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Four Ways to Boost Your Radio Creative

Advertisers value radio for its ability to deliver customers to stores and raise brand awareness. But not all radio ads are created equal. At their best, audio ads elevate engagement and purchase intent, and the secret sauce is top-quality creative.  

There are some tricks to make stand-out spots. According to a new study of 164 award-winning radio ads by Veritonic, a company that measures audio ad effectiveness, and Westwood One, a few key ingredients can elevate spots from good to great.  

Add Sonic Branding

When it comes to audio ads, some marketers take their TV creative and try to shoehorn it into radio spots, but that sacrifices the distinctiveness of audio. Ads with a unique sonic identity makes spots more recognizable -- and more memorable -- to listeners. A sonic branding could be a consistent voice, jingle or music. When used consistently, it should trigger a brand association, the study noted. In Veritonic’s analysis, ads that had an audio logo generated higher purchase intent than those that did not. Music proved to particularly memorable, scoring nearly 150% higher in purchase intent than spots without any music.  

Try a Female Perspective

No gender bias here, but women may deliver a better pitch on radio, the report said, noting that radio ads voiced by a female produced higher responses than their male counterparts, eliciting more “happy”, “trustworthy” “authentic” interesting and “unique” responses. Interestingly, of the ads that were analyzed, 70% were voiced by men -- creating an opportunity for female-voiced ads to stand out and make a lasting impression.   

Strike a Serious Tone

While it might seem that a humorous tone would stand out in the audio landscape, Veritonic found consumers actually respond better to serious spots, generating a 75% higher purchase intent. If you opt for a funny ad, the study suggests that marketers change ads frequently so the humor doesn’t get stale.

Disclaimers Don’t Turn Off Listeners

While some advertisers are loath to include disclaimers at the end of their spots, it is sometimes a legal necessity. For instance, automotive advertisers, traditionally radio station’s top ad category, often use disclaimers at the end of their ads to provide details on pricing and financing. Marketers may worry that this turns off listeners, but the Vertitonic report did not find any negative. Instead, some ads scored well with listeners, suggesting possibly consumers appreciate the information.

Creative drives nearly 50% of marketers’ return on investment in advertising, according to an analysis by Nielsen and Westwood One. Radio stations have significant resources at their disposal to help clients produce engaging spots that stand-out. That includes your popular hosts and DJs, who radio have loyal audiences that consider them trusted friends. When a well-known morning show host or drive-time DJ endorses a product or voices an ad, the audience takes note and those spots can produce more results.

Radio stations can extend their production expertise to help clients craft audio spots that are enhanced by correct music, strong voice overs and high-quality production. Along with AM/FM radio, these spots run across digital platforms, including podcasts and on-demand audio, expanding both their exposure and effectiveness.  Good creative can help both your clients and your radio stations generate better results, and that’s a winning combination for everyone.

Written by Paul Altman