Radio advertising is among the most memorable styles of advertising a brand can utilise. It has a subliminal quality, weaving brand messages through a consumers day. Be that car journeys, commutes or while at work, radio forms a large part of the day. In fact, ask people if they listen to radio and they’ll say no. Yet those same people will be able to recall a radio advert or jingle successfully.

Like with TV, the world of radio advertising has changed considerably. There are many more stations, especially with the advent of DAB and streaming stations. Each is targeted at a particular niche audience, by musical taste or listener age. There are also broadcasts aimed at a certain skew: female centric pop and R&B stations versus sports focused, talk radio. At each end of the spectrum, stations centre on a very particular audience. This allows brands to target effectively on what used to be an entirely mass medium.

Benefits of radio advertising

Local and regional based radio stations have always been particular strong points of the radio advertising industry. While the broadcast methods may have changed, with substantially more syndicated national shows. The main commercial UK radio brands have retained a strong regional focus allowing for particular audiences to be targeted. This regional approach also allows very specific creative to be utilised, really supporting a local share of voice. This is not otherwise replicated in traditional media, aside from in outdoor advertising.

Radio has been a really adaptable media in the last few years, introducing digital options in response to competition from streaming services. Firms like Spotify, Amazon and Apple have changed audience consumption patterns substantially. Radio has changed to a streaming model in line with that demand. You’re now far more likely to experience radio digitally than ever before, including in your car, which opens a huge amount of targeting and intelligence for brands advertising on radio.

Radio can also be a tactical medium. Like digital OOH advertising you can have audio assets on air within a few hours, often faster. This gives the potential to be really responsive to events as they happen. It may be hard to conjure ideas here, but imagine taking a retail sale to deeper levels for particular stores based on regional trends. Or targeting a football audience based on the earlier fixtures that day. This type of fragmented personalisation in near real time is almost exclusive to radio. It does require a fair bit of planning to execute well.

Making a success of radio ads

Unlike TV, its harder to skip radio ads, but that doesn’t mean people won’t try. They leave the room to do something else. Like TV creative, cut through is achieved with the right assets at work. Audio idents and great scripting become essential. As does the music, where there are two main options.

The first, licensed music is where you license an existing track for use in your radio advertising. Typically this means paying the composer and publisher an agreed fee for its use. It often involves re-recording it so it’s more suitable for your brand.

The second is to use an original composition. This type of “jingle” will be an auditory ident for your brand and often this can be used for years to come. While any brand approaching a radio station direct will usually be offered some production by them, there is a lot more that goes into radio advertising than simply getting your message on air.

Planning your audio messaging for longer than a simple campaign is important. Preparation for multiple media, including social, podcasts and video advertising can save you time and money. Anticipating future radio bursts will also make the cost of production substantially cheaper.

For most brands the lack of long term thinking can get in the way of making audio or streaming a huge success. At The Bank we know how to make radio advertising work. In doing so, we anticipate the ongoing requirements of audio creation. Radio ads really help achieve a low cost, be everywhere technique that brands really benefit from. Radio should form a huge part of your campaign planning. To make a success of radio and online streaming, get in touch with The Bank. Our specialists will help to make it a reality.