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Thread: What happened to advertising jingles?

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    What happened to advertising jingles?

    I remember many advertising jingles from the 1950's (in the USA). However, I don't remember many from later decades. Are they still popular in other countries? Why have they become scare in the USA? Did research show they were ineffective?

    ---------
    "Use Ajax, the foaming cleanser. Wash the dirt right down the drain. You'll stop paying the elbow tax when you start cleaning with Ajax."

    However, Ajax didn't foam in those days and still doesn't.

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    Maybe we've become too sophisticated to be manipulated by simple rhymes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    Maybe we've become too sophisticated to be manipulated by simple rhymes.
    Instead, we'll buy insurance endorsed by a duck or a guy who whose partner is an ostrich?

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    Maybe the simple rhymes are too sophisticated for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    I remember many advertising jingles from the 1950's (in the USA). However, I don't remember many from later decades. Are they still popular in other countries? Why have they become scare in the USA? Did research show they were ineffective?

    ---------
    "Use Ajax, the foaming cleanser. Wash the dirt right down the drain. You'll stop paying the elbow tax when you start cleaning with Ajax."

    However, Ajax didn't foam in those days and still doesn't.
    I donít remember a lot of jingles from the `60s when I grew up, and I would guess they were fading out or evolving because most people were now watching TV, and radio was no longer getting the advertising dollars.

    I remember alka seltzer:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=icwW6H-PJ-0

    with the pop pop fizz fizz and the later ďcanít believe I ate the whole thingĒ commercial, and cola song ads, but thatís about it. (Incidentally, I remember alka seltzer mostly because my mother would try to get me to drink it if I had an upset stomach, but it would always make me feel worse - I hated the stuff).

    TV commercials would do audio visuals, not just the audio, so you would have things like the ďWhereís the beef?Ē skits:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=riH5EsGcmTw

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Instead, we'll buy insurance endorsed by a duck or a guy who whose partner is an ostrich?
    Emu, please. I'd never trust my car insurance to an ostrich.

    Oh, and thanks for starting this thread. It plants an ear worm for a jingle that is all too common on Sirius. So I'll share.

    1-8-7-7-Kars4Kids,
    1-8-7-7-Kars4Kids,
    1-8-7-7-Kars4Kids,
    Donate your car today!


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    I remember Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs and Sugar Pops are Tops.

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    What happened to advertising jingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Emu, please. I'd never trust my car insurance to an ostrich.

    Oh, and thanks for starting this thread. It plants an ear worm for a jingle that is all too common on Sirius. So I'll share.

    1-8-7-7-Kars4Kids,
    1-8-7-7-Kars4Kids,
    1-8-7-7-Kars4Kids,
    Donate your car today!


    You're welcome.
    A good reference point. When radio was the primary electronic mass media the jingles served as important product differentiators. Then came TV but the old models remained for a while. It may have required generational shifts on Madison Avenue to fully take advantage of the new visual medium; the jingle took a long time to erode, although itís still in use on television.

    Nowadays the jingle has been supplanted with songs from aging rockers who need the cash.

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    Have you missed J.G. Wentworth? 877-Cash-Now!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    Instead, we'll buy insurance endorsed by a duck or a guy who whose partner is an ostrich?
    Funny, the first contemporary jingles that sprang to mind were for insurance companies: "Nationwide is one your side" and "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2019-Nov-07 at 08:10 PM. Reason: "
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    I remember many advertising jingles from the 1950's (in the USA). However, I don't remember many from later decades. Are they still popular in other countries? Why have they become scare in the USA? Did research show they were ineffective?

    ---------
    "Use Ajax, the foaming cleanser. Wash the dirt right down the drain. You'll stop paying the elbow tax when you start cleaning with Ajax."

    However, Ajax didn't foam in those days and still doesn't.
    I only remember ones from the 1970s when I was a kid. Maybe we all recall better the stuff from our formative years.
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    Yeah, find someone my age who can't sing about Doublemint or Big Red gum.
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    I think "I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke" happened, mixed in with the early developmental days (pre-MTV) of music videos. TV advertisers wanted to stop sounding desperate and tried to look more on-trend.
    That said, commercial radio is still pumping out jingles in industrial quantities, to judge from my recent efforts to configure the pre-set radio buttons in my car.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I remember the Virginia Slims cigarette jingle:

    You've come a long way, baby
    To get where you've got to today
    You've got your own cigarette now, baby
    You've come a long, long way

    The one that congratulates women for making social progress while calling them "baby". I don't recall anyone saying anything about this back then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    I remember the Virginia Slims cigarette jingle:

    You've come a long way, baby
    To get where you've got to today
    You've got your own cigarette now, baby
    You've come a long, long way

    The one that congratulates women for making social progress while calling them "baby". I don't recall anyone saying anything about this back then.
    And giving them cancer, so they could be just like the men.
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    From an Antipodean point of view these two jingles were initially used in the 1930's & 1950's then fell out of favour but have since been re-introduced to play on the nostalgia vibe and still appear on TV.

