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We’re watching less and listening more. That’s why radio advertising is an effective way to build your brand and engage your audience. But it also compels you to consider how your brand comes across when it’s not in sight.

How to create a compelling radio ad

Crafting a compelling radio commercial is a unique skill. Since you can’t throw in flashy visuals, you’re asking listeners to rely on their imagination. This demands a creative approach that goes beyond the realm of tired jingles and annoying call-to-actions. A great radio ad not only entertains but also gives your audience a crystal-clear idea of who you are. All while keeping it in sync with the medium.

Offer relevant entertainment

Effective communication is about striking a balance between entertaining your audience and conveying a message. Consumers are surprisingly open to commercial messages, especially when they understand it’s a necessary part of the listening experience. This way, we give every ad a shot, even if it’s just for those first few seconds.

On the flip side, we can swiftly shut ourselves off from unnecessary information, depending on how we perceive those initial moments. A radio ad with an irritating voice or a pushy call-to-action can be a deal-breaker. In such cases, our focus can rapidly shift to a different topic. The key is to draw listeners into your world right from the beginning of your audio advertisement. So they’ve invested in the outcome of your story.


Radio sonic branding

Apply sonic branding

You definitely want to avoid landing your story without anyone remembering your brand. Striking that balance is trickier on radio than on TV. After all, you can’t flaunt your logo or colours, let alone showcase a tasty pack shot. Listeners need to immediately know who they’re dealing with. Right in those first few seconds.

You will achieve this by painting your entire commercial in your own musical colours. A recognisable voice, your own music and a distinctive sound logo. Let your brand’s identity take the lead, so all that creativity is distinctly yours. And no one else’s.

Look beyond radio

Beyond radio, there are more channels where your brand can have a sonic presence. Think digital radio, podcast ads, or commercials on platforms like Spotify. And each medium has its own vibe.

There are roughly two categories. There’s audio that demands effort, like talk shows, news, and podcasts. Then there’s audio that’s easier to consume, like streaming or car radio, where your audience likely is in autopilot mode.

In the latter category, as an advertiser, you’ve got more leeway to grab attention. Your radio commercial, for instance, needs to make a splash. And your audience expects and accepts that. Streaming audio is instead more curated by the user, translating to a certain expectation of control over the medium.

Yet, in the realm of news and podcasts, you’re completely in someone else’s space. Immersed in a thrilling crime story or a political debate, you’re part of the experience, not just a listener. Trying to grab attention here can backfire and your audio ad needs to respect that. Try to blend in and connect with your audience in a way that makes them see you as part of the club, not an intruder.


Advertising with audio?

Advertising with audio is an effective way to build your brand and reach a broad audience. Crafting a compelling audio ad, however, is a specialised skill. So leave it to the experts at TAMBR to engage your listeners with a compelling story.

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Niels de Jong

Oprichter / Muzikaal strateeg

Niels is opgeleid tot jurist én uitvoerend pianist, werd getraind als bankier en verdiende zijn sporen als strateeg in de creatieve industrie. Hij is mede-oprichter en muzikaal strateeg bij TAMBR.


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