Four States Small Business Blog

The Best Radio Ads Have These 5 Things in Common

Posted by Pam Larimore on November 11, 2019 at 8:00 AM

The Best Radio AdsWhen done well, radio ads can play a significant role in improving your bottom line.

So, how can you create a great radio ad?

Researchers have discovered that audio images last longer than visual images in people’s memory. 

According to Zimmer Marketing’s research, radio connects with 93% of people aged 12+ each week.Radio ads bring in sales increases of an average of $6 for each $1 spent. What’s more, about 75% of listeners tune in at specific times because they are aware that their favorite radio personalities are on the air then. This is loyalty that you don’t want to pass up when it comes to marketing your organization.

The five characteristics that great radio ads tend to have are being Attention-Grabbing, Novel, Memorable, Consistent, and Emotion-laden. We’ll explore these traits with examples of radio advertisements. By taking advantage of these characteristics,


Cidre, a radio spot for an alcoholic beverage,  does an excellent job of grabbing listeners’ attention.Consider that when listeners hear radio advertisements, they are waiting for the station’s music or show to come back on. 

That means great ads must make those listeners pay attention to what they usually ignore. For instance,  “Cidre”, a radio spot for an alcoholic beverage, literally starts with an announcement that people should listen. The heavy accent throws people off who are used to clear voices. If your aim is to grab listeners’ attention, this is a great example for inspiration.


The spot “Earphone Bully” is unlike most public service announcements or PSAs that seek to address the topic of bullying. It experiments with sound, by presenting speech from a bully from the point of view of the victim. “Earphone Bully" draws in listeners by changing their perspective on this growing social issue.


The more your radio ad stays in consumers’ heads, the greater the chance is that they will select your brand when out shopping. A spot for the yeast extract Marmite employed “‘The Mondays’” as a memorable catchphrase to describe their food product as a cure for a case of bad moods on Mondays. It’s a memorable ad that encourages customers to enjoy Marmite on toast to start their week right.

Jingles are an extreme example of memorable ads Repetitious music reinforcestends the product’s existence in the listener’s memory.That is why jingles repeat the same slogan over and over. People remember jingles even if they don’t necessarily have any attachment to the product.


Even when people forget the words of a radio commercial, they are likely to remember how they felt when they listened to it. In an ad called “Meeting” for Toyota Avensis, a character with a silly high-pitched voice keeps asking other meeting participants “how are you?”

Emotions in radio spots can be positive (humor, joy) or negative (sadness, anger). This particular ad only mentions the brand in the last moments while the rest is humor.


The best radio ads are consistent in their messaging. A great example of consistency can be found in Motel 6 radio ads. A five and half-minute selection of the motel chain’s spots all emphasize value, frugality and low prices. Each ad finishes with the catchphrase  “We’ll leave the lights on for you.” 

As Muse by Clio noted, the Motel 6 ad campaign began by positioning guests as frugal and not cheap. They emphasized that these cost savings allows them to do things like buy more gas during their journey or to purchase nicer gifts for their grandchildren)

Consistency is important because listeners will not remember an ad that plays only once. But after too many replays, listeners get tired of the same ad. This is why great campaigns have multiple ads, but each revolves around the same theme. 

For best results, follow the 21/52 advertising plan. This strategy highlights the idea that you should run 21 radio ads each week, every week of the year. Consistency like this helps keep your ads top of mind among potential customers. While the content of the ads changes, the brand values remain consistent.

Ready to Develop a Radio Ad Campaign for Your Business?

These five common characteristics of the best radio ads are applicable to promoting your own products or services. Remember that the ads’ content must be consistent to deliver the most value. If you want help creating the perfect advertisement,you can always contact us for advice and assistance for planning your radio advertisement campaign. 

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Topics: Radio Advertising