4 Elements for Perfectly Memorable Radio Ads

Stephanie Theisen
Last updated by Stephanie Theisen

Image of a man with a sticky note on his foreheadAnyone with a daily commute to the office spends at least a few minutes listening to the radio in the car. While some of you might change stations to try to find music, you're eventually going to hear a few ads. It never fails that you'll hear one ad that sticks with you throughout the day, and maybe even gets you to Google that particular business. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people tuning in to the radio in the 21st century. Nielsen data shows that 270 million Americans over the age of six listen to the radio each week.That’s a lot of people listening, so how can you create a memorable radio ad that captures their attention? Here are four memorable elements every radio ad should include and great examples from our clients:

1. Consistency

If you really want to produce memorable radio ads, you need consistency in advertising. This includes the voice, the music, and the message. Consider a local hardware store with light-hearted tones, excitable voiceovers, and upbeat music. It would be odd to tune in to the radio and suddenly hear an ad for that same shop with a monotone voiceover, no music, and a plain list of new products rattled off for the listener. The best ads are the ones you can identify by the music and the voice before you even hear the brand or have a clue what the product is that is being presented in that moment. Below is an example of how Bradshaw & Bryant PLLC reels you in.

Bradshaw & Bryant PLLC makes it easy for you to know exactly what the radio ad is about within the first few seconds by saying, "When you need someone to listen, a lawyer you know and trust." Their message about distracted driving leading to an injury is easy to digest, like all of their consistent radio ads.

2. Familiarity

In addition to the general consistency of your advertisement message and approach, the structure of your radio ads should be the same if you want them to be memorable in the minds of listeners. Again, the best radio ads are the ones you can identify within the first few seconds of hearing them. If you have a preferred tagline for strategy-based messaging, use it regularly. If you use a jingle in your ads, use it the same way each time. Whether you play it in the background with a voiceover or play the sing-in and sing-out in the ad, do it the same every time.

These two points are part of the BrandsFormation System and form the "mortar" portion of the "brick and mortar" style that Leighton Media uses to build your branding campaigns. Taglines and jingles might seem innocuous, but they form the foundation of an ad campaign and are instantly recognizable by listeners. El-Jay Plumbing and Heating has the jingle game figured out.

"Because excellence begins with E" is one catchy jingle phrase. El-Jay Plumbing and Heating knows just how to get your attention in those first few crucial seconds with that line. It reels you in to stay tuned instead of switching to another station.

Read the nine best local advertising strategies in this ebook.

3. Focus

Each ad campaign should have a singular focus in its creation. Are you trying to promote your brand in general to a new audience, or are you looking to capture the attention of previous customers with new deals or brand updates? Whatever the goal is for your radio ads, memorable radio ads are those with a consistent focus. The specific message from ad to ad might change, but the focus should always be the same: your brand. Andy's Towing does just that.

Andy’s Towing keeps their messaging consistently focused on assisting their customers. Whether you've locked your keys in your vehicle or need a tire changed, "Andy’s Towing will get you going." 

4. Avoid Wavering and Constant Change

It is important to capitalize on changing seasons and moods, such as special products during the holiday season or huge discounts in the New Year. However, there is a difference between simply advertising special events and changing your entire campaign focus for them. By all means, run radio ads for special events, but don't change the structure of your ads. Doing so discards the consistency in advertising and focus you've built to date. Once Upon a Child showcases their Halloween selection and winter gear while still maintaining a structure similar to their other ads.


If you want people to remember your radio ads, you have to give them something to remember. As you build the foundation of your campaign, stay focused on consistency in advertising and be straight to the point.

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