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History of TV Commercial Jingles
by Alex Cosper (12/17/12)


Television commercial music has shifted over the years from original music written by artists commissioned to write songs with specific lyrical themes to music already popularized by radio. Prior to TV commercials shifting to popular hits in the mid-eighties, there were cases in which the TV jingle came first. An example was the Coca-Cola jingle "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke," that became so popular in 1971 that a previously unknown group called the Hillside Singers re-wrote the lyrics with the title "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." It became a big hit later in the year.

Jingles were first used on radio, which paved the way for songwriters to make a living writing for television sponsors. The concept of jingles became popular in the 1950s, although there were earlier examples such as a Chiquita Banana song in the 1940s. By the 1960s there were many familiar jingles that became as familiar as popular hits on the charts. "If I Were an Oscar Mayer Weiner" was sung by a kid, making it a family favorite. Another huge hot dog theme that lasted decades since the fifties was Armour's theme "The Dogs Kids Love to Bite." Another song that stuck around was "Rice-a-Roni the San Francisco Treat" for Golden Grain Macaroni Company.

Barry Manilow comes to mind as one of the most recognizable jingle songwriters. In the seventies he wrote a popular theme for McDonald's called "You Deserve a Break Today." He wrote several other familiar TV jingles before hitting the charts in 1975. Some of these jingles included "Like a Good Neighbor" for State Farm Insurance, "I Am Stuck On Band-Aids" for Band-Aid, "Give Your Face Something to Smile About" for Noxema. Manilow includes these jingles as a medley in his live performances and issued a commericial medley on one of his compilation albums.

Other famous jingle messages promoting TV sponsors over the years have include:

A & W - "Let's All Go to A & W"
Ajax - "Stronger Than Dirt"
Alka Seltzer - "Plop Plop Fizz Fizz (Oh What a Relief It Is)"
Aunt Jemima - "Aunt Jemima Pancakes Without Her Syrup" (1967)
Bell System Phone Company - "Reach Out and Touch Someone" (1981)
Big Red - "Kiss a Little Longer
Bubblicious Gum - "Bubblicious Has the Ultimate Flavor"
Burger King - "Burger King and I" (1978)
Burger King - "America Loves Burgers ... We're America's Burger King"
Budweiser - "Here Comes the King"
Budweiser - "This Bud's For You"
Budweiser - "When You Say Budweiser You've Said It All" by Mike Asquino
Bumblebee Tuna - "I Love Bumblebee Tuna" by Mike Asquino
Campbell's Soup - "Get Your Campbell's Worth" (1972) and "Money in the Bank" and "Mmm Good"
Cap n Crunch - "Sing Along with Cap n Crunch" (1965)
Canada Dry - "Not Too Sweet" (1978)
Cheerios - "Unsinkable Taste of Cheerios" (1984)
Chevrolet - "Listen to the Heartbeat of America"
Chicken Delight - "Don't Cook Tonight, Call Chicken Delight"
Chicken of the Sea Tuna - "(Ask the Best Mermaid You Happen to See, What's the Best Tuna?) Chicken of the Sea"
Chiquita Banana - "I'm a Chiquita Banana"
Chilis - "Baby Back Ribs"
Coca-Cola - "Coke Adds Life" by Mike Asquino
Coca-Cola - "Cool Cherry Coke"
Coca-Cola - "The Real Thing"
Cool Whip - "New French Vanilla Cool Whip"
Diet Coke - "Introducing Diet Coke" (1983)
Doublemint Gum - "Double Your Pleasure"
Dr. Pepper - "The Most Original Soft Drink" (1976)
Dr. Pepper - "Be a Pepper" sung by David Naughton (1979), written by Randy Newman and Jake Holmes
Extra Sugar-Free Gum - "Extra Flavor, Extra Fun in Extra Sugar Free Gum" (1986)
Fig Newton - "The Big Fig Newton"
Flintstones Vitamins - "We are Flintstones Kids, 10 Million Strong and Growing" (1987)
Folger's Coffee - "The Best Part of Waking Up (is Folger's in Your Cup)"
Ford - "Have You Driven a Ford Lately?"
Fritos - "I Am the Frito Bandito" (1970s)
Fritos - "Munch a Bunch" (1970s)
Gap - "Do It Up At the Gap" (1983)
Green Giant - "In the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant" (1960s)
Hamm's Beer - "From the Land of Sky Blue Water"
Hawaiian Punch - "Fruit Juicy"
Hersheys - "There's Nothing Like the Face"
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes - "Year of the Tiger
Kentucky Fried Chicken - "Get a Barrel of Chicken" by Barry Manilow (1970s)
Kit Kat - "Break Me Off a Piece of that Kit Kat Bar"
Kool Aid - "Kool Aid Stands for Taste"
Lemon Brite - "Lemon Fresh Sparkling Shine"
Levi's Jeans - "Good Morning World"
Libby's - "When it Says Libby's On The Label"
Lifesavers - "Hey Lifesavers"
McDonald's - "Two All Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun"
Mego - "Action Jackson is My Name"
Miller Beer - "If You've Got the Time, We've Got the Beer"
Mounds - "Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut"
Nestles - "N-E-S-T-L-E-S ... Nestles Makes the Very Best Chocolate"
Oreo - "My Best Friend" and "Twister"
Oscar Mayer Weiner - "Oscar Mayer Has a Way with B-A-L-O-G-N-A"
Pepsi - "The Pepsi Generation" by Mike Asquino
Peter Pan Peanut Butter - "Only if it's Peter Pan"
Purina Meow Mix Tender Centers - "Meow Meow"
Sara Lee - "Nobody Does't Like Sara Lee"
Sears Thumbs Up Jeans - "Beautiful" (1978)
Shakey's Pizza - "We Serve Fun at Shakey's" (1970s)
Spaghetti-O's - "Oh Oh, Spaghetti-O's"
Swanson's TV Dinners - "It's the Next Best Thing to Your Good Home Cookin' (Swanson Makes it Good)
Taco Bell - "Put a Smile on Your Face" (1979)
Tootsie Roll - "Whatever It Is I Think Becomes a Tootsie Roll To Me" (1970s)
Total Cereal - "Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life" by Mike Asquino
United Airlines - "Come Fly the Friendly Skies"
US Army - "Be All You Can Be (in the Army)" by Jake Holmes
Vidal Sassoon - "If You Don't Look Good (Then We Don't Look Good, Too, Vidal Sassoon)
Wendy's - "Crispy Chicken Nuggets" 1986, sung to the tune of "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang





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