When we think of trademarks, we often think of logos, brand names, and slogans. However, some companies have gone beyond these traditional forms of trademarks and have registered distinctive sounds and jingles as trademarks.
These sounds and jingles can be just as recognisable and memorable as logos or slogans, and they can help create a strong brand identity. Let’s explore some of the interesting sounds and jingles that have been registered as trademarks.
The Intel Inside jingle is one of the most recognisable sounds in the world and functions as a trademark for the company. The jingle is a short tune that lasts only a few seconds, but it has become synonymous with the Intel brand. The jingle has been played in countless TV commercials and is heard every time a computer with an Intel processor is turned on.
It was part of the “Intel Inside” campaign which was launched in 1991 and established Intel as a household brand name. The campaign addressed a new problem faced by tech companies as their products began to reach lay consumers.
The MGM lion’s roar is one of the most recognisable sounds in the movie industry. The roar is heard at the beginning of every MGM movie and is part of the studio’s logo, which features a lion roaring inside a circle of film reels. The lion has been portrayed by several different lions over the years, with the current lion being named Leo. In the 1980s, MGM registered the roar as a trademark.
The McDonald’s jingle “I’m Lovin’ It” was registered as a trademark by the company in 2003. The company still uses the jingle and slogan today, and it is the longest-running ad campaign in McDonald’s history.
The McDonald’s jingle “I’m Lovin’ It” was first introduced in 2003 as part of a global advertising campaign. The campaign was created by the German ad agency Heye & Partner and featured the five-note tune and the phrase “I’m Lovin’ It.” The jingle was transformed into a legitimate melody by legendary jingle writer Butch Stewart and his son.
The Nokia tune originates from “Gran Vals,” a composition for solo guitar by Francisco Tárrega, a Spanish classical guitarist and composer, dating back to 1902. Since the 1990s, it has been closely associated with the Finnish corporation Nokia, and was chosen as the first identifiable musical ringtone for mobile phones. Nokia opted to use a portion of the tune as its default ringtone. The tune has been updated and modified over the years, but it has remained a recognisable part of the Nokia brand.
Lions Gate Entertainment, the studio behind the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, has trademarked Rue’s four-note song. It’s not surprising, considering the massive success of the series, that the studio would want to protect its intellectual property. The song, featured in the movie, is described in the trademark filing as “a human whistling a G4 eighth note, followed by a Bb4 eighth note, followed by an A4 eighth note, followed by a D4 half note, in the key of G minor.”
Adding to the list of film-related sounds registered as trademarks is Tarzan’s yell. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. owns the trademark for Tarzan’s yell, famously portrayed by actor Johnny Weissmuller. The trademark language, however, is a lengthy and detailed description of the series of sounds that comprise the yell, which includes alternating between chest and falsetto registers of the voice. The trademark registration number for the yell is 75326989.