Radio Advertising Pros and Cons

A microphone in a studio.If you’re planning on advertising on the radio, then you’ll find this post offers an abundance of hand-picked articles organized in sections for your convenience.

Each article offers tips and insights from some of the tops sites online. Let’s go over a few of the issues you’ll want to consider before reaching the resource section further down the page.

Radio Advertising Pros and Cons:

I’ll go over some of the pros and cons of advertising. You’ll find a lot more in the resource section below.

Radio Advertising Pros:

  • When people are listening to the radio they don’t usually skip the ads, as they can when reading an article.
  • Radio stations build dedicated fans. Your message gains some credibility when broadcast on their favorite station.
  • You can target local or national audiences.
  • You can target radio shows that are related to your product; for example, home improvement, self-help, computer shows, etc.
  • More radio advertising pros in the resources further down the page

Radio Cons:

  • People are using streaming services and subscriptions like Apple music instead of listening to the radio.
  • There are no visual aids.
  • You may only have a few seconds to get your message across.
  • Imagine if someone is driving and listening, they can’t write down your contact information. Therefore your call to action must be repeated a few times in the commercial, taking away from the short time you have.
  • Radio advertising differs from TV, the web, and print advertising because you focus on people’s auditory senses.
  • More radio advertising cons in the resources further down the page


There are a lot of issues to consider before starting your radio advertising campaign. Below are some questions and points to look into before looking for a radio station or an agency to broadcast your radio commercial.

Let’s get started

1. The Length of Your Ad:

How long will your message be, 15, 30, 45, or 60 seconds? The length of your message will be one of the factors affecting your advertising and production cost. Naturally, the longer the ad, the more expensive it will be to create and air.

Before you consider the length of your message, determine what information you want to include. Can you effectively deliver your message in 15 seconds? Or will you need 30 seconds or more?

2. Who are The People You Are Targetting?

Target your audience to deliver a powerful message. Without understanding your audience, you won’t be able to deliver a message that appeals to your listeners.

For example, if your product or service is for people over 70 years old, then broadcasting your message to teenagers won’t be very efficient, will it?

When you define your audience, you’ll be able to create your radio script and find an appropriate radio station for your advertising campaign.

3. Including Too Much Information:

You don’t want to include too much information in your ad. It will dilute the message. Focus on your main point only, including your call to action and your contact information.

4. Your Message Must Be Clear:

A listener only has a few seconds for your attention; make sure you get their attention for the right reasons.

As you know, there are no visuals in your radio ad. Your message must tell a story that the lister can visualize, or if you don’t use a story, ensure your message is clear and to the point.

In the resources below, you’ll find a section that offers samples of radio ads. Spend some time on those resources to gain ideas.

Going through sample radio ads allows you to pick out the issues you want to avoid. I was going through a few while doing my research. Some commercials were so bad because of the sound quality; they shouldn’t be allowed to air on the radio.

Sound Effects

Sound effects in your commercial may draw attention. My preference is to minimize them because they can be very irritating. Sometimes I’ll even turn the radio off or switch the channel. You want to gain the listener’s attention by offering something of interest, not blaring some sound effect to make their ears bleed.

If a sound effect enhances your commercial, I would use it sparingly and listen to it over the air before using it. When it comes to AM broadcasts, you’ll notice the sound isn’t s as clear as FM or XM radio broadcast. Therefore a poorly selected sound effect playing over an AM radio station may sound awful.

5. Call To Action and Contact Information:

Make sure you have a call to action in your ad. Do you want them to call, go to a webpage, or come to your place of business? It’s important to have a call to action unless you are running a campaign for brand awareness. Otherwise, make sure your call to action is clear and repeated, especially if you ask them to call or go to a webpage.

If your website is hard to remember, you can register a domain and redirect traffic to your sales or contact page.

For example, if you fix iPhones, you could buy a domain called and redirect traffic to any page you choose. is easy to remember, and because you included RadioAM or something similar, it can be available to register. If you repeat the web address,, 3 -4 times in your ad, the lister will be able to remember it.

Another advantage of this tactic is you can now track how effective your radio advertising is performing. The domain name would be used for radio advertising only, allowing you to easily track your results and determine how many people came to your site using You can also track how many people made a purchase using the domain.

