Top 10 Advertising Jingles of All Time Top 10 ad jingles of all time!

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A good advertising jingle has the power to spark nostalgic feelings and get stuck in your head for days. You might even have a playlist full of them. The top 10 advertising jingles of all time are:

  1. McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It"
  2. Kit Kat® "Give Me a Break"
  3. Oscar Mayer "I Wish I Was an Oscar Mayer Weiner"
  4. Subway "Five Dollar Foot Long"
  5. Empire "800 Number"
  6. State Farm "Like a Good Neighbor"
  7. Lucky Charms "They're Magically Delicious"
  8. Huggies "I'm a Big Kid Now"
  9. Alka Seltzer "Plop, Fizz"
  10. Band-Aid "Stuck on Band-Aid"

There used to be a time when you'd turn on the TV and actually watch the commercials. If you're a Baby Boomer, then you remember Wrigley Gum's ditty, "Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun." Kids from the 90s will never get the Wonderball song out of their heads. Even in the digital world, companies like Nationwide and Kay Jewelers are still finding their groove with advertising jingles.

What are the best commercial jingles of all time? Which catchy commercials are we still talking about? Hum along and learn a little more about these classic advertising tunes!

Consumers like and have fond memories of many jingles. Over a period of time, they can conjure up good memories that are then associated with the brand.

Charles R. Taylor, Professor of
Marketing at Villanova University

What is a Jingle?

A jingle is defined as a short song or slogan that's used mostly for advertising. It's a way to quickly call to mind a product, service, or company.


The top jingles have an edge that sets them apart from the rest. You'll find funny jingles, sentimental jingles, and even full-blown songs, all aimed at making you a new customer.

What is a Good Jingle?

The best advertising jingles have been on repeat for a long time. They stick in your brain, even long after the commercial is over. When it comes to great jingles, it's important for them to be original, catchy, and easily recognizable all over the world.

The list of jingles featured here hit these notes and strike a chord with the audience.

1. McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" (2003)

If you're a hip hop enthusiast, you're probably familiar with Grammy nominated artist Pusha T. He's worked with big names like Kanye West, Tyler, The Creator, and Drake. Before all this success, though, he was the man behind McDonald's catchy ba-da-ba-ba-ba. Justin Timberlake came onboard to sing the refrain and the rest is history.

According to AdAge, McDonald's spent $1.37 billion on advertising when "I'm Lovin' It" debuted. They released five commercials featuring the jingle and translated them into 11 different languages. The first appearance was in Munich, Germany, sparking debate about whether or not agency Heye & Partner were really the ones who wrote the tune. Regardless of the true origins, these ads jingles are as juicy as a delicious Big Mac.

2. Kit Kat® "Give Me a Break" (1986)

Kit Kat® gave us a sweet taste of quality jingle writing with the infectious, "Give Me A Break" in 1986. Ken Shuldman was a junior copywriter at DDB Needham when he wrote the nifty tune. He brought on a classic violinist named Michael A. Levine to compose, and people started breaking off pieces of this milk chocolate all over the country!

Kit Kat®'s trademark company jingle got a modern update by Chicago native Chance the Rapper in 2016. In the ad, he's dressed up as a giant teddy bear for Halloween and is shopping for the candy in a gas station. His thought at the end of the commercial: "That's a good song." The nation couldn't agree more, with about 564 Kit Kat fingers consumed every second!

3. Oscar Mayer "I Wish I Was an Oscar Mayer Weiner" (1965)

All it takes is being a weiner to ensure the love of those around you. At least, that's the sentiment proposed by Oscar Mayer's enormously popular jingle. The song was composed by Chicagoan Richard Trentlage in 1965. He loved jingle writing and even created one for a fictional company called Modern Plastic Brooms when he was in high school. This fake jingle was so memorable, his former classmates sang it during their 50th reunion. It's no wonder he went on to create the beloved Oscar Mayer song!

These popular commercial jingles have completely taken on a life of their own. In the years since the original was released, it has been sung by a metal band, barbershop quartet, ukulele player, and even a singing parrot! You may even hear the song blasting from the Wienermobile as it cruises through your neighborhood.

4. Subway "Five Dollar Foot Long" (2008)

While the beautiful days of $5 footlongs are gone, the spirit of the catchy jingle is still alive and well. Stuart Frankel dreamed up the campaign to bring more business to a Subway he acquired in Fort Lauderdale. The campaign was so successful, it soon became a national phenomenon. Ad agency MMB was brought on to write the advertisement jingles, and from there, this simple song and dance got stuck in people's brains. The commercials are credited with making the subs one of the best-selling fast food items in the entire country.

