Did Video Kill the Radio Ad?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. It’s 1979 and The Buggles newest hit is playing on the radio in your living room. Your family gathers around listening to what would soon be a classic hit. After the song, ads from your favorite brands start to flood the waves and it prompts you and your family to take a trip to the nearest department store. Now back to 2020 and things are much different. Nowadays, people see ads while on their computers, phones, or televisions and can buy those products at a click of a button. However, that doesn’t mean radio ads have disappeared; radio ads are still an effective way to reach a large audience, especially those who rely on music or the news during their commutes to and from work. There are even digital music streaming services where advertisers can place their work for audiences to hear, such as Pandora, Spotify, and SoundCloud.  


Radio gives companies with smaller budgets a chance to shine due to its cost effectiveness. Also, radio gives advertisers a chance to show-off their creativity since consumers aren’t able to visualize the product but can still be excited by it. Don’t underestimate the power of radio and keep these things in mind when approaching this route: 


Know your audience: Advertising western wear on a country radio station makes sense but advertising a teen clothing store on the same station does not. Make a list of stations in your market and listen to each one to help identify your target audience. What kind of listeners are tuning in and are they potential customers? 


High Frequency: Request that your ad is run multiple times; it might take a while before it sticks with the listeners. Running your ad once a week or once a month isn’t going to cut it; it needs to run multiple times a day. Keep in mind though that there is a “nag” factor- so don’t overdo it either. You could end up alienating potential customers. 


Write a Script: Without a great script, everything else on this list is just going to be a rainbow on the other side of a window- useless to you. You can have the best production, talent, time-slot, and your target audience nailed, but if you don’t have a captivating script you may as well wave at this opportunity as it passes you by. Hiring a copywriter or advertising agency to help you in this endeavor is a great way to ensure you get your point across. 


Rates: Take advantage of low rate ad slots. Ad rates are constantly on the rise, but the costs are still more affordable than visual mediums. Don’t be afraid to dust off those negotiating skills either to get a good deal on a bundle- such as the more ads you buy the better deal you will be able to swing. Ad rates are generally less expensive in the first and third quarters, so radio commercials are easier to negotiate during this time. 


Before just taking the plunge into radio advertising, find out if it’s the right world for you. You could jump in and suddenly be surrounded by great whites. Do your research and have a reliable and confident team to help you keep your wits about you. 

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