Commercials have come a long way from using jingles to establish brand identity to innovative use of music for the same purpose
Listen to 'ting ting ti ting...' and you think Britannia. Similarly, the Airtel and Hutch signature tunes are so distinctive that you can recall the brands immediately. For that matter the hummable Close Up jingle ‘Kya Aap Close Up Karte Hain’ puts you in mind of the toothpaste brand. Music has always been an integral part of Indian ads helping reinforce brand recall.
However, brand owners and advertisers are now extending these signature tunes and jingles to multiple mediums. As Ashish Chakravarty of Contract points out, if music used in commercials is given a life outside it, then it opens a whole new avenue to interact with.
One such initiative is to extend these signature tunes or popular jingles to ringtones.
Chakravarty says, “It helps in making the brand a part of the consumer’s daily life, which is a commendable advertising success.” He adds, “Ringtones are a paid service, and when a consumer is ready to pay for using a brand’s music track as a mobile phone ringtone, then the brand itself gets propelled.”
Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director, Rediffusion DY&R, Delhi, says, “The trend today is to create music, which has the potential to be used as a ring/sing tone. At times, there is a clear brief from the client to create a tune, which is simple, melodious and memorable so that people are impressed enough to use it as a ringtone.”
Ad professionals such as Nandu Narasimhan, regional creative director, Grey Worldwide, are of the opinion that if a tune is hummable then making it available as a ring/sing tone is a logical step. However, he also warns, “Setting out with the premise that you have to create a piece of music that can be used as a sing/ring tone would be a wrong approach. Emphasis should be on ideation and not music that can be used as a sing/ring tone.”
Narasimhan elaborates, “Music acts as a memory trigger and using a non-conventional medium definitely helps in establishing a connect with the brand.” He cites the example of Hutch that has successfully used its sing tone and has established an effective brand connect through its tune.
It’s not just the cellular service providers such as Hutch or Airtel, who are trying out this initiative. Even other brands such as ICCI Bank, Liril or Lifebuoy have adopted a similar strategy.
Priti Nair Chakravarthy, executive creative director, Lowe points out other such initiatives. She says, “Merchandising the music track of a commercial, the way Pepsi launched a music video for its ‘Oye Bubbly’ number, or playing it repeatedly as a music video, radiospot or ring/sing tone definitely helps in connecting further with the Indian consumer.”
Another instance where a brand has successfully extended its signature tune to another medium is that of Airtel. The cellular brand has tied up with the popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati. In the show the Airtel signature tune is played when a contestant opts for the ‘phone-a friend’ option.
Chakravarthy says, “Though the Airtel logo is visible on screen during the show, it is the playing of the distinctive signature tune that helps in driving the brand in the viewers’ mind. It is an excellent example of how brands can innovatively use their music track to create a lasting impression and take the brand forward.”
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