Advertising’s Great Lost Art

I will admit my bias right up front.  I LOVE music… all music… but especially music that I can sing along with.   Yes, I am the woman by herself in the car next to you belting out off key renditions of whatever is on the radio, seemlingly oblivious to the fact that although her windows shut tight, they are in fact transparent.

My husband Craig cringes every time our eleven year old daughter Taylor asks us to turn the station to 99.9 Virgin Radio.  While pop music grates on his nerves like a yappy dog, I can appreciate the simple melodies and repetitive lyrics.  Video of Lady Ga Ga may give me the shivers but her music is damn fun to sing along with.  Perhaps this is why it bugs Craig so much.  Whether you like it or not, this kind of music really sticks in your head.

And so I wonder, in an age when competition for consumer dollars has never been more fierce, why the advertising jingle seems to be a lost art.

My childhood memories are littered with fantastic jingles.   Who could forget the Big Mac song?  “Two all beef patties, special sauce pickles onions lettuce ketchup on a sesame seed bun!”   After thirty years, the melody is still crystal clear in my head.  Didn’t they sing the whole menu at one point?  If I’m not mistaken, fries was cleverly rhymed with pies.  Kids who could recite the entire song without missing a beat, attained star status on the playground.  Those were the days when trick or treaters flocked to the house in the neighbourhood that was handing out free McDonald’s fries coupons.  The cool kids got to order a jug of that orange drink for their backyard birthday party and the local McDonald’s parking lot was the undisputed hub of teenage social networking.

Years later, after more than a decade of pestering, my parents finally gave in and permitted me to adopt a kitten.  As she had feared would be the case, my mother took care of collecting all the necessary supplies for my pet.  And at the time there was one, particularly memorable, ad on air.

“I love chi-cken, I love li-ver, I love tu-na, please de-li-ver.”

We fed that cat nothing but Meow Mix until the day he died at the ripe old age of 19.

But for heartwarming-ness, you just can’t beat the old Coca Cola ads.  “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect har-mon-y; I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and keep them
company.”  OK, maybe the words are a bit fuzzy in my memory but the sentiment is there.

Today, my kids cling desperately to the few jingles on air.  In the schoolyard they roar with laughter singing: “Sleep Country Cana-da; Why buy a mat-tress when you have a couch.”  I don’t really get the joke, but we did somehow find ourselves drawn to Sleep Country to buy our new mattress last year.

Taylor and Jack both, repeatedly hum the few jingles they have heard.

“Only a dolla’; All summa’!”

“Al-arm force…. two thou-sand and one!”

“Five.  Five dolla’.  Five dolla’ foot loooooooong!”

Have our quick pay lifestyles come down to this?   Are crappy one-liner’s all the ad folks
think we are capable of remembering?  How about a whole verse with the product benefit mentioned?  For heaven’s sake, if they can’t bring themselves to go all the way to establishing an emotional connection, at least give us a couple of product features to hang on to!

Well, I’d like to start a movement to get those jingle guys back to work.  Without these catchy tunes to stick in our brains for years to come, I fear that we will have lost an important source of pop culture.  Plus, I desperately need some new material to sing in the shower.

What is your favourite jingle????   Press the comment bubble next to the title in this blog and tell me about the best one that you can remember!   I can’t wait to hear them all and will award a $20 Tim Horton’s gift card to whoever brings the biggest smile to my face.  Extra points for making me laugh out loud.