The Binley Mega Chippy jingle teaches brands what gen Z actually likes
Roscoe Williamson, global creative strategy director at MassiveMusic, says that marketers must be green with envy at the viral moments that take off – the most recent being the rise of Binley Mega Chippy.
It must be incredibly frustrating for big brands that spend hours of planning, strategizing and promoting a TikTok strategy to see the likes of Binley Mega Chippy, an independent fish and chip shop in Coventry, go viral with an unbelievably simple yet catchy jingle. This is a takeaway establishment previously only known by locals in the nearby vicinity being catapulted into global superstardom by TikTokers across the globe singing and sharing a now recognizable song.
It really made me think. Firstly, what is the appeal? This craze has seen people literally visit Binley Mega Chippy from other countries to get involved in a sort of gen-Z modern-day pilgrimage. And, in a world where brands are increasingly believing young people purely want to exist in metaverse experiences, seeing this online trend physically move them into the real world to the depths of Coventry has been fascinating to observe. The desire to see and engage with memes, and then become a part of them in real life to get clout online again, is very interesting. The Binley craze is largely down to the song – a very British-style jingle, proving that the power of music can make something snowball.
What can marketers learn from Binley Mega Chippy’s success?
Where big brands are spending millions in order to garner success online, there’s a joy in seeing the likes of Binley Mega Chippy authentically and serendipitously take off.
The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.
Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.Sign up
Coming back into the real world
There is a lot for brands to learn about the beauty of authenticity, but a craze like Binley is not something a big brand can usually successfully replicate – which is why it works so well. However, they can take away important lessons in what people respond to. For example, the power of a TikTok campaign encouraging people to go somewhere in the real world – in an anti-metaverse twist, brands could look at creative ways of upping visits to less-loved stores through creative activations. With gen Z living so much of their lives online, getting them to be a part of a movement in time is a celebration.
Many brands have neglected to fully understand the power of strategic sound and music. But those that do are now fully reaping the benefits. Take the likes of cosmetics brand ELF, which created one of the most viral TikTok campaigns of 2019 by doubling down on its music strategy and creating a blueprint for effective uses of original branded music. Through different and creative activations and clever collaborations with brands, the track became one of the top-streamed tracks globally and ELF has continued to thrive off these tactics. It’s the opposite to Binley in that it’s strategic with high production and sounds professional. However, the uptake is the same – young people go wild for it. Now most briefs we take on cite brands such as ELF in wanting to replicate this kind of success – and we take them through a strategic, scientific and evidence-based approach to understanding, measuring and tracking the business impact it can bring.
A solid music strategy
For any brand that asks us to help create a music and sound strategy that will likely garner traction and engagement, we ask first what the fundamental business objectives are. For Binley Mega Chippy, it now needs to consider if it wants to further this momentum. Already it has had to hire and train more staff, and deal with a huge and unprecedented number of customers. It also now has an incredibly equitable marketing asset in the jingle, which could easily be called a sonic brand. This has the potential to continue its legacy and spread on to different platforms and into different cultures if what it wants to achieve as a business reflects this. It could be looking at starting a chain of chippies in the UK, which could lead to developing a whole brand music ecosystem. It could get celebrities involved and even look at doing something radical like a festival. The point is, it has the cultural capital to now leverage – providing this is what it wants.
For big brands it is about constantly looking at the market, at the objectives, the audience and creative ways to activate sound and music across platforms – exactly how we advise on sonic branding projects.
McDonald’s is brilliant at really exercising the power of the sonic brand. For example, to celebrate its 50th anniversary recently in Australia the brand, known there as ‘Macca’s,’ took its iconic ‘ba da da da da’ sonic brand and brought it to life in new and creative ways on TikTok. The brand got six up-and-coming Australian artists from different musical genres to reinterpret the sound into their own style, resulting in it showing up in different ways in different communities. The results were impressive – 41.2m impressions.
In a brooding audio-first landscape of smart speakers, podcasts, TikTok and the like, brands need to be putting sound and music strategy as a core fundamental if they want to achieve this kind of campaign success. We’re now seeing audio driving content more than ever, yet the landscape is busy – music and sound can increasingly help brands stand out from the competition and build ongoing brand awareness. It also drives emotion, which leads to engagement – those engaging, visiting, singing and sharing Binley Mega Chippy did so because they felt something. The sweet, inoffensive, amusing and non-ironic nature of the song and location gave people permission to join in without the feeling of an ulterior motive. Brands could learn more than a thing or two about real engagement here – not just wanting to reach audiences, but understanding what they need from an experience.
Binley’s song will sit in the minds of its audience for years to come and it cost nothing. An expensive inauthentic brand campaign with no strategy can be forgotten in the 0.1 seconds it takes to swipe away.