Top Ten Jingle

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The polar opposite of the Repurposed Pop Song—sometimes an original Jingle can prove to be so popular that it gets rewritten as a full-length song, is released as a recording and becomes wildly successful completely on its own. Sometimes its origin as a jingle is completely lost or forgotten—but when it's not, the song becomes the Holy Grail of advertising: an ad that the customer pays to hear.

Not to be confused with a Top Ten List.

Examples of Top Ten Jingle include:
  • Paul Williams wrote the original version of "We've Only Just Begun" as a Jingle for Crocker National Bank in California (which no longer exists; it was eaten by another bank, which was subsequently eaten by Wells Fargo), but it became a hit for the Carpenters. (Originally, Richard Carpenter asked Paul Williams if a full version of the song existed; Williams said it did, then promptly hung up the phone and wrote it.)
  • "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" was originally a Coca-Cola jingle, but was released as a single recorded by "The Hillside Singers". In the 80s Coke repeated the trick with Robin Beck's "First Time".
    • A version of "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" by the New Seekers reached #1 in the UK singles chart on the back of the commercial; "First Time" also made the UK #1.
  • Counterexample: Contrary to popular belief, Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" was not written as an ad for the film, though Kodak did later use it in its advertising. Kodak did, however, have a real example with Paul Anka's "Times of Your Life".
    • More specifically, the song that was released as "Kodachrome" was developed as "Going Home"; Simon figured that the result was "too conventional", and came up with "Kodachrome", which sounded similar and was rather more unconventional.
      • Kodak didn't want to allow Simon to release the song as written. Eventually they agreed, but only if it was accompanied by a disclaimer that "Kodachrome" was a registered trademark of Kodak. As Simon explained, "They were afraid the term would become generic in the way Frigidaire became a generic term for refrigerator." How could Kodak ignore the song's potential benefits? But in 1973, Simon's image was tainted by the counterculture: in the eyes of the Silent Majority, anyway.
  • Smashmouth's "Come On" was written for a Gap commercial, but eventually extended and put on their second album. (Related, but not the same: the band attempted to sell the song "All-Star" from the same album for use in commercials, but were turned down. They made up for this by jamming the song into every other movie released between 1999 and 2002 the end of time)
  • Parodied in the movie Demolition Man, where in the future the only songs that are wholesome enough to even be played on the radio are 1960's commercial jingles.
    • This variant was previously used in "Emancipation", a 1974 scifi story by Thomas M. Disch.
  • Kraftwerk created a jingle for the German fair Expo 2000. They later made a full-length version, most likely because of the embarrassment being paid $190,000 for a 4-second song brought them.
  • If TV theme songs count as jingles, then "I'll be There For You", the Friends theme, certainly qualifies. When the show first came out, you couldn't escape that song on the radio.
    • Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" was originally the Theme Tune for American broadcasts of the British series Danger Man, which aired in the U.S. under the alternate title Secret Agent. Originally, the song consisted of a single verse ("There's a man who leads a life of danger...") and chorus ("...they've given you a number/And taken away your name."); after the song proved surprisingly popular and fans began asking where they could buy the single, a longer version with two more verses was recorded and released.
    • Also, the theme song to The Greatest American Hero, "Believe It or Not", was released as a single back in 1981, reaching #2 on the Billboard charts. It was only slightly modified from its TV version, adding a bridge and chorus to the length of the song.
  • The peppy jingle from a McDonald's ad was given lyrics, named "Music to Watch Girls By", and made into a hit by Andy Williams. About thirty years later, the Williams version of the song become a Repurposed Pop Song when a British car advert used it, making the song a hit again (in fact, it became Andy William's biggest hit in the UK).
  • Taken to its logical extreme with the song Dánarfregnir og Jarðarfarir (e. News of Death and Funerals), where the Icelandic national radio (RÚV)'s signature jingle before announcing the news of recently deceased people is remixed into an epic prog rock song that retains the morbid message while becoming so much more. Linky
    • Which incidentally ruined the original purpose. It had been played before the obituaries on RÚV for decades, but after Sigur Rós redid it, RÚV abandoned the tune. To many this reworking of the tune was distasteful and it awoke resentment towards Sigur Rós.
  • Happened in the 1940s with the Chiquita Banana song.
  • Inverted by The Who on the album The Who Sell Out, which contains several original songs written as faux-jingles for Heinz Baked Beans, Jaguar automobiles, and other popular brands of the time.
  • Come Together was originally the slogan for a politician's campaign. John Lennon liked it and tried to make it a jingle, but it was only after he let go of the political affiliation that he managed to write the song we all know and love. The politician in question was Timothy Leary, who was running for Governor of California against Ronald Reagan, with the slogan "Come together, join the party", hence the title of the song. Timothy Leary had to stop his campaign after he was arrested for possession of marijuana.
  • Older Than Radio: "Funiculi, Funicula". Often mistaken for either an Italian folk song or a Verdi aria, it was originally written in 1880 as a jingle for a tourist railway up Mt. Vesuvius! (The title roughly translates as "Riding Down, Riding Up".)
    • It has actually come full circle, often used in ads for Italian restaurants and the like.
    • Not to mention being given new lyrics in an ad for the board game "Grape Escape".
  • Australians would know a few examples. For example, the Mojo Jingle "C'mon Aussie C'mon" made it to #2 on the ARIA charts.
  • The T-Bones had a #3 instrumental hit in 1966 with "No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)", whose melody came from an Alka-Seltzer jingle.
  • Scatman John's "Su Su Su Super Kirei" and "Pripri Scat" were originally written for Japanese hair care products and pudding respectively.