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A jingle ( English jingle [ ˈdʒɪŋgl̩ ], Bimmeln ',' Klimpern ') is an Anglicism for the short, memorable melody of a radio or television station or for a certain program on this station. These are short sequences of notes or melodies that are broadcast vocal and / or instrumental and have a high degree of recognition . Other terms are sound or audio logo .


The first jingles were initially broadcast by radio stations in the USA for advertising purposes as part of radio advertising . On December 24, 1926 ( Christmas Eve ), the radio station WCCO ( Minneapolis ) broadcast the first jingle for advertising purposes. He was from the a cappella group Wheaties Quartet sung ( Have you tried Wheaties? ) And applied for three years breakfast cereals company General Mills . The product should actually be withdrawn from the market because of its weak sales; however, the success of the jingle is said to have contributed to an enormous increase in sales. Since then, the advertising jingles have spread as a new advertising medium on US radio. Pepsi began with the slogan "Pepsi-Cola hits the spot" from around 1930, which Life magazine in 1940 classified as immortal. In 1941, this jingle was the first most widespread in the USA, and from December 1941 on it was pressed a million times on records for jukeboxes . In 1949 the jingle was played 296,426 times on 469 radio stations. James Dean's first professional appearance as a film actor was the film production of this jingle on December 13, 1950.

Increasingly, jingles were also used in sponsored programs. At the end of 1939, the NBC in San Francisco used the first sung commercial for Caswell's National Crest Coffee in the program "The Woman's Magazine of the Air" .

The first jingle as an acoustic identification of a radio station ("Station identification") ran at KLIF ( Dallas ) on November 11, 1947, when the station had just been on the air for two days, and played a major role in making the station recognizable.

According to many sources, Elly Heuss-Knapp , wife of the first Federal President of the FRG , is the real inventor. She has been developing jingles for companies such as Nivea , Erdal , Kaffee Hag , Blaupunkt and Persil since 1933 and had the idea of ​​the acoustic trademark patented a little later.

Top40 radio

In competing for listener attention, a consistent image of a radio station in the US was important because of the large number of radio stations. By 1940 there were 705 commercial radio stations in the United States. Format radio stations that broadcast the current hit parade all day long and called themselves “Top40-Radio” became popular. The first Top40 station KOWH in Omaha began in 1951 with this program format, which increased the market share of this station in Omaha from 4% to 45% at the end of 1951. At the same time, these stations developed a jingle for acoustic transmitter identification in order to solidify the listener's impression. This was also necessary because all Top40 channels played the same records and therefore did not differ in terms of program content.

While the vast majority of jingles were produced in-house, William B. Meek started the jingle production company PAMS in Dallas from 1951 , which produced jingles for radio stations. She later offered jingle packages for different purposes, in which the station name was added to the pre-produced jingles by overdubbing . This was followed by “countdown jingles”, with which the top ranks of the hit parade - especially the number one hit - were announced. WABC-FM in New York developed into what is probably the most popular Top40 station in the USA, and began using legendary jingles in this broadcast format from 1960. Top40 radio was the dominant format for over 30 years.

For most radio executives, the jingle became a far more important trading tool than its function as a separating spot for the commercials. The jingle began as a more or less shrill acoustic identification of the station name; in the 1960s it already took on the role of a news intro or background music ( music bed ). In 1961 PAMS introduced the Sonovox , a device with which voices could be alienated so that they sounded like a robot voice.

For radio DJ Tom Donahue (see KSAN ), “Top40 Radio” had turned rock & roll into a rising industry and filled the radio stations with jingles. Donahue therefore switched to KPMX ( San Francisco ) in April 1967 , no longer playing 3-minute hit singles, but rather extensive tracks from rock albums - underground radio was born.


One of the world's most famous jingles was the opening motif used by the BBC during the Second World War from the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony , which was combined with the Morse code " · · · - " for V (ictory) . In Europe, the pirate stations later took over the jingles produced by PAMS, again individually tailored to the respective station through overdubbing. The Dutch station Radio Veronica first went on air on October 15, 1959, followed in particular by Radio Caroline (March 28, 1964) and Wonderful Radio London (December 23, 1964). These pirate stations broadcast spectacular jingles that lasted minutes. In 1967 BBC Radio 1 also ordered the first jingle packages from PAMS . Radio Luxemburg first introduced its own jingles into the English-language program, but then also into the German-language program launched in April 1958.


The January 1984 to unrivaled public broadcasting in Germany was content with his acoustic transmitter identification for a long time with a simple, up to 7 tones comprehensive pause character ( interval signal ) as Jingle replacement. It was played by an instrument or generated by a so-called pause signal generator. Jingles as station IDs only appeared when public radio turned to the youth with “modern music” late and the first DJs started playing. The first was Chris Howland , a former DJ for the British troop broadcaster BFBS Germany in Cologne, who switched to WDR in October 1961 , where he moderated the radio program “Spielereien mit Schallplatten” and incorporated parts of the progressive BFBS culture into his programs.

Since the first private radio station was founded in January 1984, jingles have also become widely known in Germany.

