Remember when you were in elementary school and your mom told you that the best way to memorize the planets (or any other list) was by making a song out of it?  Creative departments at ad agencies remember that lesson.  That’s why they make jingles.  But like all things, there are good jingles and bad ones.  Good being those that stick in your head, making you hum them all day long; that make you remember what the jingle is selling; and that might even make you feel so good about the product or service that you decide to buy it. What are our favorites?  We have many, some from way back when and some that have appeared only recently.

First for the oldies:

Dr. Pepper: “I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper, wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?”  Can’t you see David Naughton dancing down the street singing that song with his crowd of followers?  A great ad and a great little tune.  Did it turn into sales for Dr. Pepper?  Well, they’re still around, still competing, and in today’s market, that’s pretty good.

Coca Cola: “Have a Coke and a smile.”  This one’s been around forever, all with similar themes.  The little kid hands a bottle of icy cold Coca Cola to famous injured athlete (remember Mean Joe Green limping into the locker room?) who invariably bursts into a big smile and then hands the kid his sweaty towel.  Does Coca Cola make you smile?  The way people are sucking down Big Gulps these days, it must.

Chili’s: “I want my babyback, babyback, babyback…Chili’s babyback ribs.”  You know the tune, and though there were many, we like Nsync version for both the harmony and the humor of it.  The song, paired with the close-ups of those gooey barbequed ribs, is enough to get your stomach growling.

Now for the recent ones:

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish: “Gimme back that Filet-O-Fish, gimme that fish.”  You know this song must have been a joke the first time the ad agency creatives came up with it.  You can picture the two guys sitting around in the office late at night with a guitar making funny fish voices.  But alas, it’s amusing, catchy, and its popularity has become phenomenal.  You are also sure to be singing it all day now that we’ve mentioned it.  You might even have to veer off to the drive-thru for two golden delicious sandwiches.

Daisy Sour Cream: “Daisy, Daisy, light and dreamy…do a dollop, do, do a dollop…” We could sing this one all day and some how, it doesn’t get annoying even after the 54th time.  It’s such a happy-go-lucky tune, and it’s been on and off the air for years.  That says it’s a jingle with staying power.

FreeCreditReport.com: “FreeCreditReport.com, shoulda seen this comin’ at me like an atom bomb.” And all the others.  This link features three of the best ones, the main guy whose identity has been stolen and his posse who now have to drive in a used sub-compact with vinyl seats and work in that lame chowder house.  So sad.  Wouldn’t want that to happen to you, huh?

We can’t end this post without mentioning that Subway’s “$5 foot long ad” is another genius jingle, but we haven’t included it in this list as we’ve sung its praises in our blog entry, “FMPR Picks: TV Commercials.”

We could go on all day.  And we probably will — singing that is, annoying our family and co-workers by humming those contagious tunes.  But since this is a PR blog, let’s talk about what the effective jingles have in common.  They all use the product name in the song.  They all tell a story, which is usually funny.  They all make you feel good about what they’re selling, in other words, they make an emotional connection to you.  And, of course there’s that viral melody.  If you make a jingle for your company, be sure it meets those criteria.

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