How to Create Great Radio Ad Creative
Great radio ads all share four common elements. When these elements are mastered, it’s easy to create unique and excellent ad creative that is more likely to increase the return on your advertising investment. These four elements are: attention-grabbing, relevant, unique, and emotional.
In 2020, the average person is exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 ads per day. In 2007, that number was an average of 5,000 ads per day. People see ads everywhere. They hear ads while listening to music on free channels or on the radio. They see them as they scroll through their social media feeds. Ads go hand-in-hand with a great deal of television programming, including streaming.
People have become good at tuning out the ads they see and hear each day. They have to in order to absorb the content they actually find relevant and helpful to them. In return, you must break through the noise with your ad in a way that will catch the listener’s attention.
Consider, for example, the Porsche ad from the Super Bowl, which featured a heist: it’s fast-paced, exciting, and speaks to viewers. Equally, the Raid ad featuring Spiderman suggests that consumers need a solution that can take down any bugs and pests, including the superhero variety.
In a radio ad, you do not have the same visual imagery available. However, you do have language that you can use to grab listeners’ attention and direct them to your brand.
Radio ads need to be relevant in order to meet the needs of your listeners. Consider ads produced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: they often revolve around what the listener needs in order to survive through these difficult times.
During back to school season, ads may focus heavily on the changing needs of students and parents during this difficult time. During the holidays, ads may speak to consumers’ needs as they work to find the perfect gift for their friends and loved ones.
There is no point in grabbing the listener’s attention if the ad does not also address something relevant to the listener’s life. The listener does not care about an ad that has no relevance to their struggles. If an ad is irrelevant to their lives, they often stop listening.
Focus on the needs of your target audience. What are they dealing with? What do they expect from your brand? How can you speak to their needs?
If your ad sounds like other ads already filling listeners’ space, it will not be memorable. At the very least, it needs a fresh take on what has already been done. Don’t be afraid to do something different. Consider what your listening audience has likely heard before. What speaks to them? How can you do something different with your ads?
Not only does making your ads unique make them more memorable, it also increases the odds that listeners will connect them to your brand specifically. You want listeners to remember your brand, and what makes you different from others in your industry.
An “emotional ad” does not mean that the voice actors have to sound emotional, nor should it mean melodramatic. Instead, it means that the ad induces emotion in the listener. That can be any type of emotion.
A funny ad could evoke laughter, leaving the listener smiling every time they think about the ad all day. A reference to something in the listener’s past could evoke a sense of nostalgia and connect it to your brand. You can evoke joy or create a sense of longing.
Inducing emotions in your listener will make your ad memorable and impactful. Listeners will connect that emotional response with your brand, often increasing their trust in and connection to your business.
Combining the Elements
These four elements of a great radio ad can work together to create a deep impact on the listener, increasing the odds that the listener will want to connect with your brand.
It starts with creating an attention-grabbing ad: something that stands out from all the other material the listener hears as they engage with content each day. Next, you want to make sure that your content is relevant in order to keep that attention. Relevant content convinces your listener that you are paying attention to their current needs. A unique ad helps you stand out from the crowd and makes your content more memorable. Finally, by evoking emotion in the listener, you create a feeling that will stay with your listeners. This will connect them to your business, and, ultimately, raise the return on your advertising investment.