Okay. If I sing these six words—“the best part of waking up”—in a crowded room, I think at least a few people would chime in by the end. I bet you can hear the jingle in your head, too. (“...is Folgers in your cup!”) With that in mind, how much money would you pay to own it? The jingle went up for auction this week, and sold for a hefty sum
Here’s a fun fact for you: the Folgers theme song that’s now stuck in your head is technically called “Real Snowy Morning.” Whip out that little chestnut at your next dinner party and watch as you light up the room and inspire a strangely branded singalong.
AdAge reported this week that “Real Snowy Morning” was up for auction, with an opening price of $63,000. The jingle was sold to bidder Josh C at a closing price of $90,500. I’m actually surprised, because that price seems low. After all, Josh C will earn royalties every time it airs on television, and the current rights owner, the songwriter, has been paid $11,747 in royalties by music corporation BMI this year alone.
Interestingly, the J.M. Smucker Company doesn’t own the full rights to the tune. “The rights currently being sold are not owned by Smucker,” DeDe Burns, the head of operations at Royalty Exchange auction site, told AdAge. “The seller of this auction owns the songwriter’s share of public performance royalties. Smucker owns the publisher’s share of public performance royalties.” This sort of splitting of royalties in the music industry is common.
If you have the kind of money to purchase the rights to the Folgers song, it might seem like a foolproof investment, right? Well, that’s not a guarantee. If Folgers decides to wipe out that jingle and rebrand, there go your shot at future royalties.
So, just like with any other investment, the buyer better know what they’re doing. I have a feeling this particular tune isn’t going to leave the airwaves anytime soon, since it’s had such a long lifespan (it first aired in 1984). I’ve been singing it since I was a kid. Plus, it’s been part of some infamous ads.
If Folgers decides to run with new iterations of the song for future ad campaigns, well, that’s at least some money in the bank. I think I’d have purchased it for the bragging rights alone, to be honest, but bragging rights aren’t exactly a sound investment strategy.