6 Radio Ad Creative DON’Ts

6 Radio Ad Creative DON'Ts

The key to being successful in your efforts to create and execute radio ads begins with knowing the important DOs and DONTs that go along with it. There are various opportunities to grow your business with radio, you just need to know how. Let’s start by exploring what an effective radio ad looks like vs. an ineffective one. 

Effective: McDonald’s ‘Driver’ script:

Male driver: The roads have emptied. Only us left. Kids sleeping in back. Cat’s eyes shine bright. White lines roll by. The rhythm of the street lights. Radio hums quietly. Rain starts. Hypnotic wipers. Pull in. Hot latte and apple pie. Ease back into the darkness.

Voice Over: Over 600 McDonald’s open 24 hours. We are awake.

SFX: Five-note McDonald’s sting.”

Ineffective: On the other hand, radio ads like that of CA Market will do more harm than good.

There’s a robotic, un-emotional voice-over reciting, “Hello Central Ohio. Find the new place for your holiday party stock. Check out the new CA Market. CA this holiday season is ready to provide you the market price of brand-name products offer you and your family come to our grand opening ceremony on Friday, November 11th, 1171 Hill Road North Pickerington. CA’s market – we bring you the discount.”

You can tell the difference in the script without even hearing it for yourself. Yes, it can be hard to hit the right note, but it becomes significantly easier when you know what NOT to do. Consider these six radio ad creative DON’Ts so your efforts aren’t wasted.

1. Don’t Write for “Everyone”

Your ad should have a specific target audience in mind when creating it. Otherwise, it becomes too much of a general promotion that never resonates with any one person, especially your ideal consumers.

In fact, studies reported by Think With Google have shown that 61% of people expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences, and 90% of leading marketers say personalization significantly contributes to business profitability. 

Essentially, it shouldn’t be written in order to be liked by every demographic but rather to be loved by the right demographic. Radio ad creatives can increase clientele through the awareness, consideration, and decision stages but only if it’s speaking directly to them. 

2. Don’t Ignore Frequency

Radio ad creatives are meant to be heard multiple times by individuals. Take that into consideration in the developmental stages. Repetition is key to getting your brand out there and in the forefront of each listener’s mind. It often takes several repetitions before a listener can effectively recognize and recall your brand. LinkedIn reports studies that show it can take from 10 to 20 exposures to effectively reach a potential customer. 

To be effective, radio ads  must have “replay value.”

3. Don’t Use Jarring Sounds

Keep in mind, many listeners will be in a car when they hear to your radio ad. Loud noises and other jarring sounds could have a harmful effect on your promotion. Whether the intention was to be funny or grab their attention, the gesture will be perceived negatively. 

If you shock them with police sirens or car horns, chances are they will immediately turn you off before you can convey your value to them. If not, they will at least be too upset with you for putting them in danger by startling them.

4. Don’t End without a Call to Action

Unless an ad exists purely for brand awareness, there should be some call to action to get the listener to take the next step. The listener is interested in your offer and is looking forward to your Call to Action (CTA) that tells them what to do next.

Without that CTA, you risk losing listeners who feel unmotivated to take action. A CTA with a strong command verb and urgency can get the ball rolling right away.

5. Don’t Disregard boilerplate information

Depending on your industry, you may need to have certain text either before or after the ad creative that serves as an “about us.” You can include a number to call, a site to visit, the location to reach, and more. The point is, you need to consider it when thinking about how long your ad creative should be, so you can fit it in without making it seem like overkill.

6. Don’t Guess What Works

If this is your first radio ad, then don’t try to go-it-alone and guess what works. Sure, many marketers learn from routine trial and error, but that takes more time and money than partnering with experts who can help you succeed. 

Working with an experienced media partner like Hubbard Chicago eliminates the cost and hours of trial and error and fast tracks you to achieving your goals. We have extensive experience with helping businesses like yours get the results they need from radio ad creatives.

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