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Jingle Your Way to Success?
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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From a PR standpoint, can a company jingle its way to success? According to an article that originally appeared on Ragan’s PR Daily website, “What seems like a pretty simple request, asking musicians to record themselves performing an original jingle, has turned into a PR coup for car insurance company SafeAuto. ‘The exciting aspect of this is that it's combining traditional broadcast, online, and every avenue of marketing into one big campaign,’ says Jason Parks, emerging media and video specialist for the company.”

Even more impressive, the article stated, Safe Auto’s outside-the-box PR campaign, which began locally in the Columbus, Ohio area and in the state of Ohio itself, has “netted the company tons of attention on local newscasts, social media sites, and, perhaps most important, search engines.“ And we all know how important search engine rankings can be to a company’s marketing and public relations campaigns.

The campaign itself is very simple. Begun five years ago in Ohio, the genius of the entire effort is to have invite “anyone with music in their heart to participate,” says the article by Matt Wilson in PR Daily. Over the yeas, hundreds of musicians have either auditioned at SafeAuto-sponsored events around the county or submitted video on their own.

This year, says Parks, the campaign has been engineered to maximize the social media component. “For example, each submitted video has its own, individual page so musicians can share theirs on Facebook or Twitter. The URLs for those pages aren't random numbers and letters, either. They're just dothejingle.com, a slash, and the band or musician's name, graphic designer Chris Berry points out.”

Apparently this retooling of the campaign to have active social media content has resulted in an impressive uptick in submissions, comments, and the like. According to the article, Parks says, "We had people in Idaho, where we don't even offer insurance, submitting videos."

How the campaign works is deceptively simple. “SafeAuto provides musicians who enter the contest a PR kit that enables them to get their names and faces out into the local media in their hometowns. Musicians, particularly those at the top of the voting, ratchet up tweet campaigns among their networks. Those tweets, if they include the #DotheJingle hashtag, are prominently featured on the contest site's homepage,” says the article in PR Daily.

SafeAuto’s Senior Developer Alan Butler noted, "We're creating a mechanism not just for us to be successful, but for these musicians. People get on here because they want to be discovered."

According to the article in PR Daily, “The major victory of the contest is how much it has boosted SafeAuto's profile in search engines. Local news stories about the company and entrants have made it a major player in some cities, Butler says. ‘We now rank above competitors," he says. ‘We could pay professionals to do the kind of thing we're doing here and not get anywhere near the same SEO results.’”

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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