Nirma… washing powder Nirma. Doodh si safedi, Nirma se aayi, Rangeen kapda bhi Khil khil jae…. Sabki Pasand Nirma!
Sang it? Well so did we! Nirma, Vicco Turmeric, Vicks, Humara Bajaj, MDH, Badhshah, Aaya naya Ujala, Zandu Balm and Dermi Cool… the list goes on.
The 90s did it the best. It wasn’t just Bollywood that made excellent music back then. The likes of Rahman, Piyush Mishra, and KK, among the rest, made jingles that you couldn’t resist humming along to.
Earlier, TVCs and ads were full of hummable jingles, and often, the entire ad plots revolved around them. What was the reason for this? Well, the good old jingle dates back to an era when radio was the most popular mode of communication. The brand’s name was repeated several times to aid the brand’s recall value. Jingle came from the era of radio. Here’s something to lighten this up. Do you know how many times the phrase Vicco Turmeric is mentioned in the jingle? Comment down and let us know!
Moving on, when television came into the picture in the late 80s and 90s, our people still couldn’t shed the habit of jingles, leading to several iconic jingles in the 90s. But, old habits truly die hard and, in such instances, lead us to gold!
And well, oral traditions do have a long-standing history in our country. Even before our folklore was documented in books, it was passed down through songs. To quote a few industry experts, “We knew the art of remembering things in a poetic meter, rhyme or rhythm so that it stays in your consciousness. So jingle or music as a device to get brands into people’s minds is an age-old technique.”
Simply put, no matter where we go, true desis at heart will always have a soul connection with our roots, food, and music. This worked in the favour of advertisers and made Indian jingles and music tracks popular amidst the diaspora.
In the 2000s, the jingle became more experimental. Remember KK crooning to “Jab ghar ki rounak badhani ho” in the Nerolac ad, where the painters played music with their tools and objects? The ad evoked immediate liveliness, gave happy vibes, and made Nerolac a household name.
The objective of the jingle in the 2000s changed from recall value to driving home more engagement.
Airtel’s “Har ek friend zaroori hota hai” became the friendship anthem of the decade, whilst Hero Motocorp’s “Hum mein hai Hero” paid a tribute to our heroes. Idea’s honey bunny was a caller tune on every second phone, and Vodaphone’s “Where ever you go, our network follows” made the pug the Hutch Dog!
Sadly the number of jingles made in the second decade came down drastically. Music runs in our blood in India. But despite that, to market music is a tough marketing task, especially in this age of 15 seconds and reels. To pack the punch of an idea, add a twist of surprise in a story, all that’s complimentary to music, and make it iconic enough to make an impact in 15 seconds sounds a bit disruptive, especially with tight time segments and reducing attention span.
This could be the reason why we don’t hear jingles often today. But now that we’ve gone up and down the roller coaster of radio to Spotify ads and back to radio, do you think jingles can make a comeback? We have seen choruses of songs go viral on reels. So can we neo-advertisers do it with jingles? Let us know your take in the comments below!