HOW TO WRITE A GREAT RADIO AD.

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Writing for radio is different than writing for print. You’re writing for the ear, not the eye. Listeners have to get it the first time around- they can’t go back and hear it again (unlike re-reading a sentence in a magazine).

A successful advertisement gets a consumer to buy a product or service. This product or service can be a necessity, such as auto insurance, or an indulgence, like the new triple cheeseburger at the local fast food restaurant. Either way, the ad must motivate and ultimately lead to action by the consumer. To write a radio ad that achieves this, you need to ensure that you overcome the lack of visual elements and capture your audience’s attention with words and sound.

Steps

1. Understand what the product or service does and how it can be helpful to the consumer before you write a radio ad. How does it benefit, improve or fill a need in your target audience members’ lives?

2. Think about the target audience for your product. To whom are you marketing the product or service? For instance, you might promote a dance club much differently than you would a life insurance policy. Major target demographics are things like males, females, age, income level, and geographic location.

3. Describe who the company is, what the product or service is, where it is being sold, when it is or will be available, and why the consumer should spend money on the product or service. Answering these questions will give you a framework for how to write a radio ad.

 4. Create engaging copy for the product or service. Remember that most people who are listening to radio advertisements are driving a car. When the music or show stops, they are apt to change the station. The copy must stop them from changing that station, or get through the other thoughts they have in their head while driving.

5. Use multiple aspects of sound to create a desire for the product or service. For instance, if you are selling a beverage, hearing the bottle open can be enticing. If you are selling season tickets to a baseball team, the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd can grab someone’s attention. Rely on these other elements to enhance your ad.

6. Mention the name of the product or service at least three times in your advertisement. If you listen to radio ads you will start to hear that names are mentioned over and over in an attempt to have the listener make an unmistakable connection to the product or service that is being sold. Even the most annoying ads can be effective because the consumer’s brain is literally branded with the name of the product or service.

7. Time your ad copy. As you learn how to write a radio ad you want to make sure that it can be performed in 10, 15 or 30 seconds which are common lengths for ads on the radio. Remember also that there might be a second or two for bumper music or disclaimers as well. If the copy is long, omit words which are not needed. If the copy is short, try mentioning another aspect of the product or service.

Useful Tips.

1. Use professional voice actors. Before recording, have professional voice actors perform your ad so that you can get a sense of how it will sound on the radio.

2. Use a jingle. Be sure to include the company jingle for the product or service for which you are writing the ad. A jingle can allow the consumer to instantly identify with the product.

3. Start your commercial with a declarative benefit statement. Don’t waste your first sentence on rhetorical flare. Many ineffective commercials begin with a question. For instance: “In the market for a new lawnmower?…”. The first seven words of the commercial elapses without providing any useful information to the listener. A more engaging approach could be, “Take the grass work out of your weekend with the power of a Toro lawnmower from Jim’s Garden Supply”. In fewer than 20 words you’ve stated a benefit (reclaim your weekend from lawn work) and introduced the solution (by buying a Toro lawnmower from Jim’s Garden Supply).

4. Use Unexpected Language and avoid clichés like the plague. The language you use in your commercials is a reflection of your business. If your commercial is burdened with tired, over used phrases, then your business will be perceived as unoriginal and uninspired.

5. State The Unobvious. Too many commercials waste precious words on stating the obvious: “Christmas comes once a year” (Duh!); or “Open every evening until 8 P.M.” (really, until now I thought 8 P.M. happened every morning). A more powerful use of words is to state the unobvious to engage listeners: “The Sales Associates at Mountain Furniture don’t work on a commission, they are paid on customer satisfaction.”; or “The flowers and shrubs at Meadowbrook Nursery are grown from seed in the rocky soil of Maine in order to tough out the ravages of your garden.” In each of the above cases, customers would appreciate knowing these things about a business (but they don’t need to be told that Christmas comes once a year).

6. Use The Name Swap Test. Before you pay for a radio commercial do the following. Go through the script, replace your company’s name with the name of your biggest competitor. If the commercial works easily as well for your competitor, then throw it out and start over. A great radio commercial should only work for one business….yours!


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COM ESCRIURE UN BON ANUNCI DE RÀDIO.

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Writing for radio is different than writing for print. You’re writing for the ear, not the eye. Listeners have to get it the first time around- they can’t go back and hear it again (unlike re-reading a sentence in a magazine).

A successful advertisement gets a consumer to buy a product or service. This product or service can be a necessity, such as auto insurance, or an indulgence, like the new triple cheeseburger at the local fast food restaurant. Either way, the ad must motivate and ultimately lead to action by the consumer. To write a radio ad that achieves this, you need to ensure that you overcome the lack of visual elements and capture your audience’s attention with words and sound.

Steps

1. Understand what the product or service does and how it can be helpful to the consumer before you write a radio ad. How does it benefit, improve or fill a need in your target audience members’ lives?

2. Think about the target audience for your product. To whom are you marketing the product or service? For instance, you might promote a dance club much differently than you would a life insurance policy. Major target demographics are things like males, females, age, income level, and geographic location.

3. Describe who the company is, what the product or service is, where it is being sold, when it is or will be available, and why the consumer should spend money on the product or service. Answering these questions will give you a framework for how to write a radio ad.

 4. Create engaging copy for the product or service. Remember that most people who are listening to radio advertisements are driving a car. When the music or show stops, they are apt to change the station. The copy must stop them from changing that station, or get through the other thoughts they have in their head while driving.

5. Use multiple aspects of sound to create a desire for the product or service. For instance, if you are selling a beverage, hearing the bottle open can be enticing. If you are selling season tickets to a baseball team, the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd can grab someone’s attention. Rely on these other elements to enhance your ad.

6. Mention the name of the product or service at least three times in your advertisement. If you listen to radio ads you will start to hear that names are mentioned over and over in an attempt to have the listener make an unmistakable connection to the product or service that is being sold. Even the most annoying ads can be effective because the consumer’s brain is literally branded with the name of the product or service.

7. Time your ad copy. As you learn how to write a radio ad you want to make sure that it can be performed in 10, 15 or 30 seconds which are common lengths for ads on the radio. Remember also that there might be a second or two for bumper music or disclaimers as well. If the copy is long, omit words which are not needed. If the copy is short, try mentioning another aspect of the product or service.

Useful Tips.

1. Use professional voice actors. Before recording, have professional voice actors perform your ad so that you can get a sense of how it will sound on the radio.

2. Use a jingle. Be sure to include the company jingle for the product or service for which you are writing the ad. A jingle can allow the consumer to instantly identify with the product.

3. Start your commercial with a declarative benefit statement. Don’t waste your first sentence on rhetorical flare. Many ineffective commercials begin with a question. For instance: “In the market for a new lawnmower?…”. The first seven words of the commercial elapses without providing any useful information to the listener. A more engaging approach could be, “Take the grass work out of your weekend with the power of a Toro lawnmower from Jim’s Garden Supply”. In fewer than 20 words you’ve stated a benefit (reclaim your weekend from lawn work) and introduced the solution (by buying a Toro lawnmower from Jim’s Garden Supply).

4. Use Unexpected Language and avoid clichés like the plague. The language you use in your commercials is a reflection of your business. If your commercial is burdened with tired, over used phrases, then your business will be perceived as unoriginal and uninspired.

5. State The Unobvious. Too many commercials waste precious words on stating the obvious: “Christmas comes once a year” (Duh!); or “Open every evening until 8 P.M.” (really, until now I thought 8 P.M. happened every morning). A more powerful use of words is to state the unobvious to engage listeners: “The Sales Associates at Mountain Furniture don’t work on a commission, they are paid on customer satisfaction.”; or “The flowers and shrubs at Meadowbrook Nursery are grown from seed in the rocky soil of Maine in order to tough out the ravages of your garden.” In each of the above cases, customers would appreciate knowing these things about a business (but they don’t need to be told that Christmas comes once a year).

6. Use The Name Swap Test. Before you pay for a radio commercial do the following. Go through the script, replace your company’s name with the name of your biggest competitor. If the commercial works easily as well for your competitor, then throw it out and start over. A great radio commercial should only work for one business….yours!

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Published by

Pilar Caldentey Gomila

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