What Makes a Great Radio Ad?

Almost a century ago America heard its first radio advertisement. The relatively simple ad was broadcast from New York radio station WEAF for Hawthorne Court Apartments in Jackson Heights. At the time, advertisers were only beginning to understand the power of radio. Today, we know a lot more about crafting radio ads that get attention and cause people to act. So, what are some of the things that make a great radio ad?


People in the media age have heard thousands of radio ads since the dawn of the medium. Consider this as you begin crafting your message. Don’t rehash old material that your listeners have heard dozens of times over the course of a day. Think beyond the standard. How can you communicate your message in a unique manner?

Production value and voice-over talent:

Quality voice-over talent and production values are essential in appealing to today’s sophisticated radio audience. The higher quality your radio production the more credible your brand becomes. How can you perk the ears of the listener to hear your radio commercial in the midst of all the clutter?

Consider using voice talents that deliver a similar style of voiceover, like a talent that sounds like Jon Hamm, Sam Elliott, or Rod Serling.


The public must be able to hear and understand your message for it to help your brand. Voices should be clear and intelligible, even if it means cutting that clever wording you’ve struggled to perfect. Make sure the chosen voice and production style serves the words being spoken.

Knowledge of your audience

Great radio ads connect with their public in a personal way. This takes research and effort when crafting commercials. By truly understanding who you want to target, you make your ad more authentic. It will stand out from the pack. It will talk directly to the people you want to reach.

Great copy:

Well written copy is at the heart of all radio and TV ads. Your radio script should be easy to understand, flow easily and include a call to action. Strong, active wording combined with adjectives and adverbs that spur the brain’s sensory areas is key. Do the words remind you of a cherished memory? Do they summon an emotion? Can you see the product in someone’s hands? Copy is more than just an adjutant to a marketing campaign—it is the campaign in action. Copy IS the message.

Great radio ads don’t just happen. They must be crafted. Advertisers must research their audiences. They need to choose the right radio station and time slots. Then they must present a message that defines their product and truly touches target demographics. Technology and modern research data placed in the hands of experienced professionals helps make the very best commercials possible.

After all, we’ve come a long way since that first commercial back in a New York radio station in 1922. We can help you accomplish this with our compelling automotive radio production and exceptional broadcast marketing capabilities for any product or service.

What makes a great radio ad? We do. Talk to us today.

And ask about our voicing and production for television commercials.