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What happened with Thompson Creative?
  • In the 90s you could here jingles from Thompson Creative almost everywhere. They had a kind of guitarisch/electric sound that was new in those days. Last decade the company was sold to Bruce Upchurch.

    What happened to them? Was their sound too outdated? Or was it bad luck? And can you still buy Thompson packages?

    PORS in The Netherlands is still offering their sound, at least it seems that way because they show a lot of demos on the site:

    http://pors.nl/jingles.html
  • WAVAWAVA April 2
    Just like JAM they didn't evolve or update their sound.
    Reelworld came along with a fresh contemporary outlook and continue to bag the clients 23 years on to this day.
    That's business.
  • Reelworld product was fresh in 1995. It doesn't sound very different to me today.

    Just like every other jingle company they have their signature sound which has obviously been very successful for them, so why change it I suppose.

    One day something new, fresh, different will come along that gradually becomes management's favorite and then that company will dominate.....
  • WAVA:

    "Reelworld came along with a fresh contemporary outlook and continue to bag the clients 23 years on to this day"

    A few facts here: 23 years ago there were about 70% more individual US radio stations - and JAM had a ton of them. As the stations were swallowed by big groups and were syndicated from one site many did not even have jingle packages, or one decision maker bought the same package for dozens of stations.

    You can't compare Reelworld's position now with JAM's 23 years ago.

    The DJs who were on stations such as KOST in its heyday have made their preference clear - the Jhani Kay/JAM era jingles - they are some of the most exceptionally well-crafted jingles ever made.

    As regards you saying Reelword "continue to bag the clients 23 years on to this day" it's a fact that the majority of music SOLD now is back-catalogue, and the stations that play music that's not NEW form the MAJORITY of US radio (and most other countries) !

    Now look at the JAM 'Classic Hits / Oldies' packages (there are 23) compared to Reelworld 'Oldies' packages (I can't even name one and I'm an anorak) And on top of that 'Adult Contemporary' JAM packages (over 60) WERE the sound of radio from the 70s and 80s that so many stations now play the music of... And 90s stations have 20 'Hot and CHR' packages to cherry pick !

    I order from JAM regularly and KNOW how busy Jon and the team are VERY busy keeping the RADIO alive with jingles with great vocals and real musicians from a mass of packages.

    ..... if you don't use JAM on an Oldies/Classic hits station you have a meagre few GREAT packages to choose from...
  • glenglen April 2
    Thanks Len.
    Great comment!!

    Oldies: The lousy package WCBS has currently, the VOCALS do not mix the sound of the station.
    I will not offer my opinion what they sound like; because is a family website.

    Now I know I will the reply from the RW fans that I'm old fashioned.
    I might be but I and others who have been in the business for many years KNOW what jingle vocals are supposed to sound like. And RW is not it.
    Sorry.
  • PKPK April 2
    You're right about the Reelworld jingles generally simply not fitting with the older music on the stations, though I do like the Top Of The Hour jingle!

    Problem also with the Reelworld jingles and with the idents a couple of other jingle companies are making copying their sound, some of the vocals and key changes actually break the musical grammar rules of writing music. If you were to use some of these jingles as music scores in an O or A or other musical degree or examination as examples of writing music, you would fail big time as there are so many No No's of how not to write music in these jingles unfortunately!
  • Personally, I don't know why Thompson stopped.
    Whether it was just not making money, or not enough "critical mass" of output and customers?
    Perhaps someone can come on and explain the history, as long as not in breach of
    commercial confidentiality.

    Or perhaps they became the "Pepper Tanner" of the 1990s?

    Did they aim too much for the second tier stations, or often cities/markets outside the
    Top Ten rated USA markets? Going by their demos and the few items I have direct from stations
    perhaps they couldn't penetrate the "biggest players", even though quite a few well-respected
    stations gave them a good try?

    I've no idea what their pricing was for USA customs or re-sings versus the more traditional
    producers - maybe they went too "loss leader" or did their "Dallas sound" lack the "sparkle"
    expected from the sheer experience of the writers, producers, engineering and management
    across town at putting everything together?

    Marc:- "Was their sound too outdated?"

