Mid-Missouri Marketing Resource Blog

Why Radio Jingles Work, and 3 Questions to Determine if It's Right for Your Business

Posted by Christine Overfelt on May 3, 2017 at 9:27 AM

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There are very few more time-tested forms of advertising than radio jingles. A short, simple, catchy slogan or tune that plays throughout the day demands our attention and provides a fun, memorable touchpoint for brands.

But what are radio jingles? The “1-877-Kars4Kids” jingle is a perfect example. Anyone who’s heard the commercial can’t help but remember the phone number. It’s a short, distinct spot featuring a chorus of children singing “1-877-Kars4Kids” with the call to action of “donate your car today.” It’s not a complex tune with a lengthy message, just a catchy jingle that’s hard to forget. Jingles can even last for generations, just take the “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner” song that both children and grandparents can sing along to.

Jingles are proven to be effective, and that’s no accident. Here’s why radio jingles work, and three questions to ask yourself to determine if they’re right for your business.

Jingles help brand your business

Jingles are lighthearted, catchy, and something unique that people can associate with your brand. In fact, one recent study found that 89 percent of participants believed jingles to be an effective method of advertising. That’s because jingles reinforce positive traits associated with a brand image. Take the Campbell’s “Mmmm, Mmmm Good” jingle that we’ve all heard. It not only reinforces the idea that Campbell’s soup tastes delicious, but it evokes feelings of childhood and comfort. 

Listen to Steve Hotsenpiller, owner of Steve's Pest Control and client of Zimmer Radio Group, discuss the power of jingles and why he uses it for his business.

Why do jingles work?

One of the reasons jingles are so effective is because of repetition. After hearing a jingle multiple times a day, over the course of weeks and years, on a consistent basis, they tend to get stuck in people’s heads. Effective jingles serve as an “earbug,” even ones that fall more on the annoying end of the spectrum. If the listener can’t get the jingle out of their head, then the main goal has been accomplished. Even more “serious” businesses like law firms use jingles to their advantage. People who go through the unfortunate experience of getting a DUI, for instance, will probably remember the jingle for a DUI lawyer they’ve heard and potentially hire them to handle the case.

Jingles are also cost-effective compared with other major forms of advertising. When people use jingles in a social setting as part of a joke or humming it out loud, it’s a form of free word-of-mouth advertising. And despite what many business owners think, creating a jingle doesn’t necessarily require an expensive production process or celebrity voices. An experienced media partner will be able to create something effective but also budget sensitive.

Questions to ask yourself about radio jingles

Should I get a radio jingle for my business? Here are three questions you need to ask:

1. Does my business have a lot of regional competition?

Think about the number of competitors in your local area. Are you competing with many smaller businesses, or just a few other major players? Maybe your business has a majority of the market share, and is looking to fight off newer competition? If the regional competition is stiff, you’ll need to do everything you can to differentiate your brand, and having a jingle can play a key role in doing so.

2. Do I need to increase brand recognition?

If you’re unsure of how recognizable your brand is, you might want to consider conducting surveys or market research to collect some data. Maybe your brand isn’t as recognizable as you think it is? Jingles are effective for increasing overall brand recognition by sheer force of how many people radio reaches. Not everyone who hears your jingle will be in the market for your product or service at that time, but they’ll remember it down the road if and when they’re ready to buy.

3. Do I need to distinguish my brand?

If your business is having trouble distinguishing itself from other competitors in the space, it might be time to start thinking about creating a jingle. Take a business like plumbing, for example. If someone needs a plumber, they can search online, look in the yellow pages or ask their friends. There’s a lot of options for people who simply need to find a plumber. But that’s when jingles come into play. Consumers that have been exposed to a catchy jingle over time for a plumber in their area will remember it when they need a plumber, and will be more likely to at least visit the website or call for a quote because they’ve established a connection with the brand because of the jingle.

Once you’ve decided that creating a radio jingle is something that will help your brand, you can then start working with your media partner to determine what kind of jingle will work best. By answering the three questions outlined here and developing a spot targeted towards the right consumers, you’ll have people humming your tune throughout the day.

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Topics: Advertising, Marketing Strategy, ROI