For most Americans, radio continues to be a staple in this ever-changing media market. Recent Nielsen’s data shows that over 240 million Americans over the age of 12 listen to the radio each week.
Creating radio commercials may seem daunting, but with a solid script, good voice talent, sound effects/music, and a quality recording, the results can be rewarding!
Balancing the importance of brand integrity, image, audience, and other elements of an effective radio commercial can cause a severe case of writer’s block, but a well-crafted ad outline will keep you focused along the way. The outline should include the ad length (i.e., :30, :60 or longer), setting, a script with the timeline, any sound effects and music, and necessary production notes.
Messaging to an audience is also a tremendous responsibility because the goal is to capture the nuances of a demographic or community without offending. Identifying, researching and understanding your audience with the tailored script will resonate well with listeners.
The commercial character(s) and voice must work together to convey the brand while building credibility, which is essential in making the call-to-action believable, familiar and memorable. During the production of the radio commercial, some other creative challenges you may face include:
– Is the intro attention-grabbing?
– Is the emotion correct?
– Is the pace normal and not rushed?
– Does the commercial have natural breaths?
It is amazing how the small changes in articulation, emotion, sound effects, copy or production can dramatically influence the final product.
The music, if used, can change the entire tone of a commercial. Fortunately, there are thousands of music samples, loops, soundbites and original compositions available online. In some cases, you may need to bring in professional actors and musicians to get the feel and level of production you seek, however using actual users of a product or service may capture the mood or essence best.
With today’s advanced digital software and technology, time in the studio can be much more efficient; long gone are the days of splicing tape to create a radio commercial. A crafty, seasoned studio engineer can nimbly take all the recorded voiceovers, sound effects, and music tracks to assemble a radio station ready product.
In short, with a plan, captivating script, the right talent and sound, and good recordings, you are on your way to creating a radio commercial masterpiece.
Check out two recent radio commercials we produced for Tri-County Head Start in Waterloo, Iowa: