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Man, those free credit report jingles can be pretty annoying. But the thing is -- and we hate to admit this -- they're also kind of catchy. Though classic-rock hits have nudged out original jingles as the primary musical vehicle for selling stuff, the very best advertising songs are synonymous with their products -- and have become burned into our brains. Here are our favorite commercial tunes throughout the years:
Subway, 'Five-Dollar Footlong'
No doubt what the strategy was here: Sing the words "five" and "footlong" so many times, you won't dare go to Subway for a puny 6-inch sandwich. Combine it with a catchy, night-time-feeling '80s melody and you've got an earworm -- a song that sticks in your head. Composer Jimmy Harned has said it took four hours to write, record and mix.
Meow Mix, 'Meow, Meow, Meow Meow'
Nobody could forget the lyrics to this jingle, sang by a cat named -- appropriately enough -- Mr. Meow: "Meow meow meow meow/meow meow meow meow/meow meow meow meow/meow meow meow meow." And believe it or not, full-fledged human adults sang along. Subtitles gave us the translation: "I want turkey/Salmon and chicken/Oceanfish flavors/Keep me lickin'."
Band-Aid, 'I Am Stuck on Band-Aid'
Before he gave us 'Mandy,' 'Copacabana' and other songs your grandmother couldn't get enough of, Barry Manilow wrote commercial jingles, including 'Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There' and this one -- memorably sung by kids with boo-boos and owies. Always a good sport, over the years Manilow has sung this during his concerts.
Budweiser, 'Here Comes the King'
As soon as you hear this jingle, your brain conjures images of those Clydesdales kicking up snow in super slo-mo. Through the years, the song has been played at St. Louis Cardinals baseball games and by bands from Georgia Tech and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Doublemint Gum, 'Double Your Pleasure'
More than anything, this long-lasting commercial jingle made us think about twin hotties. ("Double your pleasure/Double your fun," indeed!) More recently, Chris Brown was commissioned by Wrigley to write an updated version. He liked his jingle so much, he added lyrics and recorded a full song, 'Forever,' which became a Top 10 hit.
McDonald's, 'You Deserve a Break Today'
Through the years, Mickey D's has led the way in commercial jingles. They gave us 'We Do It All for You,' 'Good Times, Great Taste' (for a time sung by a young moonlighting teacher named Sheryl Crow) and that song that goes, "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce" and, ah -- however the rest of it went. But this is the most classic, which emphasized not so much the Big Macs but how clean McDonald's was.
Kit Kat, 'Gimme a Break'
On his Playlist From Hell, University of Cincinnati professor James Kellaris cites his 10 worst earworms, which includes 'YMCA,' 'Who Let the Dogs Out' and this jingle written by a classical violinist. Evil or not, we all loved to sing "break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar" just as much as we loved to go woof -- woof, woof, woof.
Dr Pepper, 'Be a Pepper'
Judging by the commercials, you'd think that drinking Dr Pepper made you spontaneously dance and sing. It doesn't. But the commercial made us belt out, 'I'm a PepperHe's a Pepper/She's a Pepper!' This song was co-written by Randy Newman and Jake Holmes, who is credited for composing both 'Dazed and Confused' and the US Army jingle 'Be All That You Can Be.'
Oscar Mayer, 'The Wiener Song'
Who would have thought that high school bands and great symphonies everywhere would play a song that declares, 'Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener?' But, hey -- stranger things, right? Richard Trentlage recently donated the banjo uke he used to write this jingle to the Wisconsin Historical Museum. (Enter wiener jokes here.)
Coca-Cola, 'I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke'
This jingle -- aided by a commercial with people gathering on a hill -- was so popular, viewers actually called radio stations to request it. Later, an altered, full-length version ('I'd Like To Teach the World to Sing') was recorded by the New Seekers, the group that sang on the commercial, as well as the Hillside Singers, a studio group created by the producers. Both acts hit the charts with a song about peace . . . and fizzy sugar water.