Digging through all those old commercials to find a clip for that last post reminded me just how bloody great we Brits were at writing jingles, back when they were de riguer.  It all changed I guess, and I’m not saying it wasn’t about time, with the Levis launderette ad.

Until then brand character had been expressed perfectly by custom jingles, but as pop music was becoming more representative of consumer segments musical icons like “Heard It Through The Grapevine” went that step further.  However, looking back, maybe we lost something when we turned our backs on real jingles?  There is no doubt that there were agencies like Allen Brady and Marsh (who I think were responsible for the Wonder of Woolies campaign and jingle that I couldn’t find on-line) and masters like David Abbott, who I seem to recal had a piano in his office and these and others combined to produce a wealth of great sing-alongs that put brandnames on everyone’s lips and left the character of those brands in no doubt.  Even American artists crossed the pond to get involved in what we were doing.  Madeline Bell’s famous “High Speed Gas” was always a great.  We even contributed at Saatchis, although a little after the height of the art, with Do-It-All’s, “How Do Do-It-All Do It”

How many can you remember?  Apart from The Wonder Of Woolies, Do-It-All’s Dodgy DIY and High Speed Gas there were:

  • Murray Mints – Too Good To Hurry Mints – A real oldie!
  • This Is The Age Of The Train – Proving that all great jingles didn’t have to be up tempo
  • Burton On The Button– Great jingle but now I look back, cringing TVCs by Gerry Moira at McCormick Intermarco Farner featuring lover-boy Patrick Mower (recently of Emerdale!)
  • The Number Seven Ready to Wear Collection – Another McCormick classic
  • Beanz Meanz Heinz – I was brought up on this one!
  • Milk has Got A Lotta Bottle– Another from Abbott, Mead Vickers – I don’t know how they kept them coming!
  • R-Whites Lemonade – I haven’t a clue whose this was, sorry!
  • So Near So Spar – Another mystery.
  • There’s only one T in Ty-phoo – Neat lone from somebody!

The list goes on.  What have I missed?  There must be hundreds, so let me know.

Michael Weaver
December 4, 2008

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