    This concoction, and its individual taste, have been discussed before - Vegemite - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5r3HAJh8es

    Aeroplane Jelly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwk76kwuTsQ

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Never heard of this before. Off hand, I would guess something named that would be used to grease jetliner bearings or some such.

    Looking it up, I think it is what we would call jello? A flavored gelatin mix? (The first place I looked just unhelpfully said it was a jelly, but we put food based jellies on toast. Still, the picture of the box looked very much like a jello box.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Never heard of this before. Off hand, I would guess something named that would be used to grease jetliner bearings or some such.

    Looking it up, I think it is what we would call jello? A flavored gelatin mix? (The first place I looked just unhelpfully said it was a jelly, but we put food based jellies on toast. Still, the picture of the box looked very much like a jello box.)
    Your guess is correct. It is the same as jello but I think only North America uses that term for this product - apparently as a result of the original trademarked name by Kraft Foods in the U.S.

    Edit: After thinking about jelly I made some Pineapple Jelly for desert - the first I have had jelly since my colonoscopy 8 months ago.
    Last edited by ozduck; 2019-Nov-09 at 12:24 PM.

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    my earliest memory of a jingle is "we are the Ovaltinies...." played on Radio Luxembourg ("long wave") via my valve (tube) powered radio from 1938. Other radio sets were available in circa 1956 but that one was rescued from a junk store.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    The one that congratulates women for making social progress while calling them "baby". I don't recall anyone saying anything about this back then.
    I can promise you they did!
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    I'm amazed that I can recall, word-for-word, some commercial themes that i haven't heard since I was 5-10 years old.

    Probably due to the repetition more than the quality!

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    It seems to me that two trends in advertizing have contributed to the demise of jingles (where one way of doing things declines another rises and replaces it):

    1. Ads are generally less wordy now. This also applies to spoken words as well as jingles, and to movie trailers in particular (no more descriptions of the movie; just clips... which contributes to the inherent dishonesty of the "honest trailers" YouTube channel with its utter reliance on the old-timey-sounding narrated-trailer concept). The less call there is for spoken narration, the less call there is for a musical version of it.

    2. Commercials are now more likely to have music in the background or to establish an atmosphere, like music in a movie's soundtrack, rather than to speak to the observer on a conscious level, and, fitting that purpose, it's now usually relatively newly produced, like pop radio stuff, and often is actually released on radio at close to the same time. I believe Sting started that latter trend when he open-licensed "Desert Rose" and it got used for a car commercial (one of the really expensive ones I think). Since then, it's become more common and an increasing fraction of musicians' income from their music; "Jem" (Jemma Griffiths), for example, has never been a giant star from albums or concerts or radio singles, but open-licenses everything she makes, and now nearly all of her stuff has been used in commercials, movie trailers, retail store playlists, and so on. (It's literally every song on at least one of her two albums, maybe both.) But the standard paradigm before that was that any use of new music outside of concerts or radio was practically all forbidden, which limited advertizers to either popular music so old its original rights had expired, or jingles. (As a kid, this was the only way I even knew about a bunch of oldies!) Now that this form of licensing for copious current music is used so much more widely it's practically become standard, advertizers are free from that limitation.

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    There were "jingles" that were written as well of course. Here's one from 1903.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    There were "jingles" that were written as well of course.
    The once-famous Burma Shave signs.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    The once-famous Burma Shave signs.
    Which reminds one of the newly incorporated town which was so cheap that rather than pay for city limits signs they simply named the town Burma Shave.
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    Most of the jingles I remember from long ago were for cigarettes.

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    Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should!
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    As noted above, many commercials have co-opted pop songs.

    Perhaps they hope youíll think of their product when you hear the song outside the commercial.

    That said, whoever decided to repeat a single line from a Fleetwood Mac song for 30 seconds in a drug commercial deserves a lashing.


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    Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.
    Appropriate for this weekend in the US.

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