“The Best Part of Waking Up”
“Like a Good Neighbor”
“I’m Lovin It”
“They’re Magically Delicious”
“If We Ever Broke Up”
“What Was I Made For?”
Classic jingles are etched in our minds. They are so easy to recall we can hear the tunes in our head. The first three may come without hesitation, but what about the last two? For those familiar with the increasingly popular app, TikTok, the tunes come just as easily as any other jingle.
The concept of using a catchy tune to captivate an audience is not new. Jingles have been around for decades. In traditional advertising, jingles often accompany catchy slogans, forming memorable combinations that reinforce brand identity.
And it’s a good tactic.
Just like jingles, songs on TikTok can embed a brand, product, or trend in our minds with repetition and rhythm, which fosters recall. When a song is associated with a specific trend, it becomes an integral part of the branding experience.
THE POWER OF MUSIC
Music has always been an integral part of culture. It evokes emotion, memory, connection, and has the power to transcend language and cultural boundaries to resonate with all people. It’s so universally human that “Suck Song Syndrome” has been added to the NIH’s National Library of Medicine.
Jingles and TikTok trending sounds are the marketing world’s version of an earworm. Earworms are recurring tunes that involuntarily pop up and stick in your mind, which up to 98% of the Western population has experienced according to an article published by the British Journal of General Medicine.
TikTok, recognizing the potential of earworms and integrated short audio clips into its platform from the start, enabling users to pair their content with trending songs. By doing so, they enhance user creativity while ensuring songs become rooted in the collective TikTok community and individual user’s brains.
A recent article published by Psychology Today notes music can affect our “cognitive functioning including learning, memory, and attention/concentration.” Listening to music activates several regions of the brain and helps us process information. And because TikTok steers toward short-form repetitive videos, users are more likely to participate in the platform’s continuous loop of content.
THE IMPACT OF USER-GENERATED CONTENT
One of the key drivers behind TikTok’s popularity and the success of its infamous “sticky songs” is the platform’s focus on user-generated content. “Sticky songs” refer to music that gains popularity rapidly and dominates a platform for days, weeks, or sometimes even months depending on the amount of user engagement. Unlike traditional advertising, where companies directly promote their products or services, TikTok relies heavily on its users to create and share content organically. Using this approach shifts the tone of advertising efforts to be more genuine and reliable. Users are more likely to participate in trends, challenges, and dances associated with sticky songs, making the content more engaging and shareable.
HARNESSING STICKY SONGS
Taking advantage of sticky songs serves as a significant catalyst to the rise of TikTok. Brands, businesses, and content creators have recognized the potential of aligning their products, services, and general content with popular TikTok sounds to boost awareness and recognition. By using trending music in content, users can tap into the existing hype and user engagement surrounding the music. Doing so allows the creator to get in front of a larger audience and hopefully, effectively promote the content they’ve created.
THE VIRAL LOOP
TikTok’s algorithm also plays a crucial role in the success of sicky songs and the content associated with said songs. The platform’s content recommendation system pushes specific content to specific users based on their viewing history. When a song goes viral on TikTok, content associated with the song tends to reach a wider audience. As more users create content with the trending sound, it snowballs and continues to amplify the song’s popularity, making it super sticky in the users’ minds.
THE LONGEVITY OF STICKY SONGS
Some might argue the popularity of TikTok’s sticky songs are fleeting, which is valid when reflecting on other viral trends. However, the genius of these songs lies in their longevity. While individual trends come and go, the association between songs and a specific brand or image remains and can be just as visceral when it pops back into your head years later.
BEYOND THE SCREEN
The impact of sticky songs isn’t limited to the digital realm. TikTok’s influence on pop culture has led to the featuring of these songs on radio stations, playlists and at live events. Just like classic jingles that were hummed by people in their daily lives, TikTok’s sticky songs have become a part of our contemporary culture, blurring the lines between the online and offline experience.
Some TikTok users may be familiar with artists like Emilie Mosseri and his tear jerking song, “Jacob and the Stone” typically paired with heart wrenching quotes. Or Andy Morris’s song “Golden Hour” that picked up traction on the app after he posted a video of him playing the song to his childhood piano teacher. Others may be more familiar with dances that picked up on the platform, a recent one being the Pine Grove Shuffle played to the band’s song “Need 2.” These artists started out small and as a result of TikTok, they have gained immense popularity that otherwise would have been unattainable in such a short period of time.
THE EVOLUTION OF ADVERTISING
TikTok’s use of music in marketing is a testament to the evolving nature of advertising and invites a new era of marketing to captivate audiences and create lasting impressions. As our society moves toward a new playing field in the advertising world, businesses and content creators are posed a valuable lesson: adapt and embrace what works. By leveraging the psychology of music and its ability to resonate with wide audiences, brands and content creators can continue to build authentic connections with their viewers. And who doesn’t love genuine connection?!
If you’re ready to connect on ways to get your business to stick in the public’s mind contact us.