If you've traveled by train in France, you probably know the distinctive musical tone that begins all announcements over the public address system in their train stations. (click the top link at the bottom of this post to hear it) Its one of the most distinctive sounds I've ever heard used for something like that. At first it seemed odd; in time it became comforting. And now its a cue that instantly conjures up the feeling of being in some amazing place in the middle of some adventure. (Of course, I suppose if you are a commuter there, it could just as easily give you a sense of dread.) Its everything a jingle should be - singularly distinctive and recognizable, but versatile for practical as well as commercial uses. While searching trains for my upcoming trip, the tone came into my head. I don't know why I never thought to look before, but a search brought up all kinds of tributes, including longer songs and music pieces. Two of my favorites are linked below. I don't know whether the top one is created by a fan or a longer commercially created version of the tone, but I like it either way. The second is clearly a fan-created techno song. If nothing else, they're amusing, but from a marketing perspective, they're also a tribute to how well the jingle has tapped into the soul and psyche of their customers. To me, they just bring up that exciting feeling of another adventure in Europe.
[apologies for blog posts before 1/2009 that are not yet updated to format]