Advertising That Sticks With You For Generations


Plop plop, fizz fizz…

Like a good neighbor…

We’ll leave the light on for you…

_________ tastes good like a cigarette _________ .

Chances are, you could hear the first two jingles in your head as you read the words. And it’s a safe bet that you know which companies the last two lines refer to, even without mentioning their names.

What makes certain marketing messages “sticky,” while others wholly forgettable? And what can advertisers today learn from the successful marketers of the past who embossed on our memories jingles or slogans that stick with us, even generations later?

Advertising and marketing campaign strategists continue to search for the “holy grail,” constantly seeking the “magic potion” that will increase sales, influence buyers, and penetrate consumers’ increasingly short attention spans. Google has become the new Yellow Pages. Facebook, texting, Twitter and blogs are today’s instantaneous information sharing platforms. Tivo, DVR, Netflix and figure to change traditional T.V. viewing habits forever.

But you know what hasn’t changed in thousands of years? The human brain.

Times Change. Our Brains Don’t.
How is it that most of us could easily identify the companies mentioned above? How are we able to sing the lyrics to hundreds of songs we never had any intention of learning? It all comes down to the way the human brain processes and retains information and stimuli.

The science of this has been studied and mastered by some of today’s most prominent marketing strategists (Google Martin Lindstrom’s book Buyology, for example), and some fascinating discoveries have been made. Science notwithstanding, think about what you can remember, retain and recite.

If I told you my bologna has a first name, would you be able to sing the rest? If I told you my cereal was going “snap, crackle and pop,” would you be able to guess what I was eating?

Such is the power of sound. Whether the consumer is in Mid-Michigan or the Mid-Atlantic, their brains are hard-wired to retain sounds and audio inputs.

What This Means to Companies?
Daily consumer commercial bombardment in traditional and new platforms has increased from 2,000 commercial impressions daily to now over 5,000. Advertising and marketing success is measured by one’s ability cut through that noise.

As history – and science – has proven, that penetrable force is sound. Advertisers recognize this as jingles, slogans, music and sound effects.

The good news? You don’t have to be a Motel 6 or Coca-Cola to take advantage of sound. On this, both David and Goliath are on equal footing.

Sources: Yankelvich Research; CBS Altitude; Roy Williams, Secret Formulas Of The Wizard Of Ads; Martin Lindstrom, Buyology

In our next discussion, we’ll share some Mid-Michigan examples that might surprise you. If you would like to learn more, or to receive a copy of our last report that examined the science of sound, please do not hesitate to contact us.



Owner/CEO at Macdonald Broadcasting
Michigan Association of Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Past President of Saginaw Club. Member of SVSU Stevens Family Business Program.

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