    Its ironic Thompson packed in, because their DEMOs hammered away at emphasising how
    contemporary their products were compared with jingle companies "stuck in the 70s & 80s"
    which was a VERY clear "dig" at JAM and maybe a wee bit less at TM. sound.

    Thompson themselves didn't "evolve" from their "frantic drumming & synth" 1990s.

    And despite some actually VERY well produced customs (e.g. Tropical Punch"), many would
    suggest their re-sings for syndicated clients lacked a bit of polish to be polite (I won't go
    back round previous JM discussions about the perceived quality of Thompson material for
    e.g. some of their UK clients).

    Other comments above:-

    Graham:-
    "Reelworld product was fresh in 1995. It doesn't sound very different to me today"

    Perhaps the "no more new packages, only rolling updating cuts" approach and the
    identikit styling of EVERY cut from every producer now means there's no longer
    the "arrival" of anything "different" in style or texture, production or vocal sound,
    as could at least be anticipated when JAM or pre-big-corporate TM released a
    new custom for syndicated re-sing.

    PK and Glen:-
    "You're right about the Reelworld jingles generally simply not fitting with the older music
    on the stations..."
    "package WCBS has currently, the VOCALS do not mix the sound of the station"

    The following comment is from a UK radio forum which ISN'T a jingle one
    so its not just "jingle anoraks" that can tell what doesn't work well:-

    "While all the CBS oldies stations have their own local music logs...
    they've all been tweaked to have modern imaging which really jars
    with the formats and tweaks to the playlists"

    A comment from me about RW (USA, not Europe - that's a much smoother sound...) and
    the TM "EVO" updating discussed on another thread...

    Why do the TM EVO vocals (to my seasoned ears at least) sound just like the "Christmas Freebie"
    grid make-your-own-Christmas cuts that RW did several years ago?

    To me its sad that TM are seemingly now cloning RW more, even though they have the
    heritage and the talent to take some kind of newer direction for the industry?
  • PKPK April 2
    TM Evo does sound like it is trying copy Reelworld.

    Some of these jingles are in a way like some of the old Pepper Tanner jingles which whilst they were great jingles that I still like, some of them were not sadly very adaptable for changing the musical logos easily and the same problem exists with many of the Reelworld packages. Ironically TM now own the old Tanner packages!

    Back when we had JAM, PAMS, TM, Century 21, Thompson Creative and Tony Griffin as the main companies, I guess Thompson Creative sat somewhere between TM and Century 21, in a different way maybe so did Tony Griffin too. Each company had its own distinctive sound.

    Sadly maybe Reelworld and their soundalikes are mirroring the pop music of today? Less distinctive and less memorable?

  • glenglen April 2
    Less memorable and we hope not the industry. But we a country here in town that the country uses RW (fingernails on a chalkboard} KASE package and then we a Christian station which is Adult Contemporary Christian that uses the Spirit 105.3 TM package ; Spirit. Spirit package is more country than the KASE trash that the station is using. Whats wrong with picture?? Or we getting too old and nobody what think about the station sounds like??? I THINK NOT!!
  • Thanks Glen, Ian, Len and others.

    In Europe stations use a lot less syndicated USA stuff then 20 years ago. Therefore Reelworld had to open a local studio and production facility in London. Brandy in Brussels is doing quite well in German market with huge clients like Bayern 1. Dutch based Pure does the entire NRJ Group including Chérie FM in France. Southern Europe (Spain, Italy) has its own jingle industry and traditions its seems.

    I think European stations still want to spend on real well written and musical jingles that have emotion and personality. Reelworld ONE is not really that big here - too screamy, too aggresive, too American I guess.

    Maybe this trend will hit the American market one day.
  • Thompson had some cool packages early in the late 80's. As time went on their
    stuff started to like unfinished product in my opinion. The vocals we're okay but the
    tracks sounded like they needed more production. Customs sounded like they were
    rushed to final mix without adding the ingredients that make jingles fun and exciting.
    I did particularly like The Edge. Thompson did an awesome all male vocal version for CKOC in Hamilton.
  • Thanks Dave.

    I really liked the Atlanta's 94Q package - it was resung for some stations in Europe in the 90s. Tropical Punch also was well produced IMOH.