A group of four Stephen F. Austin State University students didn't make the final cut in a contest to find a new version of Folgers Coffee's famous "Best Part of Waking Up" jingle. SFA junior Josh Birdsong and his friends received $500 for being one of nine runners-up in the contest.
Sawyer Frye, of Carthage, North Carolina, and two of his friends won top honors in the contest, along with $25,000.
"Sawyer was inspired by the real mountain sound he heard from buddy Zach's dulcimer," multi-platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw said in a video introducing the contest. "I think the best songs give us a window into the musicians lives, and Sawyer's optimism shines through. Watching these three guys puts a smile on my face, and I'm going to have their jingle stuck in my head for quite a while."
The J.M. Smuckers Company and DeGraw announced the winner of the competition Thursday morning.
"I am so impressed by the musical talent demonstrated in the entries submitted to the Folgers Jingle Contest," DeGraw said in a press release. "Like all successful jingles, Sawyer's rendition is inspiring and captured what Folgers represents, genuine American optimism. I'm so excited to watch him continue pursuing his musical passion."
The other eight runners-up came from all over the United States. Including Birdsong's group, three of the finalists were from Texas.
According to a press release, hundreds of musicians from all over America "shared their unique spin on the Folgers jingle from January 22 through March 6, 2013." The qualified entries were narrowed down to 10 finalists, and then from May 15 to June 19, the 10 finalists' were posted on the Folgers.com Website or a nationwide online vote.
"The Grand Prize Winning rendition of the Folgers jingle was awarded to the entry with the highest total number of points determined by combining final judging score and the points awarded based on online voting results," the press release stated.
The rendition of the jingle that Birdsong and his friends submitted started out as a class project. Although the jingle project has been assigned to SFA students the past three years, this was the first time that a group of SFA students made it into the finals.
"We kept improving as the seasons went by with different contests, and I think this time it just all bubbled up at the right moment," said Dr. Kevin Kelleher, a professor at SFA."
Birdsong said he and his writing partner, Ben Smith, developed a catchy tune first, and then wrote about what they know.
"It became about college. We started coming up with lyrics about tests, due dates, being late in the morning … stuff like that, and then coffee rushes in and saves the day," Birdsong said.
The other three members of the group were Nathan Wackett, of Crandall; Thaddeus Franklin, of Dallas; and Cody Morris, of Arlington.
You can visit www.Folgers.com/Jingle to view videos of the winning jingle and all of the finalists.