Examples of video ads with stand-alone audio.

Audio is perhaps the most important part of an ad. Without it, many ads would lose their impact. Here are three examples of video ads with good audio that can stand on its own:

This is an old commercial for the McDonald’s Bic Mac burger.  Before this commercial came out, the jingle already existed that described the burger’s ingredients: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun.  This later ad is effective because it plays on how the jingle kind of captured America and how everyone knew at least a part of it.  The audio stands alone because each person has a very distinct voice; so one can tell that different people are all trying their hand at singing the jingle correctly.  Also, the jingle is sung in its entirety twice, a jingle that puts a picture (and maybe even a taste) in your head by the end of the spot.

This is a 1977 commercial for Tootsie Rolls. There are not many commercials like this anymore, ones where the entire ad is backed up by a 30-second jingle. The only ones that come to mind are for freecreditreport.com and Mentos. Jingle commercials are particularly effective when done well I think because the 30-seconds of lyrics are easy to remember and a catchy tune is fun to sing again. It actually promotes word-of-mouth advertising because a lot of people are just drawn to singing the songs. This Tootsie Roll commercial is effective even more than 30 years after it debuted. It gets its staying power by bringing people like myself back to their childhood when they hear it. It stands alone as audio because the message is clear: Tootsie Rolls are so good, when you eat one it becomes your whole world.

This is a commercial for the film, “The Dark Knight.” The audio for this trailer is effective for a number of reasons. First, it has selections from among the best lines in the film from The Joker, a character who was getting a lot of pre-film buzz because of Heath Ledger’s performance. The sound effects are over-the-top, making it fairly easy to not necessarily know exactly what they are, but at least know that they are action-movie sounds. The voice-over is good because it tells you about when the movie is coming out. It also tells the tagline of the movie: “Out of the darkness comes the Knight,” and that the movie is PG-13. It is important to give little bits of information like this without revealing too much. The audio stands alone from the video because of the combination of all these things.

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