Annoying Old Billboard Hit Song Lays Bare a Vital Marketing Secret

“Telstar” is back in my noggin again.

Every few months, without fail, that old 1962 instrumental hit by the Tornados unwinds in my head. 

It might play inside there for a half-hour without notice. Then my wife’ll ask, “What the heck are you humming?” And I’ll realize it’s “Telstar” again. 

The weird thing about this is… 

The tune was a Billboard hit in the U.S. years before my time — at least, before I was old enough to pay attention to pop music. 

Plus, I’ve never, ever owned a copy of that song. It’s never meant anything to me. It doesn’t bring back memories. I can’t even recall where I was when I first heard it. 

The song means nothing to me at all. 

But it’s wedged somewhere in my brain. And it occasionally bursts forth.

Scary when you think about it. 

Anyway, when I noticed “Telstar” was back this morning, it got me thinking about marketing. Of course. 

Don’t we wish all our sales messages and brands were like the old Tornados tune? 

Sure, we do. 

You may be too young to remember that advertising jingles and slogans with complete sales messages used to rule the day. 

“You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent!”

“The best tires in the world have Goodyear written all over them!” 

“M & M’s — the milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hand!”

Corny? Sure! Kind of annoying? Naturally! 

Nobody loved those slogans, but they attached themselves to people’s brainstems anyway, like something out of The Puppet Masters. (Remember that? If not, you’ve gotta check it out!) 

So how come so few advertisers write catchy slogans with real sales messages anymore? 

Maybe because they’re afraid of being too corny and annoying. 

My advice: 

Be corny and annoying – and really get your sales messages wedged into the skulls of your prospects. 

You’ll make more money if you do. 

Meanwhile, I’m going to dig out some Beatles CDs and try to get “Telstar” out of my head.

P.S. While I’m plugged into Lennon & McCartney, go ahead and take a minute to check out the sales and marketing savvy at…

I hope you don’t mind, but if you click on the link and buy the product described, I will receive a referral commission. And you’ll have my undying gratitude!

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