Requirements for jingles and styles

The basic idea of ​​a jingle is its memory and recognition value with the listener. A musical cue is more memorable than a spoken one. Jingles have to be composed and produced as simply as children's songs . They should contain a hookline that increases the recognition value. The classic jingles consist of 5 choir voices (3 of them male); ten to twenty-member choirs also sang the station name in a simple, memorable sequence of tones as part of self-promotion. A catchy jingle was the trademark of every Top40 station from 1960 onwards. Most of the jingles were produced in Bill Meek's PAMS recording studio in Dallas ; his productions enjoyed monopoly status for a long time and had a largely unified sound. WABC started as a Top40 radio station in 1960 and has been using jingles ever since, also produced by PAMS Productions in Dallas from 1962 . The permanent repetition of the jingles used is based on Sigmund Freud's theory of the compulsion to repeat , according to which constant repetition can trigger a learning effect even in children. Their simple shape makes them catchy and can lead some jingles to catchy tunes. For Fong-Torres, jingles are even more than played records or DJs, which represent the most important element of a broadcasting strategy with regard to the memory effect in favor of a certain radio station. The combination of text and melody turned out to be the most memorable form of a claim . The spokesman for the auditory packaging is as station voice called. The audio logo or audio-CI (for C orporate I Dentity ) may also consist of noise or a mixture of compositional tones and noises are made (eg. As "Audi", "BMW"). In order to link the logo and brand, it is important that the audio logo is used as frequently and consistently as possible in all media relating to the brand, such as TV, radio, internet, telephone queues or computer system sounds. Under these conditions, jingles take on the conditioning of the content . Jingles and other noises can be protected as sound marks .

In radio, the following technical terms distinguish between different types of jingles. However, there is no standardized terminology:

  • Backtimer : Instrumental recording that bridges the gap between a music title and an element fixed in time, e.g. B. News, fills
  • Bumper / Opener : usually a short jingle without a music bed to announce / open a program or section, e.g. B. News, traffic, weather
  • Claim : contains the station name, often the frequency or a slogan, in spoken or sung form
  • Closer / Stinger : Jingle to end moderations or music beds
  • Countdown jingle: is mostly used in hit parades and counts the highest rankings backwards to the number one hit
  • Donut : music bed of a certain length, at the beginning and end of which there is a sung or spoken identifier
  • Drop-In : a spoken text that is used during a piece of music, also as a shout (called by a choir) or whisper (whispered)
  • Funjingle : a jingle with a punchline or a funny sound effect
  • Hook / Hookline : the place in a song where you can immediately recognize it
  • Hookpromo / Hookcollage / Music Positioning : Compilation of several hooklines for the sender of characteristic music titles
  • Music bed / Modbed : instrumental, often looped underlay music for spoken text
  • Promo : Jingle for the station's own advertising, e.g. B. is played in competitions or the announcement of concerts
  • Ramp : music bed followed by a sung or spoken identifier after a specified length
  • Shotgun : short, concise jingle
  • Show opener : opens a program on the hour or a specific program, e.g. B. Chart show
  • Service jingle : ARI signal, e.g. B. Beep for traffic reports or news jingle
  • Tag : sung or spoken identifier followed by a music bed of a certain length
  • Trailer : Similar to Promo, but more related to the program's own programs
  • Transition : connecting element for music titles of different tempos, intensities or genres for smooth transitions between music titles
  • Tush : In entertainment shows, well-known music quotes are often played after a punch line by the moderator or by guests as a flourish ; the flourish can also serve as a signal to the (paid) audience to start with applause.


Jingles that have become known in German-speaking countries are in the field of advertising, for example “Every time a good time” or “Nothing goes over bear brand ...”. B. the different title melodies (fanfare) of the Tagesschau or the tone sequence (" Solang der alten Peter ") of the Bavarian radio to the messages of the traffic radio .

As the level of awareness increases, the texts are occasionally left out, since one can assume that the text is already burned into the mind and is "sung" by the advertising target group themselves. Examples would be: "When it comes to money ..." or "You can build on these stones".

Other well-known promotional melodies:

  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Audi
  • "My source" ( Quelle GmbH )
  • Each LBS commercial is accompanied by an animation and the characteristic sound sequence of three tones at the end.
  • Every commercial that mentions an Intel processor is accompanied by a characteristic sequence of five tones.

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Zager: Writing Music For Television and Radio Commercials , 2008, p. 145.
  2. Markus Winterhagen: Audio Branding - Brand Management with Music and Sound , 2005, p. 48
  3. ^ A b Strange People Make Strange Songs to Market Their Wares on the Air , Life-Magazine of October 7, 1940, p. 78 f.
  4. ^ Ann McWilliams, David Mayo: Sold in Sixty Seconds , 2006, p. 11.
  5. ^ Ann McWilliams, David Mayo: Sold in Sixty Seconds , 2006, p. 33.
  6. If James Dean Were Still Alive , Indianapolis Monthly, June 2005, p. 121.
  7. Timothy D. Taylor: The Sounds of Capitalism , 2012, p. 80.
  8. Ben Fong-Torres: The Hits Just Keep on Coming , 2001, pp. 85 ff.
  9. Ronald Garay: Gordon McLendon: The Maverick of Radio , 1992, p. 23.
  10. Katja Iken: The Films of the First Lady. einestages.spiegel.de of February 7, 2010, accessed on December 18, 2013
  11. ^ Gabriel Rossman: Climbing the Charts , 2012, p. 73.
  12. ^ David T. MacFarland: Future Radio Programming Strategies , 1997, p. 67.
  13. PAMS: Custom Jingle Maker , Billboard Magazine June 20, 1964, p. 14.
  14. Ben Fong-Torres: The Hits Just Keep on Coming , 2001, p. 208
  15. Tag Schatz , Der Spiegel 37/1971 of September 6, 1971, p. 144 ff.
  16. ^ Music of Jingle Jungle Gives Dallas its National ID , Billboard Magazine, July 20, 1985.
  17. Ben Fong-Torres: The Hits Just Keep on Coming , 2001, p. 84
  18. Dennis Krugmann: Integration of acoustic stimuli in identity-based brand management , June 2007, p. 24 (PDF; 394 kB)
  19. ^ Online dictionary of the radio world
  20. Website for the book Radio-Journalismus with further information