Music, Jingles and Advertising

Is the tune of ‘Amul Doodh Peeta hai India’ or ‘Washing Powder Nirma’ (still) stuck in your head? You’re not alone.

But have you ever wondered what made these “jingles” work?

Let’s take a closer look.

Firstly, we need to understand why advertisements are made.

As per the 5-M Framework given by John Maloney, there are 5 things to explain the why, what and how of advertising campaigns, namely Misson, Money, Media, Message and Measurement. You can read more here: What Are the 5 M’s of Advertising? (Definition and Examples) |

Music is a medium through which emotions and the message of the advertisement can be conveyed. It can be a very small part of the advertisement or the main essence of the advertisement itself. Hence, music is a vital part of advertising.

For instance, as Piyush Pandey talks about in his book “Pandeymonium”, this particular Fevicol ad, without music, isn’t as charming and meaningful without it. Watch it and relive your memories :).

Now, let’s get to the main part. What are the key elements of Jingles, that made the brands what they are today? Let’s dissect this through the example of the iconic “AMUL DOODH PEETA HAI INDIA” advertisement. For context, watch the ad below:

Following are its elements:

  • Catchy theme: The song itself has beautiful lyrics which can instil you with happiness. Sung by Usha Uthup, one of the best singers there can be (on a totally related note, check this song out). It loosely manifests the “Adbhut” or wondrous ras (mood) in Indian classical music, with the tone and the lyrics.
  • Timing: What makes this advertisement legendary is its timing. The way each phrase and the part of the video is shown is relevant here. For example, when the phrase “padta hai” comes, we can see children studying, and so on.
  • Relevance: Milk and Milk products are such a vital part of us Indians’ diet. However small or big the occasion is, we celebrate it with some form of milk. Hence, it makes sense to say “Aage Aage Badta hai India, Amul doodh peeta hai India”. (India moves forward, by drinking Amul Milk)
  • Length: The advertisement itself is 30-seconds long which is enough to get you hooked and make you stuck in an earworm :).

So it’s simple, the Theme, Timing, Taugtness and Thoroughness is the 4-T sauce for creating a jingle that sticks apart and makes an impact.

But wait! When was the last time you really hummed a jingle? Can’t remember? This is because advertising has evolved. Nowadays, jingles aren’t as directly promoting the product as before.

True, beautiful, melodious and meaningful songs have started to replace them.

One of my favourites is Hero Motocorp’s 2015 ad:

It feels fresh and is a song that catches your attention :).

Another example could be Nima Sandal’s advertisement. Unlike Hero Motocorp’s ad, this does include the name of the brand in the song itself. But the music is so legendary that everything overshadows and a catchy score is created. :)

I can’t wait to see how the use of music in advertising progresses in the coming years! What’s your take?



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