4 Elements for Perfectly Memorable Radio Ads

4 Elements for Perfectly Memorable Radio AdsAnyone with a daily commute to the office spends at least a few minutes listening to the radio in the car. While some of you might change stations to try to find music, you're eventually going to hear a few ads. It never fails that you'll hear one ad that sticks with you throughout the day, and maybe even gets you to Google that particular business. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people tuning in to the radio in the 21st century. Nielsen data shows that 243 million Americans over the age of 12 listen to the radio each week.

That’s a lot of people listening every week, so how can you create a memorable radio ad that captures their attention? Here are four memorable elements every radio ad should include:

1. Consistency

If you really want to produce memorable radio ads, you need consistency in advertising. This includes the voice, music, and the message. Consider a local hardware store with light-hearted tones, excitable voiceovers, and upbeat music. It would be odd to tune in to the radio and suddenly hear an ad for that same shop with a monotone voiceover, no music, and a plain list of new products rattled off for the listener. The best ads are the ones you can identify by the music and the voice before you even hear the brand, or have a clue what the product is that is being presented in that moment.

2. Familiarity

In addition to the general consistency of your advertisement message and approach, the structure of your radio ads should be the same if you want them to be memorable in the minds of listeners. Again, the best radio ads are the ones you can identify within the first few seconds of hearing them. If you have a preferred tagline for strategy-based messaging, use it regularly. If you use a jingle in your ads, use it the same way each time. Whether you play it in the background with a voiceover or play the sing-in and sing-out in the ad, do it the same every time.

These two points are part of the BrandsFormation System, and form the "mortar" portion of the "brick and mortar" style that Leighton Broadcasting uses to build your branding campaigns. Taglines and jingles might seem innocuous, but they form the foundation of an ad campaign and are instantly recognizable by listeners.

3. Focus

Each ad campaign should have a singular focus in its creation. Are you trying to promote your brand in general to a new audience, or are you looking to capture the attention of previous customers with new deals or brand updates? Whatever the goal is for your radio ads, memorable radio ads are those with a consistent focus. The specific message from ad to ad might change, but the focus should always be the same: your brand.

4. Avoid Wavering and Constant Change

It is important to capitalize on changing seasons and moods, such as special products during the holiday season or huge discounts in the New Year. However, there is a difference between simply advertising special events and changing your entire campaign focus for them. By all means, run radio ads for special events, but don't change the structure of your ads. Doing so discards the consistency in advertising and focus you've built to date.

Examples of Memorable Radio Ads

Radio ads, more so than television and other platforms, are often hyper-localized to suit a particular region. The following are two examples of local and regional ads from the Midwest, and Minnesota in particular.

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First, there's a great ad for the Chicago Auto Show. Traditionally geared towards men, this radio spot focused on the awkward interplay between two guys as one tried to ask the other out on a "man date."

His friend is hesitant at first, pointing out that both men are married and not really understanding the concept of a man date. At one point he even asks why they can't just call it a playdate. After hearing the features of the Chicago Auto Show, the men flip roles and almost don't go, before deciding to attend and just call it a playdate after all.

As Minnesota prepared for the rollout of the new federal health exchange, operated locally as MNSure, marketers touched on local folklore to garner attention in radio ads and other spots. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox were used by MNSure to lightly illustrate the need for health insurance. In the spots and other ads, Paul and Babe ran into one zany accident after another. The move even included a play on Minnesota's "Land of 10,000 Lakes" moniker, dubbing Minnesota the "Land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance."



If you want people to remember your radio ads, you have to give them something to remember. As you build the foundation of your campaign, stay focused on consistency in advertising and be straight to the point.

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