Radio advertising

Consider the following when planning a radio advertising campaign:

  1. Who do I need to talk to and where do they live?
    Make sure the coverage corresponds to your audience’s geographical position. Use RAJAR to identify the most efficient schedules by target audience and by region. You can register for free to access their radio station mapping tool here

  2. When should we be broadcasting our message?
    Think about both numbers and mind-set of your target audience. When are my target audience going to be listening and what is the best time of day for your message to sink in? These two factors should be considered together when deciding when to broadcast.

  3. What length should our advert be?
    The longer the time length, the more expensive the airtime will cost. Radio adverts are usually between 10 and 30 seconds and length will depend on what you want to say and how you want to say it.

  4. How long should the campaign run for?
    Four weeks is pretty standard for most campaigns. This depends though on your objectives. Do you want to create a constant level of awareness or do you want to create the maximum amount of awareness as quickly as possible? Four weeks should be the minimum amount of time to run your campaign as it takes time to build momentum. Depending on your budget, the longer you run your advert the more awareness you’ll build. You can consider running a continuous block of adverts for 3 months or you could spread 3 months throughout the year in 3 x 1 months bursts.

  5. How often should the advert be broadcast?
    Agencies often plan for 4 OTH (opportunity to hear) but this will depend on what you want to say and how it is delivered. The more complicated the message the more times people have to hear for the message to stick. Conversely simple messages will have a good chance of gaining an impact after only a few listens.

  6. How can we maximise the impact of our advert?
    Consistency and clarity are all important when creating radio adverts as this is what will make your message recognisable and memorable. Integrating with your website is absolutely vital as it’s been shown that large amounts of people surf the web and listen to the radio simultaneously. Adding a text number gives people the opportunity to engage with your message.

The above has been collated from research and expertise in the adoption field. It is not an exhaustive list and we welcome a continued dialogue with our partners up and down the country so that we may evolve and share new ideas together. If you have any comments you’d like to add about this guide then please email them to