In a previous blog, we discussed the intangible aspects that go into making a great jingle. Today we are expanding on that description of an exceptional jingle by pointing out the physical elements that one needs to include in the jingle’s final product. This will all be done using an example from our own portfolio here at Davis Advertising.
SIS Bank of Sanford, Maine, came to us wanting a contagious advertising campaign that would help them roll out Mobile Check Deposit to current and potential customers of its nine branches. The Director of Account Service at Davis Advertising, Steve Salloway, came up with the notion of using the well-known catchphrase “SIS-BOOM-BA” for the campaign. From there, the idea took off like a rocket.
Davis Senior videographer Jeff Carbonneau, Motion Graphics Designer Imer Diaz and Audio Producer John Lufkin used their expertise to generate a television spot, a radio ad, and Web videos for SIS Bank using a jingle created completely in-house by Davis Advertising. He started with an upbeat background tune with a 1930’s, big-band feel that he thought would create an earworm that would stick in people’s heads. The cheerful melody also helped to create a positive image of the service SIS Bank was providing in a genre to which the audience could relate. The bossa nova-type sound is seemingly abiding, being used time and time again in current music on the radio. Just be careful to avoid any copyright issues with songs!
Next, Davis inserted the lyrics. It was important to the firm and to the client that the words have meaning. “SIS” most obviously stood for SIS Bank, the client. “BOOM” represented the ease of taking a snapshot for the Mobile Check Deposit. “BA” stood for “banking anywhere,” which was important as great jingles always include some sort of call to action, sometimes by including a phone number or a location, for example. Both the “SIS” and the “BA” provided the location in this instance.
Typical jingle lyrics use strong, powerful words of action or very descriptive adjectives. The phrases need to be concise; not long-winded with many syllables. Assonance (repeated vowel sounds), alliteration (repeated consonant sounds) and rhymes help with memorability. In our case, we used onomatopoeia, which is the practice of using words that mimic sounds, to help us drive home our point. The SIS-BOOM-BA phrase was created in the mid-1800s to mimic the sound of fireworks, with the “SIS” being the sound of the skyrocket flight or the fuse on the explosive. Their “BOOM” is the actual explosion, and the “BA” was the reaction of the crowd (“Ahhhh!”).
Exaggeration works well in jingle lyrics, especially when used in a comical way. Similes and metaphors help to drive home a point. Good jingle lyrics can also utilize negative imagery by suggesting the product or service can help consumers avoid negative effects, as long as your product or service is mentioned to offer a positive solution.
Moving on, great jingles are made when the composer really understands the product or service being offered. At Davis, we make it a point to fully involve ourselves with each project so as to do the very best job possible. Doing so allows us to more easily create lyrics that tout the benefits of the product or service.
In addition to the tune being relatable in a great jingle, so must be the lyrics. The words need to be geared toward a specific audience so as to suggest some sort of relationship between the product or service and the consumers. Sometimes consumers pass on a product because they don’t quite understand the relationship between product and consumer. The Davis/SIS Bank collaboration definitely avoided that problem by utilizing print and Web work with the same phrase from the jingle that further explained the benefits and usability of the bank’s offering.
Finally, a great jingle needs to be succinct, and not just in its words. The entire thing needs to fit nicely inside a 60 second-or-less TV or radio spot. Getting too wordy or too involved will make the whole idea behind the jingle fall apart.
Once completely produced, an advertising agency like Davis would lean on the capabilities of a seasoned Media Buyer, such as our own Ben Thaler, an industry professional for over thirteen years, to ensure the very best placement of the jingle-included advertisement. Thaler utilizes the technology available at his fingertips to find the best mediums and times to reach the client’s target audience. Without this step, your seemingly great jingle is just words and a beat.
To recap, making a great jingle is very complex. One small misstep generating the concepts or elements and all your hard work could be wasted. It’s a good thing Davis Advertising knows exactly what it takes to make your jingle great!