Scotland’s most memorable TV themes revealed

Scots say that when it comes to memorable television theme tunes, the old ones are the best.

A survey of UK consumers was conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, which saw Doctor Who finish on top of the pile.

The Time Lord has been on our screens since 1963, with Scots actors Sylvester McCoy, David Tennant and Peter Capaldi having played the role.

Second on the list was Friends, the American sitcom which is still being watched despite ending 2004. Classic comedy Dad’s Army is still popular, coming in fourth, after popular cartoon The Simpsons.

The top TV tunes are:

1, Doctor Who, 17%; 2, Friends, 14%; 3, The Simpsons, 12%; 4=, Dad’s Army, 11%, Happy Days, 11%; 6=, EastEnders, 7%; 7=, Coronation Street, 6%, Only Fools and Horses, 6%, The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, 6%; 10, Cheers, 4%; 11, Match of the Day, 2%; 12, Scooby Doo, 1%. The remaining 2% chose none of these.

For movies, Star Wars is top, while 007, initially brought to life by Scots legend Sir Sean Connery, is in second place.
The top tunes are:

1, Star Wars, 24%; 2, James Bond, 22%, 3, Saturday Night Fever, 14%; 4, Dirty Dancing, 14%; 5, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, 9%; 6=, Titanic, 5%, The Lion King, 5%; 7, The Godfather, 1%. None of the above was the option for the other 3%.

Daniel Lafferty, director of Music and Voice at PHMG, said: ‘Our sense of hearing is particularly effective in provoking emotional recall, so we often attach feelings or moments to specific sounds. Both Dad’s Army and Doctor Who were particularly successful in using theme tunes that captured the essence of the programmes, making them far more memorable as a result.

‘The fact that Dad’s Army still resonates more than 40 years after its last recorded episode might come as a bit of a surprise, but it just highlights the power of a strong audio identity.

‘Equally, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air might be a surprise inclusion in the top four but the theme song, rapped by a young Will Smith, not only reflected the lovable main character in the programme but also captured a time when hip-hop was on the rise.’

When it comes to the most memorable film scores, the James Bond and Star Wars series finished well ahead of the pack.

Lafferty added: ‘Both James Bond and Star Wars have developed clear audio identities over the course of many years. Both series have been consistent in what their brands represent, and the music has had a leading role to play in the way this is communicated.

‘Businesses can learn a strong lesson from this. Too often, companies focus entirely on visuals when thinking about marketing, but sound can often be more powerful in establishing a brand identity and ensuring that identity remains memorable over a significant period of time.’

PHMG is the world’s largest audio branding agency, with offices in Manchester and Chicago, and more than 32,000 clients in 39 countries worldwide, including the likes of Coca-Cola, Audi and Adidas.