Do you whistle while you work? And does the tune get stuck in your head? Perhaps you’re running around humming a peppy tune until you realize it. The tune from Jeopardy! is stuck in your head. Okay, so the people at Subway think that what’s really stuck in your head is that Five Dollar Footlong song, which is why they have no less than 18 versions on their site – asking visitors to rate each. No word on whether you get a sandwich craving afterward.
Whether it’s Subway, Jeopardy! or something else, a memorable jingle throws its arm around your neck, following you to lunch and back, forcing you to dance or at least tap your feet and bobble your head when you think no one is watching. And so it was on the most recent episode of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, a poker player, who proclaimed herself to be lacking in musical talent, triumphed over a celebrated singer/songwriter in a jingle writing contest.
While teammates quibbled, the artiste clung to his version, a Country and Western themed song with vocal flourishes. Donald Trump loved it. But in the end, as much as they loved it, the advertising executives rejected the artistic version because it lacked the peppy, light-hearted, tap-your-toes, snap-your-fingers feel of the amateur version. The Country and Western version, they felt, would not appeal to their broad customer base. Maybe the executives were wrong and completely misjudged the customer base – it will never be known.
This is, of course the great dilemma for those involved in artistic pursuits. Be it designing graphics, writing jingles, coming up with new ideas for television talent shows – well, some being more artistic than others – either way, balancing the artistic process against commercial interests can be tough. Should you follow your muse and perhaps miss the target or stay in the safe zone and miss an opportunity to create the next iPhone? On any given day it can go either way. So jingles may not be high on the list of artistic pursuits but they do get stuck in people’s heads.