Whether you like to wake up to some piping hot Folgers in your cup or not, you've likely heard the coffee brand's iconic jingle once or twice (or 100) times before. The catchy tune has become engrained in pop culture over the past 30-plus years and one fan of the song is so confident that it'll stay that way that they just purchased rights to the jingle for over $90,000.
The future royalties for the song were auctioned off on Friday for the starting price of $63,000 and a bidder named Josh C. beat out the competition with a bid of $90,500. As a result, he'll earn lifetime royalties whenever the jingle is played in a TV, radio or internet advertisement, or anywhere else.
According to a listing for the auction, the vast majority of earnings come from TV advertising, with additional revenue coming in from streaming and radio. The song earned $11,746.52 from performances in the last 12 months and $38,164.19 since 2011. It's been pretty lucrative over the past two years as a whole, and earned $20,665.94 in that period, so it seems like Josh C. made a sound investment.
"'The Best Part of Wakin' Up' slogan and, consequently, the song, is central to the Folgers brand. It has withstood the test of time and given its success, seems likely to live on well into the future," the auction listing reads.
The song first debuted in 1984 and has been performed in a range of music genres and by famous musicians like Aretha Franklin, Randy Travis and Rockapella over the years. One Folgers commercial titled “Peter Comes Home For Christmas” featured the jingle and ran on TV for more than a decade. The brand has also sponsored several jingle contests and even modernized the song in a 2019 holiday campaign that depicted the awkwardness that can occur over the holidays with family.
Flash forward to the pandemic, and the brand also released a relatable advertisement that adapted the song to show a working mom trying to make it through a video call while her child keeps popping his head into the frame.
Most people know the jingle by the title “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up,” but the song has another name: "Real Snowy Morning." The auction listing advised that royalties could decrease if Folgers uses the jingle less or ditches it entirely, but that would be pretty surprising considering it's become so synonymous with the brand.
CORRECTION (October 5, 2021 at 4:20 p.m.): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) auctioned off the rights to the jingle. BMI is the royalty distributor, not the owner.