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Jingle All the Way Down Memory Lane.

Jingle All the Way Down Memory Lane.

What’s going on?
This innovative initiative leveraged nostalgic advertising jingles to help Puerto Ricans with Alzheimer’s to remember their past.

Puerto Ricans have a higher propensity for Alzheimer’s, a terminal brain disorder which slowly destroys memory, learning, and thinking skills. Music is one of the country’s greatest passions, and multiple studies show it may improve agitation, outbursts, and overall mood in the middle-stages of Alzheimer’s.

In a campaign developed by VMLY&R Commerce to not only raise awareness but improve lives of the nearly 100,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Alzheimer’s Association created a palliative therapy that brings back memories and eases symptoms. They partnered with the Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) to identify the most famous advertising jingles in their 80-year archive to help patients recall happy moments from their youth.

Why advertising jingles? For decades, they’ve earned a special place in Puerto Rico’s pop culture as the country with the most radio stations per square mile in the world. They serve as time stamps to be remembered— once stuck in our heads, but unlike mainstream songs, they’re never played again. Designed to never be forgotten, they work as an instant time machine for even those with memory loss. Bringing them back as part of this Jingle Therapy initiative brought Alzheimer’s patients right back to that collective moment in time.

To operationalize the initiative they created, which generates unique jingle playlists based on the birthdate of the person with Alzheimer’s plus the tunes that help them remember and be soothed of daily symptoms. On this free and easily accessible platform, caregivers can select the jingles the patient remembers and integrate them (i.e., play them several times each day) into their care plan.

The effect on cognitive measures was notable after only four Jingle Therapy sessions– with significant improvement observed in memory, orientation, depression, and anxiety. Multiple partnerships were quickly formed with nursing centers across the island to integrate Jingle Therapy as regular therapy for their Alzheimer’s patients.

What's The Squeeze?
Jingle Therapy showcases the substantial impact of the work we produce as marketing and communications professionals. Let’s keep sleighing it, friends.

  1. This initiative underscores the enduring impact of advertising in societal consciousness. Advertising jingles, once lodged in memory, have become a lifeline for patients longing to remember, demonstrating the lasting influence that well-crafted marketing strategies can have on individuals.

  2. What we especially admire about this one in particular is the use of marketing dollars to wholeheartedly champion the cause beyond conventional promotional strategies. Jingle Therapy not only propelled awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, but significantly improved the lives of those battling it and the job of their caregivers.

  3. This campaign also emphasizes the power of music, both personally and professionally. Research shows that music therapy can offer benefits to people with a range of conditions beyond Alzheimer’s, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, cancer, autism, anxiety, mood disorders, and learning disabilities. The use of music as sonic branding has also taken off in the past couple years, with mnemonics becoming “sound logos” which help consumers remember a brand.

We wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season, and look forward to reconnecting with you in the new year. In the meantime, you can re-visit some of our best insights and inspiration of 2023 below.

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