Jingles R Me…and they’re back!

An article in the Sept. 6 edition of Advertising Age gladdened my heart.  The headline  was A REPRISE FOR JINGLES ON MADISON AVENUE by Andrew Hampp.  It was all about how original advertising jingles (as opposed to licensed hit records) are back, big-time, after a decade of near total banishment. “Marketers want original music for their messages,” wrote Hampp. “That’s one reason brands and Ad agencies are rediscovering and in many cases relaunching the art of the jingle…”

This is great news because A) Jingles are good for advertising, B) I love jingles and C) I happen to be very good at writing jingles.  Here’s the latest one I wrote, performed, produced and sang for a restaurant in Redondo Beach…(Give it a minute to load–we uploaded it at high quality for your viewing pleasure.)

The LA Times liked this jingle so much they gave my company Stretch Media a front page feature in the Business section. (See post below.)  The high quality Italian Food Chain Claros immediately hired us to do a jingle for them.  And the phone has been ringing off the hook (if cell phones had hooks) ever since.

I’ve been writing jingles since the days of steam-driven typewriters (check out the music I made for the Canon electric typewriter spot many moons ago).  Back in my days at Grey Advertising and as Creative Director for MTV’s Agency Fred/Alan I wrote dozens of jingles for the long gone Pan Am Shuttle, Barq’s Soda, Nick at Nite, and the network that would become Comedy Central. I invite you to peruse this blog for many examples of my musical ministrations.

And in recent years I have written literally hundreds of short, catchy, sticky, funny, grabby songs for animated TV shows.  Take a look at this reel…you’ll notice that these brief bursts of song are really jingles….

So Marketers, if you’re among the many who have grown tired of paying a million dollars to Mick Jagger to get your message across, call me and get a custom made jingle that works hard for your money!

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stretch Media, My New Company, Makes LA Times Front Page!

Hi!  I’m very excited to report that the LA Times was so enchanted by Stretch Media’s jingle spot for Eat at Joe’s that they put us on the front page of the business section.  You can read all about it here.  Debrah Lemattre did the shooting and editing honors, I wrote the jingle and Creative Directed.  You can see the results on youtube: Eat at Joe’s in Redondo.

Now we’ve done another Italian-ish spot for Claro’s Italian Food Markets.  (Guess we’re going Italian.)

Anyway, check all this stuff out and by all means get in touch:  you can reach me at bill@stretchmedia.net.

Pan Am: Your Very Own Corporate Jet

Commuting is something you want to have happen to a jail sentence. It’s not something you want to do every day. And yet hundreds of business folk make hellish commutes between New York and Boston and Washington DC many times a week. To ease their pain, Pan Am decided to make its shuttle ultra-comfortable, with extra legroom, leather seats, private phones and frequent, dependable flights.

We dubbed it The Corporate Jet. I wrote a jingle which was played incessantly on the radios and TVs of the northeast. And we hired old J.P. Moneybags from Monopoly to come in and be our winking mascot. Here’s what it looked like…

Published in: on May 9, 2007 at 11:15 pm  Comments (1)  

The Hidden Soul of Canon Office Equipment

Canon Office Equipment was looking for a way to go head to head with IBM, without being so ungallant as to mention their giant competitor’s name. (As you probably know, the Japanese are extremely polite.) We came up with this “Think Again” campaign, which provided another opportunity to use groundbreaking animation in a television spot. Here, Glenn Batkin and I came up with an elegant way to express the hidden qualities of, ahem, an electric typewriter. (Hey, stop snickering, or I’ll force you to watch my ads for steam-driven typewriters.) An “animation spotlight” crosses the machine, revealing the poetry, strength, and versatility that lies beneath that beige exterior, accompanied by another Bill Burnett musical composition. It’s a lovely spot. Check it out…

Published in: on May 9, 2007 at 10:40 pm  Comments (1)  

Me and My Clio

In my first year in the business, as a junior copywriter at Grey Advertising, I won a Clio for best animated spot


It was an exciting moment for me, but a dicey one. My bosses–a couple of extremely ambitious veterans–had made a 60 second Timex spot which cost over $1 million. I believe it was the single most expensive spot ever made at that time. And they wanted to win a Clio for it. They really wanted to win. And they lost, and I won. Me and my art director Glenn Batkin. The kids. We won. Our bosses had to sit it out. Awkward. But great!

Anyway, the interesting thing is that we won for best animated spot. Little did I know I would go on to a whole career in animation, doing breakthrough animated spots for Canon office equipment and VH-1, becoming Creative Director of Hanna-Barbera, one of the greatest Cartoon Factories of all time, and creating ChalkZone for Nickelodeon, as well as eight stand alone cartoon shorts for Nick’s Oh Yeah, Cartoons!

Here’s the spot. It’s called “Engine It’s no great masterpiece, but it did pioneer certain techniques in CGI animation which we now take for granted, like being able to fly through tubes filled with liquid. That had never been done before. Oh, and by the way, I also composed the music. Check it out…

Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 5:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Put Us To Work For You!

I’m proud and excited to announce the launch of our new production company:


(Click on the logo to visit the site.)

I say “our” production company because the super talented woman who runs it is my lovely wife Debrah Lemattre. Debrah is a tremendously gifted director, producer, photographer, editor and graphic artist. She can plan a project, shoot it, edit it, author the DVD, and make the packaging for it. No kidding. She’s a quintuple threat, at least.

As its name suggests, Filmanthropy specializes in doing film, video and graphic work for philanthropic groups and causes. Debrah has made Documentaries, Fundraising Videos, PSAs and Performance Films for the LA Free Clinic, Maria Shriver (and family), Physician’s Assistants, and many more. But she’s also worked on a host of “commercial” ventures. And of course, so have I. I have been on the Filmanthropy team, providing writing, music, animation and branding and positioning consultation.

Now, maybe you’re not a “philanthropic” organization. Maybe you like to make some money out of your worthy endeavors. Well guess what–so do we! We can bring the same budget friendly and brand savvy production techniques to your project that we use for our philanthropic clients. Check out the Filmanthropy A-Z page. I bet you’ll find something there that is just like a project you have in the works–or wish you did. Let’s work on it together!

Published in: on May 7, 2007 at 11:32 pm  Comments (2)