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Dad’s Army and Doctor Who endure as Brits’ most memorable TV themes

Apparently the oldies are still the best, as Brits say Dad’s Army and Doctor Who are the most memorable TV theme tunes.

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Both received 12 per cent of the vote in a survey of 1,000 UK consumers¹ conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, followed by another classic, Match of the Day, which polled 10 per cent.

They beat out competition from the modern era, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (10 per cent) and Friends (nine per cent), while The Simpsons received a surprisingly low seven per cent.

Coronation Street won the battle of the soaps, receiving eight per cent of the vote against Eastenders’ seven per cent.


Daniel Lafferty, Director of Music and Voice at PHMG, said:

“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.

“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.

“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, receiving 24 per cent and 20 per cent of the vote respectively.

Saturday Night Fever and Dirty Dancing both polled 12 per cent, while 10 per cent chose Ennio Morricone’s famed work on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

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.”