How to Write a Radio Ad

by gthouin on March 22, 2017 - 3:44pm

How to Write a Radio Ad


Have you ever heard a radio advertisement (ad) that gave you feelings, thrills, sensations or a big smile? This is the ultimate goal of every radio publicity. This is a process description of how someone who works in radio industry can write a successful radio ad, which is the publicity that goes on air in radio. Everybody who wishes to work in this environment will be in touch with the publicity department one day, so everyone should be prepared by knowing the main steps: the resources, the restrictions, the creativity and the correction.


Usually, a client will come to the station with a product, some ideas and a budget. Now it is the time for the ad writer to play. First, he has to consider his resources. A lot of aspects could affect the text: the money of the client, the seconds that are allowed for the publicity, the host’s voices available and the audio resources. The bigger the budget is, the more extraordinary the ad will be. Also, for more money, the publicity should be longer (30 or 60 seconds maximum). The author could add more words, or a better concept. He should adapt himself; if there is only men host’s at the station today and the contract is due tomorrow, the radio ad should only need men characters. A good radio ad writer will also make sure that the sounds he needs for the project (broken glass, closing door, dog, barking) are in the database of the radio station to avoid embarrassments.


Second, the client will necessarily ask for some restrictions. For example, the ad may not contain certain words, it may use a women’s voice, or it could use the jingle of the company. The jingle is a little music that represents the company, as an audio logo. It is very important for the producer to respect these obligations because his job is to work for him. He may also make some research about the company, to know a little more about them and to represent their style as precisely as possible.


Third, the author must add some creativity to find the best concept to sell the product. People are spending few hours listening to radio in a day, so they hear a lot of publicities (see figure 1). The job of the radio ad writer is to make them remember one ad: the one he is working on. To succeed, he has to define his audience: gender, age, profession, hobbies, and financial status. One the audience is clear, he must put himself in their shoes, reproduce ideas or scenes that may happen to those people. Without forgetting the client’s restrictions, the author must use his creativity to create a link with his target audience to give them the feelings that the client is looking for.


Fourth, the text has to be corrected, approved by the client and sent to the audio producers, where they will record it and put it on air. As simple as that! However, the client may probably not approve the text the first time. The author should listen carefully to his advice or demands and apply them in his work. The most important capacity is to be able to adapt himself quickly.


To conclude, a good radio ad author may revise his resources, respect the will of the client, and be able to be creative and to give feelings to the audience. He should not forget to use a rich and connotative vocabulary. Finally, the beauty of radio is that it can bring the listeners anywhere for free… you just have to find the good sounds. Exploit this opportunity! 


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I enjoyed read your text because of the good subject. It is interesting to know how people can ''manipulate'' others with their behaviours. The one negative thing I have to say is in the conclusion, the first word is ''Ton''. What does it mean?

Overall, it is one good text I read on this site, Congratulations!

I liked your text because you are able to explain and make the job of a radio ad writer easy to understand for someone who is not a professional. The only thing I would have add to your text is subtitle for the steps. I really like your conclusion and the review of the steps you made in it. Great job!

Your text is really easy to read because you used a vocabulary that non-expert can understand without problem. The steps were not really identify so I had difficulty to follow and to understand in the first read. In the other hand, it was really interesting to read your text because of the clearness of the descriptions.

About the author

Gabrielle Thouin is an 18-year-old girl who's now studying in a Media programme at collegue, more specificly in Radio (yes, the real FM machine in your car!) In the past years, she had done dubling for movies, theatre and cinema.