What Is a radio ad

what is a radio ad:

a radio ad is sound only ad  that can either persaude or inform its audience. an ad that persaudes the audience will have to include more then the an ad that informs the audience as it has to engage the audience, persaude the audience, and then give the relevant information need to purchase the product they are persauding them to buy. where as an ad that informs only has to focus on engage the audience and informing them. an ad that informs may be known as a public announcement.

what is the purpose of a radio ad:

to advertise:

its simple, a radio ad is put out to try and persaude the public to buy the advertisers product, alot of the time a radio ad will be part of an advertising campaign which will include radio ads, video ads and print ads. radio ads are also often used by local businesses as smaller local businesses wont have the money to pay for a full tv advert and an radio ad is a cheaper alternative.

to help the radio industry:

the radio industry is split into 2 sectors commercial radio and public radio.

public radio is funded by the government and is therefore technically owned by the public. this means the radio has a duty to cover every type of music and broadcast nationwide. the largest public radio is the BBC. The BBC manages to cover every type of music by having a wide range of stations aswell as regional stations. The BBC are not allowed to have commercials on there radio and must include national news, it must also be a non profit organisation. it must also be completely unbiased.

commercial radio however is funded by advertisers and do not have the limitations that a public radio does. commercials represent 20% of a radios out put that means for every hour of commercial radio at least 12 minutes are commercials. the rest of the hour will then be split between music, presenting and the news. radio ads are often split up through it the hour in ad breaks. these ad breaks will be placed at the peak times os they reach the maximum amount of people. without radio ads there would be no commercial radio industry. radio ads are commercials radio main source of income.

rules and regulations:
there are many rules and regulation radio stations must abide by. these can be found here:
i will now look into some of the more important regulations that relate to advertising as there are to many regulations to list them all.

– Advertisements

‘Advertising’ in this Code refers to any items, including spot advertisements and promotions with advertisers, which are broadcast in return for payment or other valuable consideration to a licensee or which seek to sell to listeners any products or services. It does not cover product placement or sponsorship.

This Rule excludes promotion of radio stations’ own-branded activities, goods and events (such as websites, T-shirts and concerts) which enhance listener involvement and are not designed to make a profit or promote commercial partnerships.

Radio advertising should be legal, decent, honest and truthful, and these Rules should be applied in spirit as well as in the letter.

Licensees must make it a condition of acceptance that advertising complies fully with all legal requirements. Advertising for an acceptable product or service may have to be withdrawn if the ASA considers that a significant effect is indirectly to publicise an unacceptable product or service. 

– Pressure to purchase

Advertisements must not falsely state that a product, or the terms on which it is offered, will be available only for a very limited time in order to deprive consumers of the time or opportunity to make an informed choice. Advertisements must not mislead consumers about market conditions or the possibility of finding the product elsewhere in order to induce consumers to buy the product at conditions less favourable than normal market conditions.

Advertisements must not falsely claim that the advertisers are about to cease trading or move premises.

Advertisements must not mislead about the nature or extent of the risk to consumers’ personal security if they do not buy the product.

Advertisements must not explicitly claim that, if consumers do not buy the advertised product or service, the advertiser’s job or livelihood will be jeopardised. 

radio ads are monitored by a governing body called OFCOM. OFCOM regulate the commercial sector. this includes TV, Radio, and print. there job is to make sure that the public is happy with the service they are getting and that adverts are appropriate for the public. they are also there to protect the public from scam artist and company that falsely advertise products. OFCOM is fund by the industry and therefore must be completely unbiased.


an average radio ad is 30 seconds in length but can go up to 60 seconds. very rarely are ads 45 seconds long. this length is often avoided as it would usually make an ad break un even in length.

a radio ad consists of:

  •  SFX – sound effects – sound effects can often be used to grab the audiences attention. it can also be used to create an atmosphere or tone, or to influence the audience into feeling a particular emotion. it is also used to make an ad sound more realistic for example, an advert for an energy drink could try to create the image of someone opening a can by having the SFX of a can opening.
  • narration – often narration is used to either tell a story or give the audience important information. narration in a radio is more important as the audience has no visual aid to refer to and therefore have to create an image for themselves, the narration is one of the simplest, easiest ways to help create this image.
  • music – music can be used in a variety of ways. one of the most impactful ways music is used to create  an atmosphere. music can completely change the tone of a advert. another way music is used is when a company uses a catchy well known song in there advert. this is a great technique as the audience will likely already know the song and therefore be able to relate to it.
  • jingle – a jingle is used by a company to create an imprint on the audiences mind. usually it will be short, snappy, catchy and easy to remember. often the jingle will rhyme as well
  • slogan – this is often incorporated into the jingle. many companies will already have a slogan that is well known by the public so it only makes sense for a company to use it in an radio ad. many well known slogans are used in ads such as ‘because your worth it’.
  • contact details – these often come at the end of a radio ad, this is the information the public needs to know so they can buy a product or get in contact with the relevant people.
  • terms and conditions – this will always come at the end of the ad and is often a legal requirement and is there to protect the company. however the terms and conditions are often spoken in a fast and very monotone voice which means often the mind ignores them which can lead to various issues.


there are 4 different styles of radio ad:

serious: often this is used by charity’s for serious issues such as poverty.

seductive: this is often used by perfume adverts, or lingerie adverts.

factual: this will often be used in public service announcements

humorous: this can be used in a variety of ads, one of the most used ways of using it is when an advertisement is ironically taking the mic out of advert cliché’s.

meow mix – 1970’s

unfortunately it has proven overly difficult to find the exact date this radio ad launch but it has been confirmed it ran throughout the 1970’s. the radio ad was actually just the audio from meow mix’s tv commercial. the commercial consists of sound effects, music and voice over. it also includes a jingle and a slogan.


the commercial has background music. this music is made up of a piano being played in a old upbeat melody. its the sort of music you might hear in a bar in an old western or an silent movie comedy. it also has backing vocals of what sounds like females meowing along to the tune. this give the advert a very upbeat feel to it. also the tune is quite repetitive, simple and catchy. this imprints the ad in the listeners mind.

sound effects:

although im unsure as to wether or not this classes as a sound effect or lyrics but the advert starts of with the sound of a cat meowing in a repetitive manner, almost as if it was singing along to a tune. then the music kicks in and the two sound clips fit together. this helps with the imprint that the music has created, as the meowing is very catchy and gets stuck in the listeners head.

voice over:

towards the end of the advert a voice over begins. the voice is of an american man who speaks in an upbeat tone. the man give information about the product and finishes on the slogan. this is very effective however it doesn’t give any information on how to buy the product, how much it cost or where to buy the product.


in the ad the voice over is followed by a small jingle. the jingle is simply a cat meowing to a tune. this follows the slogan ‘taste so good, cats ask for it by name’. this claim, technically this isnt false advertising it is merely word play.

target audience:

this advertisement can only really target a small range of people. this would only attract the attention of cat owners. this puts the age demographic from bout 18 all the way up to 65+. the use of an american voice over implies that the advertisement would only be broadcast in america and therefore narrows down the target audience even more.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s