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5 Easy Steps to Writing a Good Radio Ad

There’s no secret formula to writing a good radio ad, but follow these 5 easy steps to quickly make an engaged ad for listeners.

Jamie Ashbrook

by Jamie Ashbrook in Tips

Last updated 06.08.2023

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There’s no secret formula to writing a good radio ad, but follow these 5 easy steps to quickly get your advertisement heard by listeners. Whether you’re an advertiser, broadcaster, or just someone in the radio industry looking to create an engaging ad, stick with us as we share the best tips to beef up your writing skills.

1. Defining What You’re Trying to Say

It’s easy to lose track of what you’re actually trying to say when there’s plenty of ideas floating around. Using a technique from film called logline you can simplify your ad’s development.

Basically, a logline is a brief summary of an ad that provides the synopsis, usually with a hook or tagline. The idea is to keep things really simple and condense everything down into one sentence. For example, say you’re writing an ad for Marmite (for those that don’t know, it’s a spreadable paste, kinda like peanut butter), a logline could be:

A family struggling to wake up on a Monday morning turns to a breakfast treat to start the week.

Keep it really simple and condense everything down into one sentence. It has to be clear in your mind what it is you’re trying to say. If you’re not clear on the point you’re trying to make then you’ve not got a chance of actually communicating it to your listeners.

2. Establishing a Connection

Radio stations have different demographics, so make sure you target the right audience. For example, you wouldn’t play a home insurance ad targeted towards teenagers. Likewise, you wouldn’t play an energy drink ad on a golden oldies station.

To be able to engage with listeners you need to understand their problems and empathise with them. How can the product or service you’re pitching help the listener? How can it be translated in a way that will make the listener care?

Take the cleaning product ad for “Flash Magic Eraser”. It’s aimed at parents that clean up after their children (problem), describes how the product can fix it (solution), and mixes it with a well-known 1980’s song (hook). The resulting ad is well targeted and rather catchy.

3. Focusing on the Benefits

A good ad is short. Don’t waste time with boring introductions or long-winded explanations. Get straight to the point and bring home the benefits.

Is the product or service fast? The ad needs to reinforce the fact that they’re fast. Same goes for if they give great customer service or they’re cheap. The idea is to focus on the benefits to the listener. Check out this radio ad from Tesco supermarket about a price drop.

4. Building a Story That Flows

Every good ad has a story to engage with listeners, even if it’s really simple. Take this 30 second Pizza Hut radio ad for example.

Just like this ad, your story needs a problem and solution. Preferably one that puts the listener front and centre whilst flowing naturally from beginning to end. That can be tricky, especially with a short 30-second ad, but not if you keep it simple and to the point.

5. Creating a Simple & Strong Call to Action

A call to action is what you want the listener to take after hearing the ad, like pointing them to your website or the address of your business. For example, the Honda car ad does this right at the end so it’s fresh in the listener’s mind.

Need Help Writing a Good Radio Ad?

Hopefully, this has helped you to start writing a good radio ad of your own, but if you have a question then be sure to let us know in the comments below. For more articles like this on radio tips and tricks then be sure to join the Radio.co Newsletter. Enter your details and we will make sure you are the first to be updated.

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