There you are, mindlessly watching television and even more mindlessly letting your brain float away during the commercials, and then... BAM: the I-X Indoor Amusement park jingle comes on. Earworm defined. "It's here to stay"? Yeah, that's about right. It's April, so if this hasn't happened to you yet, it will soon.
What dastardly, craven, soulless genius perpetrated this jingle upon the masses? George Sipl, the same man behind the "1-800-General" jingle.
Here's a piece from the Cleveland Magazine archives on the man who, with just two notes and catchy phrasing, created that infamous, infernal diddy, and why exactly it gets lodged into your head.
A small excerpt:
Academic research has been done on the topic. James Kellaris, a marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati who has surveyed more than 1,000 people to see what makes songs stick, hails the I-X jingle as "a royal flush in earworm poker." That's because it contains all three elements that make a tune insufferably memorable: simplicity, repetition and an annoying incongruity (when a song does something unexpected).
In the case of Sipl's jingle, the incongruity results from the unnatural pause after the word "the" in the line "Let's go to the I-X Indoor Amusement Park." When the brain finds such an incongruity, explains Kellaris, it tends to hit the replay button.
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