How the algorithm killed the jingle

You don't need to remember brands if brands remember you

Jingles.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

With the assuredness of a cultish chant and the unity of a national anthem, many of us wouldn't hesitate before singing the remainder of phrases like "Like a good neighbor…," "Ace is the place…," "1-8-7-7-Kars…," and so on. You can hear them in your head now, can't you? The jingle: capitalistic nursery rhymes played for us over and over again during television commercial breaks and radio spots.

The jingle was once a marvel of advertising ingenuity — a way to cement a brand into the minds of every unwitting watcher or listener in the country, relevant or not. Since the success of the radio broadcasting of a jingle for Wheaties in 1926, these short pithy tunes have been a favorite tool of advertisers to get products ingrained into the psyche of the consumer. We might not be able to remember how many members of Congress there are, but we do know the phone number to the Empire carpet company.

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