The Earworm

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I first heard the term “earworm” a few years ago, but the phenomenon goes back much further than that.  The works of Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain and Seinfeld are some prominent places where you can find discussion of a song that you just can’t get out of your head.

I had an earworm recently that was a little unusual.  I don’t think I’m alone in that my earworms are generally songs with lyrics, as opposed to pieces of music that don’t feature singing.  This one had no lyrics but it really stuck.

The interesting thing about this earworm was the source – it’s a music bed from a Snapple commercial (linked below).  It caught my ear because the first time I heard it, I thought the saxophone-sounding part was a keymonica (pictured above).

What device actually made the music isn’t important.  What is important is that I’ve thought about this Snapple ad for a whole lot longer than I’ve thought about anything Snapple-related in quite some time.  Why?  Because the music that’s playing sounds like it might have come from a plastic musical instrument I used to bug my parents with as a kid.

I’m not saying that everybody should load up their commercials with keymonica music or similar-to-keymonica music, but this demonstrates how little details can go a long way towards winning your audience’s attention.  It’s not enough to just deliver a message.  There should always be a little pizazz (a song, a slogan, a spokesperson, etc.) to attract the eyes and ears and the brain!

If you’re having trouble reaching your audience or holding their attention, don’t underestimate the power of adding a little extra something(s) catchy to your message.  Don’t overpower your message, but don’t be afraid to add a couple of different hooks to catch more of your audience.

You know your message is right for your audience, so do whatever you can to keep them thinking about it!

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Danny Mager