Jingle writers have done their job if they create an earworm—a song so catchy it sticks in your head and won’t leave. “When I tell people I work at Controlled Comfort, they immediately start singing the jingle,” says Alan Hove, who, along with co-owners Leo Costanzo and Anne Taylor, purchased Controlled Comfort in 2004. “It’s the best form of advertising we could ever hope for.”
Most people in the Omaha metro area are familiar with that animated female voice belting out, “Controlled Comfort–Keep it Under Controooooool!” Many locals probably would not guess the company’s logo (an angel), but could at least hum a few bars of the jingle. Whether a catchy tune is annoying or enjoyable is a matter of opinion, but once that musical worm has worked its way into your psyche, you are forced to remember the product, which is exactly what advertisers hope for.
When companies change ownership, one major decision is whether or not to maintain the same brand image, and the current owners of Controlled Comfort knew they wanted things to stay pretty much the same when they took ownership.
“We love our jingle!” says Taylor. “When we purchased the company, we knew we wanted to maintain the image and keep the logo and jingle. We couldn’t ask for a better form of advertising.”
Research shows that music increases recall, and simple melodies with simple lyrics stick with a consumer not only for the short term, but often the long-term. Remember, “I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner?” Even if it has been years since you have actually heard it, chances are you can still sing the entire song. Controlled Comfort’s brand may not be as huge as Oscar Meyer’s, but their jingle has stood the test of time, being sung on local radio and TV for nearly 20 years with no end in sight.
Taylor recounts how, in the mid-1990s, local musician Johnny Ray Gomez produced the jingle for a radio spot.
“The previous owners purchased a year of radio advertising and it came with a jingle,” Taylor says.
At the time they had no idea they did not retain exclusive rights to the melody.
“I just recently heard the song while I was traveling in western Nebraska. It was quite a shock!” she adds with a laugh.
Branding is all about creating an image of a business that will stick in a customer’s mind. Though most businesses rely on visual advertising to create their brand, jingles can be an additional way to increase awareness and create staying power. People often remember a catchy tune. Throw the company name and their phone number in the jingle lyrics, and customers may not even need to look up the contact information.
“If I forget the phone number, I just sing the jingle,” says one local customer.
Though original jingles declined in recent years as more large companies turn to popular songs for their advertising, a few local companies still spend at least some marketing dollars on jingles. Whether you think it annoying or catchy, a jingle may be your best advertising investment.