Remember when Airtel, India’s first private cellular network launched its ad? The brand tune by AR Rahman was everywhere. On our TV sets, radios, as our ringtones, and even as the reverse gear signal for trucks and cars. This iconic tune made Airtel a household brand.
The same was the case with Titan’s ad featuring Aishwarya Rai. Rahman adopted Mozart’s 25th symphony for the song. But despite that, even decades later, our audiences recall it as the iconic Titan tune whenever they hear it. Add to the list Nokia, Idea, Docomo, Raymond and more… play the tune in public someday, and you’ll be lost in an era bygone.
Long has gone the era when melodies ruled the ad world. Tunes that were all over the place have somehow lost their Midas touch. They’re no longer played on your flutes and harmonicas and definitely not set as ringtones anymore. Despite their recall value and impact, the jingle and melodies have become a mere relic of the late 90s and early 2000s commercials they once dominated. And this time, the internet is not to be blamed.
The inclusion of popular-culture music, or in our case, Bollywood music, in advertisements has taken over original compositions in the ad world. Cue Wild Stone’s “Aise na mujhe tum dekho” and Raymond’s “Samne ye kon aaya” ads from the 2010s.
In modern advertising, pop, rock, and desi make the perfect background tracks for ads. Popular songs and their catchy lyrics also add an element of humour to the ad. Like Kitkat’s two animated squirrels dancing to the tunes of the track “Kaate Nahi Kat Te” or TVS Scooty’s ad that showed a girl on her vibrant scooty persuading a traffic policeman to let her go through a blockade with the song “Jaane Do Na” playing in the background.
Today, having a catchy, popular tune that your target audience has heard before is more likely to serve the advertising professional better. Maybe this is why a number of original ad jingles also continue to be revamped and used in advertisements to date. Vicco vajradanti featuring Alia Bhatt anyone?
Using popular tracks also means there’s a better chance that your audience will let the track play and not click on the precious “Skip Ad” button, especially in the age of digital.
The shifts in the advertising business and changes in the music business brought the growth and integration of the two industries. And whilst many expected this partnership to promote the redemption of the melody and the jingle, it ended up driving the jingle further away.
Even so, ads that haven’t hit the screens in years or decades are still culturally relevant, relatable, and recalled by all. So why has the advertising industry moved away from tunes?
Internet radios have paved the way for traditional radio. YouTube, Spotify and the rest pose as the perfect platforms for jingles and melodies to re-enter the picture. And, of course, lending your voice to your ad campaigns makes them more personal and popular.
So can 2023 be the year the old tunes revive? Or better, new ones hit the billboards and rock our world? Let us know your take on this as neo-advertisers in the comment section below!
Also, advertising is all about setting trends and following them? So will it soon be time when one brand resurges the melody and others follow? Only time will tell or tune will!