How to create radio ads

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in VoiceOver on April 22, 2023
Do you need to know how to create effective radio ads? In this guide, you’ll discover the main steps and learn about examples of quality ads.

    How to create radio ads

    Despite being an older form of marketing, radio advertising is still an effective way to reach your target audience. According to, people are 48% more aware of brands that make clever use of radio spots.

    Furthermore, Startup Talky says radio commercials are 20% more effective than other channels for building your brand among potential customers. So, it’s clear you need to get your ad on a radio station. Here’s how to grab a listener’s attention with a quality radio ad script.

    Writing a quality radio ad copy

    To make radio ads an effective part of your marketing strategy, particularly in terms of building brand awareness, you must master the production of these types of ads. The following steps help you to create something that does the job when it’s on air.

    Determine the length

    As standard, most stations are happy to play 30-second radio ads, with some even willing to devote 60 seconds of airtime to your ad. If you go the 30-second route, you’ll need about 60 words of copy, give or take, with 60-second ads typically requiring about 130 words.

    It is also possible to get 10- or 15-second spots, which is useful for any small business with little budget. But with such limited time, you may struggle to grab the audience’s attention.

    Create a strong call to action (CTA)

    The whole point of getting your ad on a radio show is to get a return on investment. You want customers to call your phone number or visit your website to buy your product.

    So, your radio ad needs to end with a CTA telling the listener the next step. Something as simple as “Call us at <phone number> to get your 10% discount on pet products” does the trick.

    Hire a copywriter

    A catchy jingle and funny sound effects may stick in a listener’s mind, but it’s the copy that sells your product.

    Effective radio ads say a lot in very little time. Use your copy to tell stories, share testimonials, and explain what benefits your product or service brings to the listener’s life.

    Decide on your voice acting

    There are two components to getting voice acting right with audio ads: how you set up an ad and how you choose your voice actor.

    Regarding the setup, you may go for a single announcer who recites your script with the appropriate level of enthusiasm. Some ads introduce a back-and-forth, bringing two voice actors into the mix to create a more conversational tone in the ad.

    Telling stories, holding real interviews with members of your target demographic (thus creating social proof), and having an announcer speak or sing over a jingle are also great options.

    As for finding high-quality voice talent, you have three options:

    • Use freelancers – Available on sites like Upwork and Fiverr, freelancers are budget-friendly but have no oversight. Some may find going the freelance route to be a risky option.

    • Use an agency – Voice acting agencies are intermediaries between voice actors and companies that wish to hire those actors. Quality controls are in place, giving you more confidence, but you pay extra for the added professionalism.

    • Use an AI voice over service – The rise of text to speech technology means that AI-generated natural-sounding voices are at your fingertips. Voice over services, such as Speechify Voice Over, give you access to dozens of voices at a lower cost than hiring a human voice actor.

    Crucial radio ad tips and examples

    It’s easy to say “write compelling copy” for a radio ad, but it’s much harder to both write that copy and have it performed properly.

    With these examples of great radio ad campaigns, you’ll get a better idea of what it takes to build an effective radio ad.

    The McDonald’s jingle

    McDonald’s ads are short, sweet, and feature a catchy jingle that makes them stick in your head.

    You’ll usually hear a mouth-watering description of the latest burger or newest offer the franchise has in store. And every time, the ad finishes with the iconic “Ba da ba da baaa, I’m lovin’ it” jingle to make it stick in your head.

    A short jingle can keep your brand at the top of the listener’s mind, making them remember the offer you made in the ad.

    Mars – The “Confessions” ads

    In the UK, the Mars company has developed a catchy “You’re not you when you’re hungry” tagline for its Snickers chocolate bar.

    The company put out its “Confessions” line of radio ads to build on this. Each ad featured somebody confessing something bad they’d done when they were hungry, often with a funny twist, allowing the ad to share the tagline.

    A little humor, especially when combined with a catchy tagline, can be as effective as a jingle in keeping your brand at the top of a listener’s mind.

    Gousto – Using music and sound effects

    Meal kit provider Gousto took a simple approach with its radio ad. After delivering a line, such as “Does your Tuesday night dinner sound like this?” – the ad played a segment of high-energy music.

    The idea is to use music to evoke an emotion in the listener, which they’ll then associate with Gousto. Using sound effects and music in a similar fashion helps to make your ad more memorable.

    Use Speechify to create excellent radio ad voice overs

    Creating radio ad voice overs that capture your audience’s attention is crucial to the success of any radio advertising campaign and thankfully, with Speechify Voice Over Studio you can easily create excellent radio ad voice overs that stand out from the crowd.

    With over 200 AI realistic voice options available, you can choose the voice that best fits your brand and audience. Moreover, you can customize the speed, tone, and inflections of the voice to create a unique and engaging voice over that connects with your listeners. With the simple interface you can easily edit the advertisement to your liking, from adding natural pauses to background music and everything in between, to ensure the message is perfect.

    Create radio ad voice overs that sound professional and make an impact on your target audience by trying Speechify Voice over Studio today.


    How do you make a 30-second radio ad?

    There are several steps to making a 30-second radio ad, including creating a script and securing voice over services.

    How much does it cost to make a radio ad?

    The cost of a radio spot can vary between $200 and $5,000, plus the money you spend on scriptwriting and voice over.

    What is the purpose of a radio ad?

    Most companies use radio ads to advertise a specific brand, offer, or product.

    What is the difference between a 15-second and a 30-second radio ad?

    Conciseness is the key difference, as you have less time to get your message across in a 15-second radio ad.

    What are the most popular radio ad formats?

    Popular radio ad formats include announcing an offer, using a jingle, and sharing testimonials.

    Are radio ads more effective than TV commercials?

    It depends on where your target audience spends most of its time. Both can be effective when properly targeted.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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