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Radio advert codes and conventions report
General conventions of radio adverts:
- Often last around 30 seconds
- have a voice over to give information
- Repetition of words/phrases to get message across
- Catchy/relevant music
- Directly addresses the audience
- Very enthusiastic
Through the use of online research, videos and books I have gathered a detailed analysis of
radio adverts. I have developed an understanding of the requirements a radio advert should
meet and gained aninsight on how the overall product should appear if it is to be successful.
‗A well-produced radio spot can inspire the imagination like nothing
else. Without a video aspect, the listener's mind is free to wander--to
conjure up splendid and impossible scenarios to hold their interest,
make them laugh, and, most of all, to pay attention! People listening to
radio are usually doing something else at the same time--driving,
working in the home or at the office, or exercising--so they don't
necessarily hear every word in a commercial. It has to be good!‘(online)
Overall, a radio advert is required to be unique in order to stand out amongst others and
catch the listener’s attention. This is important as people hear radio advertisements all the
time and when doing so they are often busy. Therefore listeners are unable to give them their
undivided attention, meaning that they do not hear every word. A radio advert needs to be
different from others to gain the listener’s attention and extremely clear in order to get their
In order to create a radio advert which meets all of these requirements I must ensure it
follows these simple conventions:
o ‗It is short (or at least feels short, because it‘s not boring)
o It is easy to understand, using simple language and sentence
o It has a clear and specific ―call to action‖ — pick up the phone,
write down this number, remember our name, etc.
o It repeats important information, such as the business name and
o It fits the tone of the show it‘s placed in‘(online)
These are the main features a radio advert must maintain if it is to be successful. An advert
needs to be quite short and straight to the point in order to keep the listener’s attention, or at
least seem that way because it is not boring. The tone used needs to be genuine and fit in
with the product or company; this will make the overall advert more professional and
suitable. It is vital that the language used is simple and easy to understand, this will ensure
that the listener is aware of what is being advertised. The company name must also be very
clear in the advert along with the phone number, website or company address depending on
what you are advertising.
‗TV and radio must create their meaning quickly as they are ephemeral
media, whereas people can take their own time to look at a print advert.
Video obviously allies sound and image, whereas radio only has sound
to create meaning. Radio adverts can be adventurous because they have
low production costs – exotic locations can easily be suggested with
sound effects.‘ (book)
Radio adverts are at a disadvantage compared to print adverts because people are able to
take their time and read them. Being ephemeral means that they are on for a very short time,
a listener cannot rewind to listen to the advert again if they have missed something.
Therefore, it is essential for the advert to be very clear and direct.However the positive
aspects to a radio advert is that they have low production costs. As they only have sound to
create meaning, this provides a wider range of ideas that can be extremely adventurous. For
example, it is possible to suggest exotic locations very easily by just using different sound
‗Although sixty second spots are the most common, stations also
sell airtime in thirty, fifteen, ten and two second intervals.‘(online)
In 30 or 60 seconds, a good radio ad grabs attention, involves a listener,
sounds believable, creates a mental picture, spins a story, calls for
action, and manages to keep the product on centre stage and the
customer in the spotlight.‘ (online)
Radio advertisements can vary to all different lengths, depending on what is being
advertised. They range from two second intervals which are extremely short, to sixty seconds
which can be too long. In thirty to sixty seconds a good radio advert involves a listener,
creates a mental image, ‘calls for action’ and keeps the product central. However, the longer
the advert does not necessarily mean that it will be the most effective.
‗Radio Recall Research studies have determined that a :30 spot may
generate as much as 80% recall of a :60 spot.‘ (online)
If a radio advert is too long it could lose the audience’s interest so it is necessary to remain
straight to the point to keep their attention, possibly using a shorter airtime. A thirty second
spot seems very ideal as it is long enough to promote the product or company yet short
enough to keep the listener’s attention.
‗Advertisements take up a significant part of radio time, as much as 12
minutes in every hour‘ (book)
As radio adverts take up a large amount of air time, people who listen to the radio are often
fed up of hearing them. This means that a radio advert has to be enjoyable, many are fed up
of hearing similar boring adverts so for one to be noticed it has to be different and fun.
‗The challenge ofgrabbing attention is huge. Don‘t underestimateit. This
is a difficult thing to do because we‘re all bombardedrelentlessly by
huge number of otheradvertisers who are trying to do it. Make sure that
the mostimpactful aspect of your ad is expressedearly on. Don‘t wait
until 20 seconds intothe ad to make your first point.‘(online)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx9M6ztsByg (video link)
This video link explains how to make an effective radio advert. It explains how it is the most
popular form of media and that the main thing to create an instant response is to put a ‘hook’
or ‘offer’ to make the consumer want to take action.
I believe thatthe main challenge for creating a radio advert is to catch the audience’s
attention straight away. Because there are so many radio adverts it is vital that your main
aim is to make it stand out and grab their attention immediately otherwise important
information could be missed. The most impactful aspect of the advert must be expressed
early on as this is what is most likely to be heard, and if the listener likes what they hear they
will continue on listening to what you have to say.