Geek Trivia

The First Radio Jingle Was An Advertisement For Which Of These Products?

Western Union
Liberty Mutual Insurance
The Original Bar Codes Were Not Rectangles But?

Answer: Wheaties

Once the radio was invented and widely adopted, it was only a matter of time before the first advertisement was heard. While there were certainly ads from nearly the inception of commercial radio—typically, earlier sponsors were the radio makers themselves like General Electric and Westinghouse—it wasn’t until the 1920s that we find the first radio jingle.

In December 1926, the Washburn Crosby Company (which became General Mills in 1928) ran a commercial with a jingle on the Minneapolis radio station WCCO. The lyrics were sung to the tune of a popular song at the time, “She’s a Jazz Baby” by Bill Holcombe and David Miller (or possibly to the tune of “Jazz Baby”), and went:

“Have you tried Wheaties? / They’re whole wheat with all of the bran. / Won’t you try Wheaties? / For wheat is the best food of man.”

“They’re crispy and crunchy / The whole year through, / The kiddies never tire of them / and neither will you.”

“So just try Wheaties, / The best breakfast food in the land.”

It doesn’t seem like a very catchy jingle when read, but we’re confident that if you mixed in some old-time radio goodness and a jazz band backing, it might just make you want to eat one of the more bland cereals on the market. Maybe.