Unfortunately, Subway's eyes were bigger than their stomach, causing them to put the brakes on the $5 footlong campaign. That is until January 2018 when they outdid themselves with an even better deal: a $4.99 footlong. It doesn't seem to have the same ring to it.

5. Empire "800 Number" (1977)

Talk about marketing genius. Lynn Hauldren, the guy who became known as the Empire Carpet Man, turned the company's contact info into a hit jingle. The number didn't always feature the "800" at the beginning. This addition to the lyrics came in 1996 when the Chicagoland area started using more area codes. From that point on, you'd always know who to call for carpet installation.

The phone number wasn't the only thing that changed over the years. The company is now called Empire Carpet Today, and Hauldren's caricature has gotten a digital facelift. Still, though, they use the original commercial jingles because why fix something if it isn't broken?

6. State Farm "Like a Good Neighbor" (1971)

Barry Manilow, you know that guy your dad is really into, is the man behind one of State Farm's famous jingles. Since it was released, the iconic jingle has transformed the insurance company's corporate values for the better. In 2018, State Farm started a program called Neighborhood of Good, an entire website that makes finding volunteer work super easy. They have also formed formal partnerships with notable organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross.

As of 2016, State Farm revealed a new jingle that's geared more toward the positive services they offer. Written by ad agency DDB Chicago, the new tune is "Here to Help Life Go Right." The insurance company is apparently making good on that promise since about half of Americans have State Farm policies!

7. Lucky Charms "They're Magically Delicious" (1963)

Lucky Charms has used their catchy commercial jingles since 1963. The magical tune was sung by Arthur Anderson, a man with a strong Irish accent, who also voiced Lucky the Leprechaun in the commercials. The voice actor served as the spokesperson for the cereal until 1992 and then went on to be grumpy Eustace Bagge in the cartoon classic, "Courage the Cowardly Dog."

You're probably familiar with all the marshmallows found in a box of Lucky Charms. In 2018, General Mills added a mythical touch to their formula by replacing their hourglass with a white unicorn. This marks the first time the cereal has changed in over a decade! Hourglass or unicorn, they're still magically delicious.

8. Huggies "I'm a Big Kid Now" (1994)

Maybe you don't remember the day you became a big kid, but you probably remember these infectious brand jingles from the 90s. The campaign helped Huggies catapult to the front of the pack when it comes to diaper duty, even beating out Pampers at the time. The success comes from the adorable commercials where kids can be seen singing the tune as they use the potty.

Today, Huggies from Kimberly-Clark owns about 22% of the global market share. Their commercials have also changed since they took their first steps as a brand, though they still believe in the power of music. In a 2015 ad, they sing a slow song about the power of a good hug. It's less about potty training and more geared toward mothers who just had a newborn child.

9. Alka Seltzer “Plop, Fizz Fizz” (1975)

Good jingles can seriously affect buying habits. Take for instance Alka Seltzer's tune from the mid-70s. The repetition of "Plop" and "Fizz" in the lyrics encouraged consumers to use two tablets instead of one. This made sales fly through the roof for the medication. Granted, it also might have been that people were eating one too many cheeseburgers.

Ad Age, a marketing magazine in circulation since 1930, ranks Alka Seltzer's jingle as one of the top ad campaigns of all time. On the jingle's 75th anniversay, they held a contest to see who could redo the tune in a unique way. Cyndi Lauper, the singer behind "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," judged the contest and the winner received both $10,000 and their song featured on national television.

10. Band-Aid “Stuck on Band-Aid” (1976)

Johnson & Johnson's knocked it out of the park with one of the most famous jingles of all time. This is another one Barry Manilow had a hand in creating. He even went as far as to alter his voice to be more "childlike" in the commercials. The song was a young hit and even won ad agency Young & Rubicam a Clio Award for excellence in advertising.

America is still stuck on Band-Aids. In 2017, the brand earned over $247.5 million in business revenue. They are also still coming up with inventive advertising campaigns. One of their more recent commercials features a ballet dancer who get the bandage placed on her feet after a performance. The final slogan that comes on screen is "Stick with It."

These are some of the most famous commercial jingles ever put on screen. You can think of them as the best jingles ever simply because they have stood the test of time and still make viewers smile.

Honorable Mentions

  • Folgers "The Best Part of Waking Up"
  • Meow Mix
  • Chili's "Baby Back Ribs"
  • Fanta "Wanna Fanta"
  • Toys R Us "I'm a Toys R Us Kid"
Barry Manilow https://www.walesonline.co.uk/

What Jingles Did Barry Manilow Write?

