Remember the “Far Side” comics by Gary Larson? These supremely funny strips appeared in newspapers from 1980-1995. Everyone has their favorite Far Side comic, and one of mine shows two wagon train cowboys under attack by Indians. One of them notices that the Indians are using flaming arrows, and he says to the other, “Hey, they’re setting their arrows on fire! Are they allowed to do that?”

Many variations on this strip—all inspired by ingenious innovations—come to mind:
“Hey, they added a radio to this clock! Are they allowed to do that?”
“Hey, they’re using bread as the soup bowl! Are they allowed to do that?”
“Hey, this spoon is also a fork! Are they allowed to do that?”

And, in the world of advertising:
“Hey, they’re putting their phone number in their jingle! Are they allowed to do that?”

How many businesses do you know that put their phone number IN their jingle? Not many do, and I’m not sure why. It’s a powerful way to get people to memorize your phone number, and that’s valuable.

Here’s a test. Find someone you know who’s lived in Chicago and ask them to name a carpet company. I’ll bet you they instantly come back at you with a song: “588-2300, Empire!”

Here’s a sample of a 10-second Empire TV spot:

Nice branding at work here: pitch man, jingle, phone number in jingle. Simple.

The pitch man is Lynn Hauldren, who also wrote the jingle and even sang a couple of the voices IN the jingle! Lynn died last month—he became a true Chicago icon, and his jingle helped Empire Carpet spread into more than 30 U.S. metropolitan areas.

If you are considering a jingle for your business, consider putting your phone number in it. You are allowed to do that!