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Top Advertising Jingles of All-Time

Jingles are music to advertisers’ ears. 

As recent empty nesters with three kids in college, for the first time in 20 years, my wife and I have extra time on our hands. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty great. With no one besides ourselves to cook dinner for, run to practice, or otherwise entertain, we watched a 24-minute YouTube compilation of commercial jingles last weekend.

A jingle is a short song used in advertising. The best jingles are catchy, making the product easy to remember.

Jingles peaked in popularity in the 1950s through to the 80s. Even though Revel has never done a jingle, they are still commonly used in advertising today. A few examples include: “Ba-da-ba-ba-baaa …I’m lovin’ it” (McDonald’s), “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks” (ACE Hardware), and “Liberty, Liberty, Liberty … Liberty!” (Liberty Mutual Insurance). “Nationwide is on your side” was the best-known jingle, recognized by 92.6% of survey respondents according to one survey.

How effective are jingles in advertising? In a study from the Journal of Advertising Research, 62% of respondents recalled seeing an advertisement for a particular product when given a verbal cue, compared to 83% of the respondents who were given a 10-second musical cue.

After watching the aforementioned video, I knew what I needed to do. It was time to rank my Top Advertising Jingles of All-Time:

20. Ricola: “Riiiicolaaa!”

19. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies: “Snap! Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies”

18. Lucky Charms: “They’re magically delicious!” 

17. Campbell’s Spaghetti-O’s: “Uh-oh! Spaghetti-O’s!”

16. Kit Kat: “Gimme a break … break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar” 

15. Huggies: “Mommy, wow! I’m a big kid now”

14. Chia Pet: “Ch-ch-ch-chia!”

13. Folgers: “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup”

12. U.S. Army: “Be all that you can be”

11. Klondike Ice Cream Bars: “What would you do-oooo for a Klondike Bar?”

10. Chili’s: “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back …”

If Chili’s baby back ribs are good enough for Justin Timberlake and NSYNC, then gosh darn it, they’re good enough for me. 

9. McDonald’s: “Give me that Filet-o-fish. Give me that fish.”

I consider myself in a select minority of people that like the Filet-O-Fish. If they played this 2009 commercial more often, I might eat one more than once every five years. Fans of this jingle can pop over to eBay and pick up a Frankie the Fish singing fish plaque for $24.95. 

8. Coca-Cola: “I’d like to teach the world to sing”

Although this commercial tops many best jingles lists, I consider the ad good but overrated. Maybe if Don Draper actually wrote it, I might like it more. Coca-Cola was ahead of its time, however, with this memorable anthem about inclusiveness. 

7. Toys ‘R’ Us: “I don’t want to grow up”

There was nothing better as a kid than a trip to Toys ‘R’ Us to browse their seemingly endless aisles of Silly Putty, Star Wars action figures, and Stretch Armstrongs. This jingle said it all, “From bikes to trains to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is. Gee whizz.” That was until the internet happened, and Toys ‘R’ Us went bankrupt. 

6. Alka-Seltzer: “Plop plop fizz fizz”

This effervescent antacid hit the shelves in 1931. The jingle was originally released in 1951 and was so popular Sammy Davis Jr had his own unique take in the 70s. 

5. Meow Mix: “Meow, meow, meow, meow…”

I became a cat lover by marriage. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that cats really can talk. Meow Mix made the most of cats’ limited vocabulary in this infectious commercial. 

4. Almond Joy: “Sometimes you feel like a nut…

My favorite part of Halloween is gorging myself for weeks after on leftover Almond Joys.  It’s quite possibly one of the best candy bars ever made. This earworm, written by American composer Leon Carr in 1970, is just plain fun to listen to. 

3. The Clapper

The Clapper was the Alexa of its time. Why would anyone get up and turn on or off a plug when you can just clap? The best part of this ad is the sweet old lady who gets ready for bed by clapping off her lights and TV. Magic. 

2. Oscar Meyer: “My bologna has a first name”

This jingle taught us how to spell O-S-C-A-R M-E-Y-E-R but didn’t settle an age-old debate between bologna or baloney. Bologna is a city in Italy. It’s also short for bologna sausage. Bologna is on Oscar Meyer’s package. However, it’s pronounced “baloney.” Confused? All I know is there’s nothing better than a baloney sandwich on white bread with ketchup. 

1. The Baseball Kid

“The Baseball Kid” has a special place in my heart, much like Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB Gun in A Christmas Story. The thing is, it wasn’t even my present. The year was 1982, and it was the warmest Christmas Day on record in Muskegon. The high temperature hit 65 degrees that day. My sister Stacy, who was quite possibly the best pitcher to ever come out of Roosevelt Park Little League, had her Christmas wish granted when Santa brought her the 26-1/4″ plastic molded automatic pitching machine, plastic bat, and six Wiffle balls known as The Baseball Kid. The Kid’s arm never got tired, that was unless his four D Cell batteries ran out. We went outside and hit plastic baseballs all day, only stopping to pick The Kid back up after I lined one off his head from 12 feet away. It was a Christmas I’ll never forget and a jingle I can still sing to this day. 

Hopefully, someday a client will hire us to write a jingle (wouldn’t that be fun?). Until then, I’ll have to be content with this list of twenty all-time greats.

 

Jason is a Partner and the CEO at Revel, a B2B marketing agency. He is a diehard baseball fan who loves his Detroit Tigers. Family vacations often revolve around seeing games in different MLB ballparks around the country – they’ve been to 21 so far and counting. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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