While the term “jingle” may have a pocket change connotation associated with it, creating jingles can generate substantial income. To be clear, writing and composing jingles may not elevate you to the same level of notoriety as writing Broadway tunes. However, creating catchy jingles and advertisements is profitable enough that many famous songwriters also write jingles. As with most professions, getting started is the hardest step. Fortunately, music industry expert Martin Backhausen offers a few simple and insightful steps you can take to turn your creativity and ideas into profitable jingles.
Creating jingles or commercial music can be extremely rewarding and challenging at the same time. To get started, Martin Backhausen suggests you begin with research. He explains, “Start by consuming and listening to everything. You never know where or when you will find inspiration. However, if you’re looking to write for TV, much of your research should be centered around this medium. Check out what’s hot. Can you spot any commonalities? You can also hone in on the types of music that are being used, such as acoustic songs, pop music, etc. By simply watching and listening to what’s out there, you can gain a clear understanding of how the industry is moving.”
When it comes to creating jingles, there are no one-size-fits-all points of entry. In addition to advertising agencies, there are a number of emerging organizations that specialize in connecting businesses with talented jingle writers and musicians.
When a jingle organization is approached by an advertising agency wanting a jingle, it will tap into its existing talent network to generate several options. The company or agency then has the autonomy to select the one they like best. Backhausen suggests interested musicians find and get registered with these types of organizations.
To correctly write an infectious jingle, you must be very familiar with the product or offer. Martin Backhausen continues, “It’s imperative to know the product inside and out. You must know all of the things that make it unique. And before you get started, jot down everything you think a customer should know about the product. Make sure to always lead with the special or unique attribute because this is what will most likely resonate with the customers.”
What do all of the best and most memorable jingles have in common — such as Subway’s “Five Dollar Foot Long” or State Farm’s iconic “Like a Good Neighbor”? They are all extremely simple. To master this facet, make sure to use rhyme and repetition while keeping the language extremely simple. For example, Band-Aid’s ever-popular jingle checks all of the boxes with “I am stuck on Band-Aid because Band-Aid’s stuck on me.” This jingle is extremely simple and puts the key benefits right up front, so you can’t forget it. In the end, your jingle should be simple enough that anyone can understand and recite what it’s communicating.