. The song’s lyrics consist of just one word but the tune that we all are familiar with is a theme written by Shelly Palmer back in 1970 and music by Tom McFaul who was part of the major jingle creator of Lucas/McFaul. The idea of the cat singing came from Ron Travisano, who looped together with the images on the screen, and even added the subtitles so it was like a sing-a-long with a bouncing ball going over the words.
6. SERTA SIMMONS
This is another great example where the music gets stuck in your head, not so much the lyrics. Everyone likes to sleep and many advertisements tend to utilize their branding to promote more relaxation and peace. Typically, that is how we would associate sleep with buying a new mattress – being restful, calm, and quiet.
Serta Simmons has recently blown that whole idea out of the water by using their new slogan of “Just for Fun-ZZZ” that is relayed through a really catchy, beat-heavy, and bass booming song done by a Marmoset Studio artist collaboration, geared to make the idea of sleeping more fun, and less snoozy. It takes the boring out of the idea of sleep and creates a sense of excitement in getting a new bed or a good night’s rest.
This is a newer advertisement due to everyone being stuck at home from quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and since home improvements have gone up exponentially for people with not much else to do, getting good rest has become a big priority when giving the bedroom a makeover. The song featured, “Volume Up”, is made to appeal to the newer generation with catchy music (and almost no lyrics) that just makes you want to get up and dance.
7. FARMERS INSURANCE
J.K. Simmons is a great spokesperson for this well-known brand, and he creates a sense of calm in the crazy situations represented by the insurance company in their commercials. The advertisements are hilarious in the off-the-wall scenarios that people get themselves into, with their ‘Hall of Claims’ situations that include Gold Medal Grizzly, Coup Soup, Smash and Grab, Swan Dive, the list goes on. We all know the line of “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two,” but the jingle is what signifies the success, with “We are Farmers, dum du dum dum dum.”
Brand marketers and producers all collaborated together, deciding instead of putting the song at the end of the commercial, to put it in the beginning, signaling the idea that something is about to take place to its viewers. This was after discovering that the song itself was what people paid attention to. The clever use of the song gets viewers to lean in right away.
8. HUGGIES PULL-UPS
Yes, even diapers have their own advertisements that get stuck in all of our heads. Nylon Studios’ team worked with composer Scott Langley to develop the “I’m a big kid now” for those potty-training pull-ups for kids who aren’t babies anymore, but not quite school-age.
The melody of this song has been used throughout its commercials, most recently getting a complete remix with some rapping to make it more current and relevant, adding in that there are other things these big kids can do now such as graduating from baby bottles to having Sippy cups.
Commercial songs and jingles are suggestive and persuasive to us as audience members, engraving the idea that something is necessary through the aid of music. Music is very powerful, having the ability to incite emotions and feelings about something in particular. As children, we learn language and meaning through nursery rhymes and songs, so marketing uses that same idea to put ideas in our heads, as well as the music from their Christmas jingles. Maybe one day they can find a way to do that without giving us the earworms, too.
We hope you enjoyed this list of ” best songs from advertisements”. Stay tuned for more amazing playlists!