Thursday, November 1, 2007

Unforgettable Advertising

Are jingles making a comeback? I don’t mean a ‘rented’ song, with or without new lines.
I mean an original ‘short song’ as veteran adman and jingle genius Alan Morris calls them.

The sung brand message was huge in the 70’s and 80’s. Masters of the craft, Morris (Mo) and partner Allan Johnson (Jo), created an agency on the back of the technique, and a fortune for themselves in annual rollovers.

Most Aussies of a certain age will be able to sing the slogans of Tooheys Beer, XXXX beer, and Meadow Lea margarine, 20 years after last hearing them. Can you name the current tag lines for these brands? I certainly can’t.

So if jingles can be so effective, why don’t we see, I mean hear, more of them? The answer is that in agency-land they are not cool. In fact jingles are down right daggy. The quickest way to lose cred. in the eyes of your creative director or industry peers would be to suggest a jingle. So don’t expect your agency to volunteer one anytime soon.

This didn’t worry Martin Drinkrow, Marketing Director of Clorox. He had a new product to launch and a small budget (sound familiar?) He reasoned that a jingle would be more memorable and therefore drive his media dollar further.

‘Launching a new product like Chux Cleaning Wipes meant we had to get a rational message across. But I also wanted communication that stayed with the consumer and helped build the brand over time. Creating our own jingle does just that.’ Martin says.
‘The jingle has also helped our trade and sales people. Buyers and consumers alike think they’ve seen the ad more than they have!’

And while most marketers are judged quarter by quarter, it’s nice to know that an effective short-term solution could also keep working for your brand for years.

I can sing the jingle from the New Zealand brand Griffins GingerNuts. I last saw this ad when I was about 3! The creators have probably died of old age but their commercial
continues to work in my brain. I still ask for GingerNuts to be sent across the Tasman.

How many of us expect today’s communication to stay with a consumer for life? It’s a big responsibility!

HISTORICAL NOTE: St Augustine of Hippo (AD430) was an early advocate of the power of jingles. He said, ‘He who sings prays twice.’