Creativity has been the definitive issue in advertising, and ways and means have been devised to make advertising effective. One of the prominent, integral and powerful instruments of successful advertising has been jingles. If recalled, some of the old jingles that resound even today are those of Bajaj Lights, Nirma, Cadbury’s, Titan and many others. As jingles become a trend, another recent observation is the incorporation of music tracks in TVCs.
Differentiating the aspects of a jingle and a music track in a TVC, most creative players agree that traditionally, the definition of jingle has been a conventional song with lyrics, while the use of music track is largely restricted to instrumentals. A jingle is basically the strategy in rhyme; while music tracks works like those from feature films enhance the mood that the TVC attempts to create, to convey messages that visuals alone cannot. exchange4media speaks to some of the creative directors on the role and trends of jingles and music tracks in advertising. The speakers also have given their opinions on whether jingles or music tracks brought character to Indian advertising on international platforms.
According to Bobby Pawar, NCD, Mudra, “Jingles repeat the benefit and brand name till it is temporarily tattooed on your brain. Music is a huge part of our culture and hence it is only fitting that it should be a major part of our advertising.” On questioning whether a brilliant music track could save a mediocre creative, Pawar was of the opinion that it might just make the creative more likeable, and a little more memorable. But in the end, it was like painting a pig – everyone would still know that it is pork on legs. He explained, “There are no formulae and there is no point in looking for a creative to be ‘genius’, as inspiration has no fixed address.”
On the other hand, Sumanto Chattopadhyay, ECD-South Asia, O&M, said that no matter how globalised an Indian became, they seemed to have a soul connection with their desi-roots, with regards to food and music. So it would seem that Indian jingles and music tracks were just the right Indian touch to international ad platforms. Differentiating the concept of a jingle and music tracks, Chattopadhyay explained, “A jingle mentions the brand name, whereas a song doesn’t. That is the distinction. So ‘Kya aap Close-up karte hain?’ is a jingle, while ‘You and I, in this beautiful world’ and ‘Kuch khas hai hum sabhi mein’ are songs. Music makes a direct emotional connect, bypassing critical faculties. So it is a powerful tool for ad makers. If you look at Hindi movies, every hit film also has hit music. The two go hand in hand. So for an ad too, good music can help make it a hit. In fact, an average ad can become a good ad, sometimes just by adding a great track to it.”
Chattopadhyay added that people were experimenting a lot with music, and that there was a cross fertilisation between Bollywood music directors, pop musicians and ad music composers. A marriage of Western and Indian music was being observed today, with influences from various kinds of world music also shaping advertising tracks. He heralded fusion to be the name of the game.
On the trends, Agnello Dias, NCD, JWT, said, “It is definitely getting into being more experimental. The objective is always to use the jingle to drive home one more avenue of engaging, rather than merely complementing what one sees on screen.” However, Dias denied that Indian jingles and music tracks brought character to Indian advertising on international platforms. He said, “All cultures have music and all music represents that specific culture. It is not necessary that the music is Indian or foreign-based. AR Rehman and RD Burman’s music are classic examples of this. Nomenclatures and classifications are created for and by theoreticians to make their job simpler.”
According to Dias, lyrics or a jingle could be used to complete or idiot-proof the communication. They can also serve to sum up or sandwich the communication, thus giving the creative edge. He explained, “They can start from something as broad-based as conveying a mood or a personality, to something as finite as a specific word or piece of the communication jigsaw. The possibilities are endless.”
Contradicting on the view of whether Indian jingles and music tracks brought character to Indian advertising on international platforms, Hanoz Mogrelia, Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi, commented, “There is an old saying in advertising, ‘When you have nothing new to say, sing it’. The good old Nirma jingle is a great example of this. More than half of the ‘jingle-based’ ads fall in that category. Then there are ads where the jingles support a great ad idea and also embellish the ad, like the Happydent film. There are also jingles that become the ad idea itself, like the ‘Kya aap Close-up karte hain?’, thus taking Indian advertising on international platform.”
On how a music track could save a mediocre creative, Mogrelia explained, “Brilliant tracks have been saving mediocre creatives since the days of Louis Banks & Co. So much of what we see on TV is still way below mediocre, but it just happens to be dressed up with a good jingle. However, there is no sure-shot formula. You can never predict how great jingles become great. But I can tell you that mediocre jingles become very popular if you back them up with a Rs 10 crore media plan.”
According to the spokesperson of Network Advertising, “Music from the international scenario including hip-hop, tribal, underground, jazz, blues, are increasingly becoming mainstream. This surely is going to have a telling influence on ad music compositions too. Back home, we have a rich cultural repertoire – classical, Sufi, folk. This too can be anticipated as trends. The best way to go global is to go local. Do what you’re best at. It not only breaks the international clutter, but also brings our rich heritage to the world platform.”
The spokesperson added, “All said and done, there aren’t any formulae for any success. Come to think of it, only eight per cent of Hindi movies in India recover their money. In that light, definitely TVCs have a better hit rate. So in the good spirit of the season, let it jingle all the way.”