Hearing Is Believing

Turn back now before it’s too late. Don’t read another word.

If you prefer uninterrupted thought, the ability to maintain coherent conversations while preserving your sanity, trust me, go no further.

Otherwise, suffer the fate of the dreaded earworm . . . meticulously wending its way, inexorably deeper and deeper into your brain.

Wait. Halloween’s over, right?

Okay, let’s leave earworms aside and talk “ear-cons,” instead. Those jingles you keep forgetting to remember to forget.

We’re not talking slogans (we’ll save that topic for another time), but rather those company mottos set to music with hooks that take up valuable brain space that might be better used for remembering things like the password to your 401(k) account.

But that’s the mind-eating point, isn’t it? In a world of snackable content and :06 second ads, the jingle is making a totally hum-able comeback, and it should. We owe jingles a debt of thanks. How else would we have ever known that our bologna has a first AND a second name. And that was 50 years ago, yet it has over a million views on YouTube, so a new generation can appreciate what makes these tunes classic.

About 15 years ago, fellow University of Cincinnati alum James Kellaris actually did a study of earcons as a Marketing Professor. He was able to subject nearly 600 students to all manner of tunes to explore which ones were the stickiest. The winner? Chili’s Baby Back Ribs.

Ironically, Chili’s not only wants their baby back, they also want their 1986 jingle back, as well. And they just re-launched its infuriatingly familiar toe-tapping rhythm last week with new funkier lyrics about their bigger big mouth burger menu, among other items.

So here’s to ownable, well-loved equity that separates you from your competition, while breaking through the ever-expanding universe of channels and messages.

Some may scoff at jingles as a lower form of art, but bah dah bah bah bah, I’m lovin’ it.