At one stage or another, a jingle has been stuck in your head. These tunes are designed to be so catchy and cheery that they will go round your head long after you’ve heard them. They can be heard throughout all forms of advertising and can be used to promote a number of things.
Jingles help stations define themselves against the rest. Most radio stations will have very similar programmes, competitions or music selections to another. Jingles give the station the opportunity to set out their sound and overall vibe. Slogans can be incorporated into a jingle can reinforce the feeling of the station.
Radio stations often use jingles to not only promote their brand but also to bridge the gap between different sections such as music and the news. It helps the overall flow of the station. This being said, they can be altered depending on what their use is. For example, a breakfast show will be a lot more cheerful and upbeat than a late-night “winding down” show.
There are many different types and styles used in jingles. Acapella is singing with no music behind it. Donut is when there is singing at the start and the end, with music in between. A transition slow to fast jingle is when it starts off with a slow tempo and halfway through it speeds up. This can be used to bridge the tempo gap between a slow and fast song. A transition fast to slow is the exact opposite of this.
There are also other musical tricks to incorporate the sound of the jingle without including the full tune. A stab is a shortened down version of a full jingle. A sweeper is a combination of voice and sound effects that is used between songs. A bed is a piece of music (usually the original jingle) with no singing. This allows the presenter to speak over.
Most radio stations may put their own jingle together, but there are also a number of jingle production companies. A Google search will bring it up many different producers to work with to create the perfect radio jingle. Like many things in radio stations, computer systems have now replaced the original cart machines. This makes it a lot easier for in-station production.
Because the golden age of cart machines is over, some people get very nostalgic over the old systems in jingle-production. Cart machines had rows of carts stacked up with their name facing out to make it easy to find the correct one in a rush. Colour coding systems would also help the carts be distinguished from one another.
Many people even collect jingles over the years. These collecters are called anoraks. Some enthusiastic anoraks have set up websites to keep up with news in the jingle world or collate their archives. One interesting site is by Pete Wilson. Check it out here!