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Radio Commercial Scripts: How and Why

6 min read

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Although it’s true that audio ads seem to be taking the cake these days, there’s always going to be a need for radio ads. We’ll learn how to craft radio commercial scripts and then create some examples to better show the process.

Radio Commercial Scripts: Some Background First

There are some things we should ask ourselves before we try to create a radio commercial script.

A Sense of Urgency

Radio ads often have to compete for the listener’s attention. This is quite logical when we consider the environment they’re designed for. A radio listener may very well be driving, for example, and thus not necessarily invested in listening to radio advertisements.

Audio ads, on the other hand, may feature a less strenuous tone. They’re often designed for a listener who is working on their computer, often wearing headphones. This obviously means that there is less of a need for urgency and the ad may be a bit more conversational in tone.

The first thing we need to figure out in our radio commercial script is how much sense of urgency it needs to have. There will be some cases where even a radio ad can strike a less strident tone.

Jingle or Not

There are several types of radio commercial script which we can create. Jingles were a very popular form of radio commercial back in the day. A jingle, as we know, is essentially a catchy tune, which has been specifically created to promote a particular product or service. Nowadays, jingles have declined in importance.

Audio Ads vs. Radio Commercials

Choosing between an audio commercial script or a radio commercial script is an important step. There are some things to take into account.

Radio commercials run exclusively on radio. Audio ads, on the other hand, can run across a more varied gamut of online platforms. There is also a specificity to audio ads which is quite important. By using algorithmic approaches they can pinpoint the ad to very specific audiences.

How to choose then? Well, we need to ask ourselves a few simple things. Are we trying to have a general approach or a more specific approach? If the product/service advertised is aimed at a rather general audience, then crafting a radio commercial script will be best. If, on the other hand, the product is aimed at a more specific audience, then an audio ad may be best. An ad for a large chain of supermarkets will go on the radio, whilst an ad for a new music album may be best as an audio ad on an online platform.

radio commercial scripts for companies

Live vs. Pre-Recorded Radio Commercial Scripts

Live radio commercials are quite interesting. They’ll usually be read out by a radio announcer or DJ. One such example is the following sample created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the United States:

 “We all have the power to increase the prevention of substance use and promotion of mental health in [INSERT COMMUNITY]—whether by supporting someone who’s going through a difficult time, or instilling healthy habits in our children from an early age. Join others in [INSERT COMMUNITY] by making each day count during National Prevention Week 2017, May 14th to the 20th. Visit [RADIO STATION NAME]’s website at [WEBSITE ADDRESS] to learn more. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and [INSERT ORGANIZATION].”

The other case of radio commercial scripts is that of more typical pre-recorded ads. In this case, we’re talking about a more traditional type of ad which was recorded, edited etc. Obviously, a radio ad like this will generally be a bit more polished than a live-read. One such example is this NHS ad:

Female narrator: We are here every day and every night of every year.
[Sound of ambulance siren/ hospital bed going through doors/footsteps down corridor.]
From new-born to old age.
[Sound of baby crying/scanner/beep of monitor/heartbeat/oxygen tank.]
We never panic.
[Phone ring tone/NHS employee answers: “How can I help?”]
We take a pulse, agree a plan, make a cuppa.
[Beep of heart monitor/talking/cup of tea being made.]
We’re doing our rounds… making our visits.
[Ring of a door bell/door opening/voice saying “Hiya”.]
We are Michelle, Adan, Alfie, Frankie, Yvonne. And at 3.49 this morning we were Maisie, too.
[A newborn baby’s cry.]
We are the NHS.
[Nurse leaves for the night saying “Night, love” to colleagues.]
We are recruiting now. Search “nursing careers”.

Basic Structure of Radio Commercial Scripts

Note that there are different things we can do with our radio commercial script. We can use several different styles and ideas:

  • Straight Announcer: This is the typical, standard type of radio commercial script. It basically features one single announcer or voice.
  • Two Announcers: Another fairly common style of radio commercial script features two announcers. These two announcers or characters are then able to play off each other.
  • Slice of Life: This style of radio commercial script essentially presents a problem and then offers a solution. This can be accomplished by creating a simple structure of setup, problem, interaction, and solution.
  • Customer Interview: This is another well-known radio commercial script. It’s basically a conversation/interview which takes place between the announcer and another person. The idea is to present the product or service conversationally.
  • Storyline: Another type of radio commercial scripts features a story that is being told. This fictional narrative may include a fictional setting and characters who encounter a problem and then a solution.

Getting Down to Business with Radio Commercial Scripts

15 seconds ad

Sometimes we need a simple radio commercial script, to create a short and sweet ad that gets straight to the point. Let’s try to create two examples. One of them will be a live-read, whilst the other one will be a radio commercial script aimed for a fully finished spot.

Remember that a 15-second ad will generally have about 30 words. A 30-second ad will have about 60 words and a 60-second ad will need about 120 words. These are rough estimates.

Live read

Let’s imagine that we’re creating a live-read for a mental health provider. Let’s suppose that it’s an online platform for online counseling and therapy. The live-read will invite people to try the platform:

“This pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. For some, the stress has deeply affected their mental well-being. Join a huge community of patients already online. Go to mentalsonline.com and sign up today.”

Produced Spot

What if we want to create a radio commercial script for a finished, produced radio ad? Well, it would look something like this:

Narrator:

“Does the pandemic have you down?”

Person:

“Yeah, quite a bit”

Narrator:

“Have you thought about going to talk to someone about it?”

Person:

“Sure, but I can’t leave the house. And the cost of therapy is prohibitive!”

Narrator:

“Go to mentalsonline.com for online, affordable therapy!”

30 seconds ad

We can certainly increase the length of the radio commercial script. Let’s try to create another two spots, a live-read and a produced commercial but with a longer length.

Live read

“This pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. For some, the mental stress of confinement, loss of income and other challenges have taken a toll on their mental well-being. This creates a problem. Who to go for help? Well, that’s what mentalsonline.com is all about.

(short pause)

Join a huge community of patients already online. Go to mentalsonline.com and sign up today.”

Produced Spot

We can also create a longer 30 seconds produced spot. We need to be careful that the momentum of this longer radio commercial script is not lost:

Narrator:

“Does the quarantine have you down?”

Person:

“Yeah, quite a bit.”

Narrator:

“Have you thought about talking to someone about it?”

Person:

“Sure, but I can’t leave the house. And the cost of therapy is prohibitive!”

Narrator:

“Well, look no further. At mentalsonline.com we are able to provide an affordable online platform with the best therapists.”

Person:

“Sounds great.”

Narrator:

“Go to mentalsonline.com for more!”

radio commercial scripts for begginers

60 seconds ad

Now we’ll attempt to create a longer version. 60 seconds is quite long and we must be careful that the radio commercial script doesn’t bog down or feel sluggish.

Live read

“This pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. For some, the mental stress of confinement, loss of income and other challenges have taken a toll on their mental well-being. This creates a problem. Who to go for help? Well, that’s what mentalsonline.com is all about.

(short pause)

Mentalsonline.com is an affordable online platform to care for the mental health of patients. Simply sign up and for a monthly fee and you’ll have access to unlimited therapy online.

(short pause)

No need to leave the house or spend vast sums on therapy. Mentalsonline.com is the online solution for mental health. Defeat the pandemic with strong mental well-being. Go to mentalsonline.com

(short pause)

Join a huge community of patients already online. Go to mentalsonline.com and sign up today.”

Produced Spot

Narrator:

“Does the quarantine have you down?”

Person:

“Yeah, you bet. I’m not feeling all that well.”

Narrator:

“Have you thought about talking to someone about it?”

Person:

“Sure, but I can’t leave the house. And the cost of therapy has always seemed prohibitive.”

Narrator:

“Well, look no further, at mentalsonline.com we are able to provide an online platform with the best health experts.”

Person:

“Sounds interesting. Tell me more.”

Narrator:

“You sign up and for a monthly fee, you have access to unlimited online therapy with the therapist of your choosing. You can text-message the therapist or even talk face to face via our online platform.”

Person:

“Sounds great. I’d like to check it out.”

Narrator:

“Go to mentalsonline.com for more! Defeat this pandemic with strong mental health!”

 

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  • and was written by Ignacio
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  • This article was powered by Bunny Studio
  • and was written by Ignacio
  • If you want to hire this Bunny Pro, click here.
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