Jingles are simply advertisements. Simple songs about a product. This is one area that a musician will shy away from - until they find out how much money they can make writing jingles. I can hear someone out there right now yelling "Sell out!" If you want to make money with music then writing radio station jingles, tv commercial jingles, and other forms of advertising jingles are a gem. You don't even have to tell your friends. You can be a closet jingle writer!
The perfect place to start is in your local advertising jingle market - typically radio station jingles (radio advertising) or tv commercial jingles (music for tv advertising). You're looking for a piece of the small business advertising dollar in your home town. It's a natural seeing as how you already play or sing music, and advertising jingles are just really simple, catchy songs. They are also really expensive to purchase. Lucky you.
I remember the first jingle I wrote. I had the advantage of being in a small market. I was working with a former car salesman. We walked into a brand new flower shop. I'm not even sure they had a sign yet, but it was a really nice store and it was near valentines day, the prime time for flower stores. We obviously picked them on purpose. We didn't even have a demo. "We want to write you a jingle and if you like it you can pay us for it." They went for it! First time out of the gate.
So here we are, a guy who plays drums and a guitar player, both of the 'pop metal' variety, trying to write a jingle while sitting on a bed with a keyboard workstation - which neither of us played beyond chording. We came up with a couple corny lines and a melody and it wrote itself. I practically had tears in my eyes - not because it was sappy but because it was the easiest $1000 I ever made! We demoed it with the singer, took it to the store owners to listen to and they loved it.
Of course writing jingles, just like writing pop songs, has it's own set of rules. Like a Hollywood producer, you'll be creating several mixes. In this case rather than "lead vox +1dB" you'll be creating mixes in various lengths such as 10, 30, and 60 second. You'll also want to consider sections for looping so they can make edits themselves too. This is particularly useful for radio station jingles. Thankfully today's digital workstations make this much easier than the old cut-and-splice razor and tape.
You'll want mixes with names such as "full sing," "open-close," "tag", and the ever popular "instrumental." This is so the the advertiser can write copy anytime they want and have the announcer speak over it. They'll use the different lengths under different situations. Remember, their jingle is like their logo and they want it heard, remembered, and ultimately they want families singing it while traveling in the car to Yellowstone Park on vacation. A good jingle will become a piece of Americana. It will also become part of your resume, so do your homework! If you think the jingle you just sold is anything less than your best work then you'll hate yourself when it is on every radio and tv station. Learn your craft by studying current local jingles and see how you can do better. Buy some books and do some reading. Practice by writing jingles for ficticious businesses. Once you get work then rent time in a pro studio and get the best musicians you can if you need to. Otherwise, one good musician, singer and a home studio will do the job nicely. The bottom line is that this is just like songwriting - it's permanent. Do your best.
If you live in a small market like I did when I started you'll be able to clean up with jingle writing. Your only competition will likely be the local radio station and they don't write jingles, they just use production music libraries which means no lyrics, no melody, no hook and nothing to remember. (See production music libraries at our site.) In this market you can guarantee that there has been the odd traveling salesman around trying to swing people to buy with them but local people like to stay local. Get out there write a jingle for a friends business, get it on the air and get to work. You'll be glad you did because there is a fantastic amount of money to be made in writing advertising jingles. And of course, this is all about how to make money with music.
If you wish to learn more about jingle writing and the very specifics of the business, pick up "" by . Fisher delves into compositions for movies, TV, video, radio and other multimedia formats and shows you exactly how to write and sell your original soundtrack music and jingles.