Catchiest commercial jingles of all time

By Todd Pheifer, Contributing writer
Headline Goes Here iStock / DeshaCAM

You probably don't remember all the words to your school fight song. Chances are you never quite mastered "Auld Lang Syne." And you're still puzzling over why Jimi Hendrix needed to be excused to go kiss some guy.

So why then is that song from that credit report website commercial -- you know the one -- firmly lodged inside your head?

Because a well-constructed jingle can put even the most incessant top-40 radio hit to shame when it comes to catchiness.

Over the years, advertisers have turned to everything from celebrity endorsements and animals to sex and slogans to woo customers, but nothing works quite like a jingle. If you doubt it, ask yourself how many dollars a foot-long Subway sandwich costs ... and try not to sing the answer.

While there have been many great musical advertising pitches, none quite measure up to these five most memorable commercial jingles ...

No. 5: McDonald's Big Mac

McDonald's has had many memorable jingles over the years and it is clear that they stick in people's heads. This jingle may not be as current, but plenty of people know that "Two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions on a sesame-seed bun" is a Big Mac.

In the documentary film "Super Size Me," creator Morgan Spurlock even found groups of American who could sing this particular jingle but had some difficulty getting through the words of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Golden Arches has now moved on to "I'm loving it" as its new slogan and jingle, but the Big Mac song remains quite memorable.

The question is, do people remember a hamburger or a hot dog song better?

No. 4: Oscar Mayer hot dogs/bologna

Oscar Mayer actually had two memorable jingles that revolved around their consumer meat products.

The first expresses the singer's desire to be an Oscar Mayer wiener because this will lead everyone to love the person. Perhaps the song is a bit self-serving and somewhat strange in retrospect. However, this makes it no less memorable to those many people who probably still sing the words today.

In addition, consumers learned from the same company that O-S-C-A-R and M-A-Y-E-R were the first and the last name of its B-O-L-O-G-N-A. Oscar Mayer may have more competition in their sector of today's marketplace, but no other packaged meat company has the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which still tours around the country.

Despite the memorable nature of the Oscar Mayer commercials, they didn't feature singing cats ...

No. 3: Meow Mix's singing cats

The Meow Mix commercial, which originally aired when Purina distributed the brand, features crooning cats that sing the same line over and over again.

The writer of the jingle, Shelley Palmer, is in many ways a genius because the song is essentially compromised of the word "meow" sung 16 times in a row during the verse. Of course, the commercial also featured subtitles, which translated the various flavors that the cats wanted in their meal.

Even if you're a dog person who can't stand cats, this commercial just had to hit the spot. "I want chicken. I want liver. Meow Mix, Meow Mix, please deliver!" Now, just try to avoid walking around all day meowing to yourself.

Despite the memorable jingle from Meow Mix, there was another commercial jingle that not only sold a product, but also suggested doing it through a unification of the whole world ...

No. 2: Coca-Cola teaches the world to sing

Coca-Cola has used a variety of slogans and commercials over the years, but their "Hilltop" commercial in 1971 introduced the world to a song.

The song was "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)." It was a song of hope, peace and unity and the ad featured a happy multi-ethnic cast who apparently were setting their differences aside so that they could enjoy a Coke together.

Who knew a carbonated beverage could lead to world peace? Apparently all people need to do is "buy the world a Coke and keep it company." The jingle was so popular that it was recorded into a studio song and performed by The Seekers and The Hillside Singers.

When people are grown up, they can make decisions on these jingles and buy products. However, who wants to grow up?

No. 1: Toys R Us Kids

Not only was Toys R Us touting the wonder of their products, but they were also telling kids that it was just fine if they stayed young forever so that they could keep enjoying being a "Toys R Us kid."

In other words, the company was shooting for brand loyalty pretty early on. The company was not exactly conveying that children should run off to Neverland with Peter Pan, but the jingle certainly suggested that staying young forever was a good way to live life.

Toys R Us also combined the song with imagery of their giant store so that kids could imagine walking through the toy aisles and having access to the "biggest toy store there is" featuring "a million toys that I can play with."

The jingle was apparently memorable enough as Toys R Us remains one of the most popular toy stores today.

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