Cellino & Barnes may have the “stickiest” of all jingles: It’s simple, quick, ubiquitous – and as Fredonia State professor Rob Deemer pointed out to me, there are five notes tagged to the end of the jingle (at the 0:07 mark in this video) that make sure you remember the name of the firm.
Jingles can be annoyingly sticky, even for the people who write them. After Anthony Casuccio created the percussion-driven “Milk Times Three,” he avoided the song. “It took me a long time to be able to listen to it, because I thought it was kind of corny,” he said. “But then when I admitted to people I did that, they love it.” (Side note: After I wrote those sentences, I hit play on the video. A nearby table of teens stood up and started dancing.) Check out more of Casuccio’s work – which unlike the dairy ditty, has a rock feel – on his website.
How expansive is Ken Kaufman’s catalog of jingles? Consider this: His demo reel alone is nearly 10 minutes long — and if you’ve lived in Western New York for any amount of time, you’ll likely know almost every song. (Click on the demo reel button on the right.)
A few years ago, the Basil Family of Dealerships considered getting a new jingle. Ultimately they decided to stick with their longtime song that ends with “Basil! Basil! Just great deals!” Why? The auto dealer gets consistent requests from youth teams, community and school groups to sing the jingle. Check out this “kicking” version from a martial arts studio.
Eighteen years ago, Joe Caldarelli of Mike Barney Nissan and his advertising agent pulled group of “four of us, maybe five” into a radio studio with odd instructions: Sing the name of our auto dealership — as off-key as you possibly can. (Little-known fact about a well-known guy: One of the people in the booth was Kevin Keenan, then a radio broadcaster, now a PR executive who represents the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.) The resulting “non-jingle” is so popular that about 10 years ago, when Caldarelli floated the notion of changing it, a woman offered to marry him if he didn’t touch the jingle.
Jingle writers generally don’t like the word “jingle.” Many prefer the term “musical logo” or “musical image.” Or then there’s Tom Merrick, an advertising executive for Eric Mower and Associates and longtime member of the now-defunct punk band Crankdaddy. When he wrote the full-length song “Healthy Changes Everything” for his client BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, he coined the term “pingle.” (That’s pop song + jingle.)