Published: 06th January 2009
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Advertising jingles and their lyrics are powerful psychological tools disguised as seemingly trite little ditties. Whether they're catchy, cute or even annoying, these tunes and lyrics are intentionally designed to implant themselves in your brain and program you to buy certain products.

The first company that used a jingle was General Mills in 1926, when its sales of Wheaties cereal were plummeting. On the brink of completely dropping the failing brand, they aired the radio jingle with the lyrics, "Have you tried Wheaties?/They're whole wheat with all of the bran./Won't you try Wheaties?/For wheat is the best food of man./They're crispy and crunchy/The whole year through/The kiddies never tire of them/And neither will you./So just try Wheaties,/The best breakfast food in the land." Thanks to this tune and its simple lyrics, sales of Wheaties soared in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the only region where the jingle was aired. Encouraged, General Mills aired the commercial and its apparently compelling lyrics nationwide. The result? Just look in any cereal aisle of any grocery store in the country.

Jingles and their lyrics have vaulted countless companies and products to worldwide fame, because they're 400 times more effective than a commercial that's simply spoken. While you're innocently tapping your foot to a jingle and its lyrics, it's communicating a message disguised in a melody that you'll remember, and it's giving life and personality to products normally regarded as ordinary, boring household items. Suddenly, these products are transformed into amazing inventions that you desperately and immediately want. And, much like nursery rhymes, remembering a product is easier when it's associated with a catchy tune and simple, memorable lyrics. Amazingly, this technique can help us remember things for more than 20 years.

Remember the Oscar Mayer lyrics? "Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener/That is what I'd truly like to be/'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener/All the world would be in love with me." Or how about Kawasaki's catchy melody and lyrics, "Kawasaki lets the good times roll/Get aboard, get away/And you're gonna say/Let the good times roll!" Then there are the brief, but highly effective lyrics, "Rice-A-Roni/The San Francisco treat." And what about this version of one of's ads, "F-R-E-E/That spells Free/Credit Report dot-com, bay-bee." A few of these jingles are over 40 years old, but I bet some of you are nodding your heads in recognition and singing the lyrics as though they'd been written yesterday.

Another reason jingles and their lyrics are so hard to get out of your head is because they contain "earworms." No, don't worryâ€"it's nothing your doctor has to treat. They're brief sections of music and lyrics that won't leave your brain alone. And when music and lyrics forge a strong emotional bond with a listener, they're hard to forget.

Which is what led to the decline of jingles whose music and lyrics were custom-written for companies and their products. When researchers discovered earworms in pop and rock songs, advertisers decided to take advantage of the existing connection consumers already had with these tunes and lyrics¸ and began licensing them for their commercials.

Still, there are jingle tunes and lyrics that are as classic as any pop or rock song. And those jingles will still be playing in our heads, right along with our favorite songs, for decades to come!

To find more lyrics about advertising jingles, check out Lyricsbang and their newest lyrics from commercials that we can't get out of our heads.

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