The art of jingle writing is, as far as the consumer public is concerned, often underestimated and understood. There is a great deal of work and effort that is required when it comes to writing jingles and if you are planning on breaking into this field, then it’s important to keep in mind a few points.
First, remember that a jingle is one of the most powerful tools that are available to advertising agencies around the world. Forget everything that you think you know about ads –from television commercials to magazine pages to radio spots- all of the visual effects that one could throw at you pales in comparison to the impact that the right jingle at the right time can have. Simply think about the last commercial you heard on the radio or on television and how the jingle was echoing in your head for hours afterwards.
We all are familiar with the power of music to captivate and stick in our heads. You hear a song and suddenly you’re humming it or singing it for the rest of the day, or at least until another song has invaded your cerebral cortex and stolen away the space from your mind. Jingles are, for the most part, considered short, throw-away musical riffs that have little importance in the grand scheme of advertising. Yet in reality, they become far more important that almost any other part of the commercial experience.
Below is a list of a few ideas that one should keep in mind when setting out to write jingles. There is an art to the process and if you take it too lightly (if you don’t take it seriously enough), then you will be putting yourself and your talents at a disadvantage from the beginning.
Tip 1: Know Your Product. You can’t write a catchy jingle if you are not completely familiar with the product from the outset. If you have been hired to compose a catchy jingle for a client, and you have no knowledge of the product, then before you even sit down to begin attempting to write anything, get to know it first. Understand its advantages for customers. Figure out why people would find the product to be useful to them. When you do this, you have a solid base upon which to dive into your writing process.
Tip 2: Repeat the Name. If you don’t repeat the name of the product within your jingle over and over and over, then your audience may focus on a catchy riff and forget what you are trying to sell. There is a great deal of research that supports the repeating of a name and associating it with something important. Law enforcement professionals will repeat the name of a person with whom they are negotiating in order to make a stronger connection. When composing jingles, keep this point in mind and you will realize that your jingles have more power and potential than you thought possible.
Tip 3: Create a Catchy Slogan. If the advertising agency that hired you, or the company with the product has a catchy slogan already, then you will want to incorporate it into the jingle. If not, then you will want to come up with something that is representative of the product itself as well. If you have to write and create a catchy slogan for the product you’re promoting, you want to make sure that you are going to be compensated for the extra work. It’s not always easy to come up with a slogan that will catch in the public’s mind and when a company will benefit from your effort, you don’t want to give it away for free, nor do you want to sell yourself short. Coming up with a slogan should always be extra, outside the realm of writing the jingle.
Tip 4: Assonance. Use it, become familiar with it. Love it. Assonance is the use of simple phrases, repetitive vowels, or even alliteration, for example. It is much easier for a song to catch in someone’s mind when there are simple phrases and sounds within them. Alliteration is a powerful device to use for jingle writers. The lemon-lime lovely flavour (three or more words beginning with the same letter is an alliteration) is effective at sticking in someone’s mind.
Jingles are an effective tool for advertisers to use in order to reach their target audience. When you keep these points in mind while writing them, you will find yourself becoming more successful. The next step is making sure that you record the jingles professionally and get people humming your tunes into the future.
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