Best Practice Takeaways for Audio Ad Creative


By Colleen Fahey with generous help from Pierre Bouvard of Cumulus Media

With the notable rise in the use of auditory media, it’s helpful to remember that radio advertising has its own rules. You shouldn’t take your time building a story before exposing the brand name (or sharing other brand cues) and remember that recognizable patterns and repetition are your friends.

The Audio Active Group, part of Cumulus Media/Westwood One, summarizes their excellent article with this brief list.

  • Have a conversation: Don’t shout
  • The first five seconds matter: Say the brand early and often
  • Don’t get caught up on spot length
  • The fewer the messages, the greater the recall
  • Use consistent, unified creative across different media to deliver impact
  • Tell a story with emotion
  • Use a fluent device, ie. a recurring character or scenario
  • Entertain for emotional gain
  • Make the ad audible and easy to understand
  • Use music for branding
  • Create a sonic logo that has melody and says the brand name
  • Leverage the appeal and trust of radio personalities
  • Target your core audience: Women prefer a female voice
  • Don’t worry about wear-out

Good creative discipline, taking into account the rules above, will improve recall and intent-to-purchase more than increasing the length of your ad from :30 to :60.

Some of the disciplines, like a musical brand identity, require advance planning, so be sure to budget the resources for that. Otherwise, we’re all well advised to crumple up the laundry list and dial up the emotion.

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash.