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5 advertising jingles you'll struggle to get out of your head

What are the TV commercials that you've had stuck in your head thanks to a catchy tune?

"Skinny Tan, Skinny Tan, who wants a Skinny Tan?" It's hardly Grammy-winning material, but the song used for the opening pitch in the latest series of Dragons' Den certainly has the potential to stick in our heads.

Whether or not we'd be entirely happy about hearing these words echo around our minds repeatedly is beside the point where marketing is concerned, because as long as a jingle is memorable it's done its job. So, with the owners of the self-tanning, cellulite-fighting lotion hoping that their business isn't just a flash in the pan, here are five of the most memorable commercial jingles we've seen on British TV over the years. Let us know what you think of them in the comments section - and tell us if we've left out your favourite.

1. Halifax - Extra

Howard shows Tom Jones how it's done

When Tom Jones sang Sex Bomb he probably didn't envisage the tune being used to advertise a current account, but that's exactly what happened when Halifax adopted the track for their television commercial.

With the words changed to suit the product, Howard Brown's dulcet tones and a Billy Bass-style fish getting in on the act, the advert was effectively a hit in its own right. Top work, and Howard even went on to break the Top 40 with his own version of Barry White's You're The First, The Last, My Everything

2. I feel like Chicken Tonight

Having chicken for dinner was never the same after this masterpiece

A nineties classic that it's impossible to forget - simple words, catchy tune and cheesy dance moves all rolled into one. It may even bring back fond playground memories for some of the younger generation, with kids particularly susceptible to any form of contagious chanting picked up from the TV.

3. McDonald's - I'm lovin' it

We've got the musical impulses of Justin Timberlake to thank for this one

They say less is more, and the McDonald's jingle certainly ticks that box - provided you don't listen to the entire Justin Timberlake song the phrase is ripped from, that is.

Shorter and snappier than the rest of the tunes on this list, McDonald's also deserves recognition for being more subtle with the message - it's delivered once at the end of every advert, rather than being shouted in our faces repeatedly for 30 seconds at a time.  

4. Shake 'n' Vac

"Do the Shake 'n' Vac and put the freshness back"

Popular British culture in the eighties can be more or less summed up by three things: Only Fools and Horses, Hall and Oates and the Shake 'n' Vac commercials.

Featuring Jenny Logan prancing around and singing while vacuuming the living room, the creators went to the trouble of writing a whole verse rather than settling for relentlessly repeating the same phrase. It turns out the old ones are the best, after all.

5. We Buy Any Car

Warning: May induce fits of rage

This can only be described as a maddening mantra - an unyielding, unbearable and altogether excruciating 40 seconds that you'll never get back.

While it's not uncommon for the odd advert to put your back up, this may induce a fit of TV-smashing rage, but full credit to the creators for producing something that none of us will ever be able to wipe from our memories.

Special mentions

Unfortunately not all of the imaginative brand songs that we've heard over the years were able to make the cut, but special mention to Coca-Cola's Holidays are Coming - as well as Sheila's Wheels for managing to produce a track about car insurance.  

If there's one thing to learn here, it's that music is one of the best ways to promote brand awareness. It doesn't have to be enjoyable and certainly doesn't need to be good, but as long as it gets the message across you'll have done the trick.  

Probably best to avoid recreating We Buy Any Car, though.