In addition, you could register to track AM and FM advertising. You could even register a domain for each station. Allowing you to direct more of your campaign on the stations where your ad does well.

6. Radio Advertising Costs:

The cost of your radio advertising campaign will vary, and you won’t be able to get an accurate estimate unless you define the major factors that will affect your cost.

Let’s go over them below:

a.) What length of time are you considering? Will you choose a 15, 30, 45, or 60-second ad? Naturally, the longer the ad the more the cost.

b.) Will you advertise locally or nationwide? Local radio time may be cheaper than a nationwide campaign targeted toward millions of people.

c.) What time of the day are you interested in broadcasting your message? Rush hour will be a lot more expensive compared to a spot at 1 AM.

d.) Will you choose a spot that is targeted toward music, news, or specialty shows? For example, suppose your product is related to home improvement. In that case, you will get a lot better response with an audience tuning in to a home improvement show than airing your product during a political program.

e.) How many spots will you reserve to run your ad? In other words, how many times a week will your ad be broadcast? Naturally, the more spots you reserve, the more exposure you’ll get, and you may get a better price per spot but a higher overall cost.

f.) You’ll also need to consider the cost of producing the ad; this can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the length of a spot and if you want a jingle, etc.

To get an estimate, you will need to have all the above defined. Then you can contact an agency or a radio station to get an accurate estimate of the costs of your radio campaign.

7. Using A Radio Advertising Agency Or DIY?

An agency may cost you a bit more than doing everything yourself. In my opinion, if I can afford it, I would go with the agency. You will benefit from their years of experience. Going through an agency may get you a better package rate. In other words, your ad will run on multiple stations.

An agency can also help with the production of your radio ad. With an agency’s experience, you have a better chance of producing a winning ad because of their vast experience. When using an agency, most of them welcome your input to produce an ad that you are happy with while ensuring your ad performs well.

More In the Resources

Radio advertising is a vast topic. Below you’ll find a unique collection of resources that offer insights from various authors. Use this post as a library section you can visit anytime to get the information you need when you need it.

Radio Advertising Bureau | Radio Advertising Bureau



Radio Advertising Facts

Radio Advertising Bureau | Why Radio Research

5 Amazing Facts Small Businesses Don’t Know About Radio Advertising

Advertising Effectiveness

Radio is Still the Top Medium for Advertising Effectiveness

How effective is radio advertising in this day and age? | Hatched London

Measuring The Effectiveness Of Radio Advertising In Connected Cars

Radio Advertising vs…

Newspaper Advertising vs. Radio Advertising – And the Winner is….

Radio Advertising vs. Internet Advertising: What’s Better?

Radio Advertising vs. Podcast Advertising: 7 Differences to Note

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages & Disadvantages of Radio Advertising | Bizfluent

Radio Advertising Pros and Cons |


The Cost of Advertising Nationally Broken Down by Medium (2019)

Local Radio Advertising: Cost, Examples, and Tips – 2ndKitchen

How Much Does Radio Advertising Cost? | Fast Capital 360®

Advertising Examples

Top 10 radio ads of 2016 | Campaign US

The Best Radio Ads Have These 5 Things in Common

Radio Ad Examples, Radio Commercial Scripts | Overnight Radio Inc.


Radio Ad Script Examples: Go Big or Go Home – Bunny Studio

6 Secrets to Writing the Perfect Radio Ad Script

8 Steps to Writing an Effective Radio Ad Script | Empire Group | Dubai Advertising

Internet Radio Advertising

Internet Radio Advertising Impact Study

Creating Successful Online Radio Advertisements – Spacial

 Advertising Tips

How to Buy Radio Advertising on a Budget |

The Top Ten Keys To Creating Great Radio Ads – Strategic Media Inc.

The Top Ten Tips To Create Great Radio Ads

5 Tips For Making A Successful Radio Ad |

Write Great Radio Ads: The Ultimate Guide – Services CloudRadio

Radio Advertising Agencies

Top 100 Radio Advertising Companies | March 2021


Podcast and Radio Ads – Audio Marketing Course – FutureLearn

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