(By Gary Berkowitz) Can you imagine a steak without the potatoes? Or getting a new outfit without shoes that match? Well, I can’t and that’s why a radio station without jingles is like a steak without potatoes.
Let’s start by saying that not every radio station needs jingles, but they sure can
make a difference on many formats. So, before this article starts here are a few
- I love jingles and strongly encourage their use.
- At the same time, I acknowledge that they can be a touchy subject.
- The two camps are the lovers and the haters (who think they are old and
not necessary). I respect that.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the many benefits of using jingles:
They make you sound big. They give you that feel of “show-biz” and enhance
your entire sound.
Jingles give you a unique sound signature. It adds to your imaging arsenal and
goes beyond a voice and sometimes dated “Star Wars” sounding zaps (which are
They “differentiate” you. You will stand out from your competition. Especially if
you have good jingles that have a memorable logo and strong vocal. Can you
imagine the exec’s at NBC talking about getting rid of their iconic three note logo? I
don’t think so. I would be surprised if you could find anyone who would not know
what those three notes meant.
Jingles and their creative use on the air can make a big difference in how
your talent sound. Yes, jingles prop up air talent.
Jingles cut through in locations where listening levels are low. Think about
being in a retail location who is playing the radio at a low level. You’re enjoying the
music, but don’t know where its coming from until that jingle comes on and then
Most important, they make you more memorable. Radio is all about recall,
especially in diary markets. If you’re a PPM market, the best way to get listeners
back day after day (daily cume) is to make the station exciting and again,
memorable. I’ve sat in dozens of focus groups over the years where listeners
actually sing the stations jingles back to us. Now that’s recall, and radio people
know, nothing is more important than recall.
Yes, there are a few different camps out there on jingles. Some think they sound
old. I disagree. I feel they add vibrancy and excitement to a radio station’s
So, think of jingles like you do potatoes. You would never order that steak without
the potatoes so how can you have a radio station without the jingles? They are not
the main meal, but they sure make the whole dining experience better.