Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Radio Advertising?
- 2 Types of Radio Advertising
- 3 Why Radio Advertising?
- 4 Radio Advertising Examples
- 5 Lesson Summary
What Is Radio Advertising?
Just like advertisers pay for the commercials you see on television during your favorite show, some advertisers also choose to focus their marketing dollars on radio advertising. That is, buying commercials, frequently called spots in the radio industry, to promote their products or services. Advertisers pay commercial radio stations for airtime and, in exchange, the radio station broadcasts the advertiser’s commercial to its listening audience.
In radio advertising, there are numerous types of commercials that an advertiser might employ, similar to how brands might pursue different print advertising options (newspaper vs. magazine, for example) or electronic advertising options (email vs. social media).
Let’s take a look at a few of the more popular types of radio advertisements.
Types of Radio Advertising
Depending on your brand and the type of message you’re trying to convey, you’ll likely lean toward one of these popular radio advertising choices.
1. Live read
The ESPN Radio show Mike & Mike is a good example of a format where you can hear commercials read in real-time online by a radio announcer, a type of commercial also known as a live read. This type of advertisement is more effective with a really popular on-air host because advertisers hope that the host’s voice will carry extra weight with the show’s audience.
Many radio stations implement sponsorships for certain types of radio segments, such as traffic, weather, or sports scores during halftime of the big game. It will generally sound something like this: ‘This hour’s weather update brought to you by Beach Rentals. Call Beach Rentals for all of your vacation needs.’
3. Produced spot
A produced spot can either be a straight read of your advertising message or a read that incorporates multiple voices, sound effects or a jingle. A jingle is a short, catchy song about your company. These typically tell listeners where to find your business or your products and can be funny, serious, or informative.
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using these types of radio advertising? Let’s take a look.
Why Radio Advertising?
Some people might say that radio advertising is a less effective form of communication than others, given the prevalence of personal mp3 devices, smartphone music applications, and satellite radio. Yet, radio advertising still presents many advantages, as well as disadvantages, of course.
First, let’s check out the advantages:
1. Reaching your demographic
Radio advertising specialists know who is listening to their programming, which means you can reach your intended audience without the guesswork.
2. Saving money
Buying spots on local radio can be a great way to reach your audience for less than it would cost to run the same advertisement on television or to implement a costly direct mail campaign.
3. Going everywhere
Whether they’re listening at their desk at work, on their headphones during a commute, or in their cars running errands on the weekend, radio advertising goes everywhere consumers go.
Now let’s check out the disadvantages:
1. Listeners can’t see you
All consumers are doing is listening to your message, perhaps while engaging in some other activity. This can create problems with memorability or viewers feeling connected to your brand.
2. Ads are short and sweet
Ads are frequently very short and, thus, can be difficult to remember or to gather all the important details you need. That’s why multiple commercials for the same brand may appear in the same radio program. More exposure equals better retention.
3. Station switching happens
If you, as a consumer, have ever switched stations when the commercials start, you already know about this potential problem. Your message may be missed altogether by an audience flipping stations to find another program.
Radio Advertising Examples
Getting back to some examples, we’ll turn our attention, again, to McDonald’s. McDonald’s successfully uses radio commercials because of its industry. It’s easiest to be at the front of people’s minds when they’re out driving and can swing through your drive-thru.
One recent commercial for McDonald’s was their limited-time frappe offer from McCafe. The commercial tries to paint a picture of the refreshing drink that’s only offered for a short period of time to encourage drivers to stop by while they’re out running errands or headed to work.
One other interesting example is Dove’s radio ad titled ‘Self-Conscious.’ It works well in a radio format because it speaks directly to the audience and asks them to think about their tongues. The gist of the commercial is that listeners weren’t really thinking about their tongues until the commercial drew their attention to it. The beauty brand then went on to compare that to how one simple message can create body image issues for young girls.
Radio advertising works by allowing advertisers to buy airtime on various radio stations, where they can air commercials, or spots, about their products or services. Radio advertising comes in three main categories: live reads, spoken by an on-air personality; sponsorships, which show a business sponsoring a radio segment such as traffic or weather; and produced spots, which can incorporate dialogue, background music, sound effects, or even a short, catchy tune known as a jingle.