Barry Manilow https://www.walesonline.co.uk/

Barry Manilow, the man behind songs like “Copacabana,” and "Mandy," has written many advertising jingles throughout the 70's and 80's. We can thank this Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter for all of the following commercial songs:

  • "Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There" (State Farm, 1971)
  • "Give Your Face Something to Smile About" (Stridex, 1973)
  • "Feelin' Free" (Pepsi, 1974)
  • "Stuck on Band-Aid" (Johnson & Johnson, 1976)
  • "You Deserve a Break Today" (McDonald's, 1982)
  • "It's a Finger Lickin' Good Day" (KFC, 1983)

With his soft, crooning voice, Manilow built his early career around jingle writing. He even won a Clio Award in 2009 for excellence in advertising!

Today's Hits

Great TV Commercials with Jingles

In the last few years, the jingle has had somewhat of a resurgence. Current popular commercials feature catchy songs that can be shared on social media and through hilarious memes.

Nationwide

Source: Youtube.com

The "On Your Side" jingle has been a hit for years, but it's recently gotten more popular. Today, the Nationwide commercial singer is Tori Kelly, a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter.

Bubly

Source: Youtube.com

Just when you thought a funny water commercial couldn't exist, Michael Bublé proved you wrong with this 2019 Super Bowl ad. The end jingle is brief, with the line "It's Bubly" over a Big Band melody.

Jolly Rancher

Source: Youtube.com

When it comes to classic jingles, candy like Now and Laters may have taken an early bite with "eat some now, save some for later." Still, that didn't stop Jolly Rancher from releasing an ad with their own sweet song in 2014.

Home Depot

Source: Youtube.com

There aren't any lyrics, but Home Depot has used the same riff in their ads for years. The consistency with this jingle helps to cement (pun intended) their brand recognition.

Fanta

Source: Youtube.com

Fanta's jingle has a unique hip hop flavor that's been used since the early 2000s. The song made an appearance again in 2017 with a new troupe of dancers.

How to Write a Catchy Jingle

Are you inspired to write an advertising jingle of your own? Make sure the song hits all of these notes:

  • Good tempo
  • Enunciation
  • Clear imagery
  • Short & simple
  • Emotionally resonant
  • Unique
  • On repeat

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Good Tempo

Foots should be tapping! Hire a good songwriter to write your jingle so that it hits your audience's ears in a pleasing way. After all, the last thing you want is for the song to be annoying.

Jingles Icon 2

Enunciation

Now's not the time to show off your love for heavy metal! The singer should have a clear, crisp voice that enunciates every word. You want the words to be easy to understand without any extra effort from your audience.

Jingles Icon 3

Clear Imagery

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), an earworm is created by “involuntary musical imagery.” You should see, hear, or feel something more than just the lyrics, whether it's the sound of a chocolate bar breaking (Kit Kat's “Give Me a Break”) or the taste of a sandwich (Subway's “Five Dollar Foot Long”).

Jingles Icon 4

Short & Simple

People typically only remember about 5 to 10 seconds of a song. Your advertising jingle should be a rhythmic refrain that immediately gets stuck in everyone's head!

Jingles Icon 5

Emotionally Resonant

No one is going to play your jingle at their wedding, but it still should have some kind of emotional resonance. The best advertising hits us right in the feels.

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Unique

The ad jingle shouldn't be confused with another song. It's important that it stands out from anything else on the radio or TV. Everything, from the rhythm to the lyrics, should be 100% yours.

Jingles Icon 7

On Repeat

Play it again! In order for a jingle to stick, it has to be heard multiple times. Write the song into every commercial, put it at the beginning of your program, and maybe hire a live band to play it at offline events. The sky's the limit!

The Future of Jingles

It's just like any song that stands the test of time. Music has the unique ability to be both retro and modern. It's why our playlists jump from Frank Sinatra to Metallica to Selena Gomez. A good melody doesn't need additional bells and whistles to serve its purpose, which is what makes jingle advertising so great.

Some say the jingle's a classic not to be messed with, while others are eager to usher in new and improved ones for the 21st century that sound more like Top 40 hits than commercials.

Jessica Long, The San Diego Business Journal

Many brands, like Kit Kat® and Alka-Seltzer, are featuring updated renditions of their classic jingles in commercials. According to Forbes, advertising jingles will make a comeback because the brands that continue to use them are thriving. They create a sense of trust with the consumer and make branding a bit more exciting.

In a survey by the Journal of Advertising Research, 83% of participants recalled an advertisement with a 10 second musical cue.

The Stanford University School of Medicine found that music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention.

According to marketing experts, ads with a musical element tend to perform better than others.

A jingle writer can make anywhere from $100 to $8,000 for each song.

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The Bottom Line

The word most often associated with TV jingles is "earworm." The best jingles of all time wiggle into our brains and hearts, making us remember the brands when we need them most. Even if you're not the world's best singer, you can still use jingles in your advertising campaigns. Worst case scenario, there's always Barry Manilow

Alyssa Mertes

Published: August 12th, 2021

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