Are jingles still relevant in advertising?

Advertisers are not putting jingles forward, says Amit Vishnoi

MUMBAI: Chances are high that one might not remember their partner's phone number but have a by-heart recall of every single word of their favourite ad jingle. Music is an integral part of everyone’s life. It invokes both emotions and nostalgia. Probably that’s the reason that brands, since ever, have been leveraging music and background scores to make their adverts more appealing.

They have given us some iconic jingles as well, filling a big part of our childhood memories.

After all, who doesn't remember the iconic Vicco ads, Airtel's 'Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai, or Pepsi's 'Yeh Dil Maange More' anthem.

“Music is the lubricant that allows hard-sell messaging to slip smoothly into public consciousness. It persuades, coaxes, cajoles and slips into you what it would otherwise have to say up front,” says Dentsu Aegis Network India creative chairperson and Taproot Dentsu co-founder Agnello Dias.

Havas Media Group CEO India South East Asia Anita Nayyar adds, “Love for music is an age-old phenomenon especially given our Bollywood roots. Music had always played a big role whether it is in advertising, in films or in any other genre. India has a rich heritage of music gharanas. You will always find shows like Indian Idol or Sa Re Ga Ma or music concerts doing well. There is a soulful connection always and a lot of expressions. Music had always connected people across boundaries. Hence its presence adds to commercial success.”

However, as time is progressing the relevance of jingles seems to be taking an exit from ads.

The use of jingles and music in the ads is considerably declining, though there are few good ads that are recognizable through their music like Dream 11’s signature tune or Tinder’s ‘Jaan Pehchaan Ho’ commercial. But if one notices, the frequency of such ads is less.

According to Logicserve Digital founder and CEO Prasad Shejale, "At least on digital mediums, brands are trying their best to quickly sell their proposition to the new-age audience whose attention spans are shrinking. Also, it’s a Herculean task to create a great jingle, which has an apt message and is hummable. Further, you must be aware that not every jingle can make the cut with the audience."

Speaking further on the issue Nayyar said, “The advertising environment and ecosystem is constantly evolving. There are different requirements by brands and advertising caters to those needs. However, music, if catchy, becomes a differentiator, be it as jingles or be it the Britannia -ting ting tring. These days, brands are doing a song and dance sequences e.g., Pepsi with Salman Khan. Brands are trying to keep themselves relevant to the environment and the audiences.”

As per Jingles India co-founder CEO and chief of production and execution Amit Vishnoi, "Whenever a customer is going to an agency, they go for TVC, where they already have a theme. While radio stations are not outsourcing the work. So, when the radio stations are not outsourcing they have an in-house team. More importance is given to the money rather than giving value to the money. Radio stations are not capable of creating a jingle like Humara Bajaj. Jingles are expensive and radio ads are comparatively cheaper. Big brands generally go for jingles as it adds more value to the advert. I think people who are driving the advertisement world are not putting jingles forward.”

Additionally, if online ads can be muted  how will it benefit the brand.

According to Nayyar, audiences are evolving and it is no longer a one-way communication. Attention spans are reducing. Interruptions are not welcome. If one finds an ad intruding and there is an option to skip, one will do so. That’s why today the challenge for advertising is to deliver the brand message in three to five seconds especially online.

"It’s definitely a challenge. Most of the time these days, the audience watch things putting in on mute wherein they are sneakingly smacking the content. With the mute mode, I believe, you lose the essence of the whole story. There are just a few things you can do by playing with subtitles, etc. It is important to shake the users from the slumber and make them unmute the videos in creative and engaging ways,"added Shejale.

Relevant or not, brands are still trying their hand at creating jingles that resonate well with their brand identity. Here are some of the most catchy ones:

Dream 11

A cricket-based digital sports gaming platform Dream 11 is known for its quirky music.


Tinder’s advert Jaan Pehchan Ho featuring a young girl will make you groove instantly. The ad created by advertising agency BBH India features actor Kavya Trehan. 

Coke: Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho

This version of the Mohammad Rafi's song was perfectly curated for Generation X. The campaign starring Bollywood actors Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra made it more impactful.


In the year 1996, Kingfisher’s partnership with West Indies cricket team gave birth to the iconic jingle ‘Oo la lala le o’. Since then the tune is synonymous with the King of Good Times. 

Idea Cellular

Paving its way into the cluttered television advertisements, Idea Cellular’s “Hum Nahi Banege Ullu Aaj Se…” instantly became a singing anthem. The ad conceptualised by Lowe Lintas depicted how users can evade unfair situations and people in life. So, ‘Idea Internet lagoing, India ka no ullu banoing’.

Seagram Imperial blue

Imperial blue’s 'slice of life' advertising strikes a chord with everybody. The 'Men will be men' tagline is the brainchild of advertising biggie Ogilvy & Mather

It is successfully winning our hearts for more than two decades. Adding to the charm is late Jagjit Singh’s beautiful rendition "Pyaar ki raah mein chalna seekh..." that echoes in the background.

Airtel Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hain’

Airtel’s ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hain’ campaign released in 2011 was created by the advertising agency Taproot Dentsu.

Humara Bajaj

Bajaj’s ad campaign called "Hamara Bajaj" released in 1989 had set a new benchmark for the Indian advertising world.

The ad made it clear that consumers can be a hero too. The lyrics ‘Buland Bharat ki Buland Tasveer’ shows how the brand highlighted the pre-liberalization state of India. The ad is conceptualized by Lowe Lintas.

Nerolac’s Jab Ghar Ki Raunak Badhani Ho

Shah Rukh Khan’s energy in this campaign is so infectious that you cannot resist singing along with him. The campaign is created by creative agency FCB Ulka.

Lifebuoy's Tandurusti

While  Lifebuoy has significantly moved from its tagline tandurusti to kitaanu, the jingle still makes us nostalgic.

"Imagine the popular ads like Cadbury’s “Kuch khaas hai zindagi” or Old Spice’s “The man your man could smell like” whistle or Amaron battery’s “Last long, really long” ad without music. Music is definitely the soul of ad films. When consumers hear it, they immediately bond with the brand message. Hence, next time when they see that brand’s product, there is a very high probability that they will buy it, giving you a higher chance of conversions,"concludes Shejale.

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