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Saturday, August 10, 2013

SpinTunes #7 Round 3 Review: Dr. Lindyke

This round's challenge:
Write a product jingle for a real product that does not currently have a jingle.  This should be a real product you've seen advertised on TV or the internet.  So the judges can see what you're advertising, we will also require a link to an official product description. (your jingle must be EXACTLY 30 seconds)
On FaceBook I mentioned 3 things to remember (all of which are contained or implied in the challenge itself:
  1. The entry must be time limited. That is, it must fill a 30-second commercial.
  2. It must be for a REAL product. NOT fictional.
  3. Sell it. Make us want to buy. 
That third one is the hallmark of a jingle. It means that if you're going to be funny, you have to be funny in a way that still makes me want to buy. So parody jingles would have to be amazingly subtle and effective to score highly with me. What I'm really looking for is an honest attempt to sell this product.

Another thing is that it should be for a product, simply because that's in the challenge itself. However, I spent too much time consulting in the insurance industry (where the word "product" is applied to all manner of financial wrangling) to balk at somebody trying to sell services. So for me, products or services would be just fine. Just sell something. I'm also not too keen on enforcing the "that doesn't already have a jingle" requirement. A lot of products are long-lived,  and I'm simply not going to do the research it takes to determine whether a product ever had a jingle. (The first jingle ever was for Wheaties... who would've thunk that?) I also wasn't keen on insisting that it's a product that's still sold, as that's not stated in the challenge.  Finally, I'm also inclined to allow a second or two of leeway on either side of 30 seconds to allow for compression artifacts and leaders. So there's a lot of leeway here, and a few subject matter nooks and crannies that nobody explored. (You hear that, Oliver Parsons? I'm lookin' at you)

But you've really got to sell it.

And now, the reviews, in ranked order, best first.

RC - Chillow
RC's entry is at the top of this list for one reason above all others. My wife sat in at the listening party. After the chat and a re-listen, Lisa made me go to the product page, and then made me buy two Chillows. The definitive test of a jingle is sales, and by that criteria, this is a home run with the bases loaded. RC leverages the 'cool' name of the product to chill out to some relaxing, seductive beats. It works.

Edric Haleen - Summer (Simply Lemonade)
Edric went the extra mile here and published an actual video advert on YouTube. I wouldn't be surprised if the company issued a DMCA takedown notice. If that were to happen, Edric could count it as an Epic Win.  This is a simple "feel good" ad, of the sort you might see for Werther's Originals. It's the sort of ad meant to tie the product in to all of the other enjoyable pastimes of Summer. I think it does that. And, I think it was rather good product placement to create a seasonal ad for a seasonal product IN the proper season. Bottom line: based on this jingle, I would try Simply Lemonade.

Menage A Tune - Cialis
I placed this one here because it's cute and witty and it ties in with Eli Lilly's other advertising. With slight production tweaks, this could be exactly the sort of song they'd use in paid adverts. That's all I have to say about that.

Ominous Ride - Beano Jingle
Clever, and a perfect use of humor in advertising. It's not like we don't all know what the product is for, and let's face it, farts and gas are funny.  Ominous Ride plays this up with the instrumentation which allows them to slip in the tuba joke. The vocals in ads tend to be a little hotter than in rock music, so these vocals could stand to be ever-so-slightly higher in the mix, but that is such a picky, picky quibble. Great job!

Blimp Exhaust - K. K. Jingle
I wish we could pass five songs into the final round. This barely misses my top four, but only because one of these five has to, and I think this one isn't as closely aligned to the target audience as it could be. It doesn't have the same feel as the game.  To be fair, I don't actually have Animal Crossing New Leaf, but I sat through all of a six part walk-through by Zack Scott, and I think if I were to buy the game based on this jingle I might be disappointed (that's a compliment).

Maria Mercedes - Catan Jingle
I tried to close my eyes and imagine a television commercial for this one, with the camera panning slowly over the game board. It certainly works, but not as well for me as some of the other entries. I think it would work a little less well on the radio. Like the Beano jingle, the vocals here could stand to be hotter. Audiences can't get hooked on something they can't clearly hear.

Governing Dynamics - Kim's Etsy Store
Whoof... I did say I'd extend "products" to include "services", but this isn't really for either... it's for the establishment... unless I choose to count the store as offering the service of selling products. Well, some products were mentioned.  But Travis, all doubts are waived when I consider the fact that you took this opportunity to drum up views for your friend Kim's store. Now, that kind of chutzpah should keep anybody out of the dog pound. And it's cheerful, too! You should hang out with Kim more often! Amazingly, the jingle itself manages to ramble a little bit in thirty short seconds. I really love the closing line, though.

TurboShandy - Haggis in a Can
The vocals here are unintelligible. You've completely stepped all over them with the instrumentation.  While that happens a lot with rock and bagpipes and  such... in an advert you want the vocals clear and audible, so I read the lyrics and imagined that you had recorded it that way. So it's not the garbled vocals that lands you this far down in my list... it's the fact that you didn't include the product name. If I were to hear this, I still wouldn't know to buy Grant's Haggis. Even with my curiosity piqued by this ad, I might buy the wrong product! I could get my haggis-in-a-can from Stahly Quality Foods or The Caledonian Kitchen... and that would just suck for Grant's.

Boffo Yux Dudes - Krypton
It pains me to do this because I was one of the ones who thought the BYD would walk away with this round. This is a fine 30-second radio spot. Not so much a 'jingle', though. What music there is is incidental and in the background. The tiny part that is sung has no discernible tune. Now... to your credit, you're radio guys, and I have it on authority that "jingle" can refer to all manner of radio branding and identification; and one of the definitions in the thefreedictionary.com describes it as "a catchy, often musical advertising slogan" (emphasis added). But we asked for a 30-second jingle and you hosed yourselves by labeling the jingle content in the lyrics sheet (it comes to about 7 seconds), so I think you knew what we wanted. In a songwriting contest I have to put it last, even without a disqualification.

(not ranked)

Menage a Tune - Viagra
Well, score one for equal time. Lots of puns here, but I don't think it's nearly as effective as the Cialis jingle. The Viagra ad spends a little too much time on the problem, and 'shame' isn't something you want to bring the attention of the guy with E.D... I think you put the right entry in as your primary.

PigFarmerJr - Chicago Handcuffs
Theme 1 - Police
Really effective. I like it. It's edgy and raw, and would stand in well as an ad during an episode of C.O.P.S. I can 'see' the visuals, filmed at night under bright streetlamps and red-and-blue flashing lights.

PigFarmerJr - Chicago Handcuffs
Theme 2 - Bondage
That stuff I said about edgy and raw applies here, only in this case it's not a good thing. I'm glad you recorded the "working out on the town" lyric instead of what you wrote. The concept is sound, but the execution just isn't right. Give the drummer a 'lude,  pick whether you're going to seduce or dominate and focus on that. (BTW, my safe word is now "Chicago Handcuffs"). Themes you did not explore include "Pimping out the rear-view mirror in my Impala", "Bike Lock", and the "Stay-in-the-damned-cart parental shopping aid".

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad Lisa didn't insist you buy what my jingle was about :D lol