Experts have weighed in on why it is that phone numbers from famous advertising jingles tend to be more memorable than those of your own relatives.

Who here likes a challenge? We’re going to list three phone numbers, and if you can read them without singing them, well, you’ve just earned our undying respect.

  • 481 1111
  • 13 30 32
  • 1300 6 555 06

Yes, we’re aware that was a cruel test, but if you somehow managed to not sing the jingles for Pizza Hut, Lube Mobile (“that’s firteen, firty, firty-two”), or the Reading Writing Hotline, then you’re an absolute legend.

In most of these cases though, these numbers have become so ingrained within our collective consciousness that we’re far more likely to try ordering a pizza when trying to give our own mother a call.

But have you ever wondered why that is? Have you ever thought about why it is that you can remember the phone number from a classic advertising jingle clear as a bell? Well, it turns out there’s actually a pretty good reason!

With Pizza Hut recently announcing a competition for pizza-lovers to recreate the classic jingle, Bri Williams, a behavioural specialist and psychologist, has explained why it is that these classic jingles stay with us.

“The battle for eyeballs has meant the visual field is highly saturated, which means the battle for ears has begun,” Williams explains. “Brands are realising the power of auditory messages to get to customers more quickly and lodge in their minds more persistently.”

“You can shut your eyes, but you can’t shut off your internal voice that keeps reciting (that) catchy jingle!” Williams noted, revealing it’s hardly surprising that Pizza Hut’s number became so ingrained in our memories. “Including a pattern or repetition of digits (like 481 1111), means the cluster of digits can be easily repeated in a bite-sized way.”

Pizza Hut’s new competition has invited crafty folks from all over the country to design, film, or record the company’s new jingle. With entrants in the running to win $10,000, Bri Williams has offered some handy tips for those who are thinking about adding jingle-writer to their resumé.

“In behavioural science terms, jingles target ‘system one’ thinking, playing on memories, emotions and ease rather than facts, figures and rational arguments,” Williams explains. “To do this, memorable jingles use the 3 Rs – rhythm, rhyme and repetition.”

“Together, these Rs make the sounds feel right, easier to store and remember, and easier to access. The power of music to recall memories is both universal and undeniable.”

For more info on Pizza Hut’s new jingle competition, be sure to head over to their website here.

Check out Pizza Hut’s iconic 481 1111 ad campaign: