There are many good reasons to advertise on the radio. Here are just three:
1) It’s a highly cost-effective way to reach many different audiences – local or national – at many different times of day.
2) Research shows that radio has, along with cinema, the lowest level of ‘ad-avoidance’. People rarely change stations. Which is good news for advertisers.
3) Radio is a ‘friend’. It keeps people company throughout their day – whilst driving, cooking, working or shopping online. It’s there when people wake up and when they’re going to bed. This ‘special relationship’ is unlike that enjoyed by any other medium. And, when the creative is right (!), can work strongly in favour of advertisers.
There are some fairly obvious things about advertising on the radio which, however, may bear repeating.
Firstly, you can’t close your ears. If you’re in the back of cab and a radio ad comes on, you’re going to hear it. Unless you reach into the front to turn it off (*this is not recommended).
Secondly, you can target different people at different times of day. For example, are there still such things as housewives? Well then… them.
Thirdly, people are extremely loyal to their radio stations. They’ll describe themselves as ‘a Classic FM listener’, in a way they probably wouldn’t describe themselves as an ‘ITV1 watcher’, say. This loyalty can mean that radio commercials really do feel like they are coming ‘from the station’, in a way that ads in other media don’t.
Fourthly, repetition. A radio ad goes out many, many times (or it should do), at many different times. To catch different people at different times, or the same people over and again. An added reason to make sure your campaign stays fresh with eg multiple ads.
Sixthly, unlike a TV or press ad, a radio ad can be heard in the car on the way to the shops, or while shopping online, and in many other places when a prospective customer is ‘hot’.
And finally, a radio commercial can be extremely effective in ‘turbo-charging’ other elements of the campaign, for no extra spend. Research carried out by the radiocentre shows that if radio is given 20% of the overall spend it can generate an 8% uplift, for no additional cost.
Broadly speaking, the same things that make a good advert in any other medium: a solid offering, an engaging creative, a simple and memorable message.
It’s perhaps easier to identify what makes a BAD radio advert.
Poorly-written copy, weak ‘comic’ scenarios, too much information and cliché performances are the usual offenders. Arguably the most common fault, however, is that of using radio as a spoken (or worse, a shouted) local press ad. It may look fine on the page, but that’s only because that’s exactly where it belongs.
With a little care, time and – yes – additional budget (for, say, extra voices, specially-composed music and expert studio production), a radio ad can be so much more than just a ‘your-name-here’ thirty second announcement.
With all this in mind, an even simpler answer to the question, “What makes a good radio advert?” is… we do!
We’ll try not to answer this one using the words ‘string’ or ‘piece’…! The fact is, though, there are several variables that will affect the cost of your radio commercial.
The most significant of these variables is the number and size of the radio stations that the commercial will be running on. As a rough rule of thumb, the more people who will hear the ad, the more it costs, in terms of both usage (the amount of money – based on the Equity guideline rate – paid to the voice artists who feature on the ad) and trafficking costs (the fee charged by the media distribution companies to deliver your ad to the relevant radio stations). By way of a fairly extreme example, a single voice commercial running on a small, local radio station will attract a ratecard usage cost of around £50 and a trafficking charge of £25. At the other end of the scale, a four voice commercial running across the entire UK independent radio network might attract a usage cost of around £8000, and a trafficking cost of £1500. And this doesn’t even factor in any uplift in the event of a ‘celebrity’ voice being used (which can often greatly increase the price).
Happily, our long experience in creating radio commercials means we have developed extremely good relationships both with all the relevant voice agents and distribution companies, and so are able to negotiate the best possible deals on your behalf. As for our own fees, these will again depend on the size of the job, but will always be clearly indicated – and broken down – on the estimate we provide you with before beginning work.
The part of the process that we don’t do at Radioville is buying and booking media time.But we have some good friends who do do that.They are December 19 and they’ve given us some ballpark figures for quick reference:
For a local 2 week medium weight campaign you might be looking at something between £1.5k and £6k.
For a national 6 week medium weight campaign you could pay anything from £50k all the way up to £350k.
To get a more accurate steer, please call December 19 on 020 3772 6556.
Creative and Production Costs
This is where we come in.When it comes to creative fees it is really hard to pin that one down, as they vary wildly depending on reach, length of campaign, frequency of play and a whole host of other factors (such as how many commercials are required, how many actors are used, the amount of time in the studio required and the number and type of the radio stations on the media schedule).
Third party costs include:
Studio costs – charged by the hour. Central London studios generally charge between £150 and £300 per hour.There may also be:
Voice session fees – charged by the hour £200 – £300 (sometimes much more for famous voices)
Voice usage fees – charged per voice, per ad, per radio station, per 3 months and can be from £40/55 for local stations up to £750 for a national station.Sometimes there are deals to be done with the agents but those are the ratecard costs.
Music costs – This can range from £75 for a 30 second piece of library music on 1 ad, to £1000+ to have a bespoke piece of music written to £100,000s for a well known existing song.
Our fees for jobs can range from 5k to 50k. As a rough guide though, radio production (creative and third party costs) is usually 12 – 15% of the media spend.
However, it is worth noting that we are accommodating, and will always do our best to work with you to get costs within budget. You will find that we may not be the cheapest, but our work speaks for itself (have a look on our website – you’ll find some examples of our work in the ‘hear our stuff’ section).
The simple answer is …. as long as you want it to be (provided it’s divisible by ten second units. eg thirty second, forty second, fifty second)
In an ideal world, a radio ad should be as long as it needs to be to do the job.
In this same ideal world, the spot lengths shouldn’t be booked before the scripts have been approved.
In practice, most of the commercials we make are 40 or 30 seconds long.20 second ads are less common. 10, 50, 60 – and anything over 60 – second ads are very rare indeed.
Obviously the length of your ad will have an effect on the number of times your commercial is heard. For the same media spend, a ten second ad will get significantly more airplay than a sixty second ad. But it would be highly unlikely to deliver the same impact (otherwise ALL ads would be ten seconds long!). As the great Dave Trott puts it, “Media isn’t about the number of impressions you make, it’s about the POWER of the impressions you make.”
Rest assured, if we think a three minute commercial-break busting behemoth is the most effective way to execute your brief, we’ll recommend it.
(Rest assured, we probably won’t!)