Advantages and Disadvantages of Radio Advertising

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Which are a few advantages vs. disadvantages of radio advertising ?

In the current times where the world is moving digital and where businesses bank upon Social Media platforms to advertise their brand, how does the idea of Radio advertisement sound to you? A little old school right? Well, the idea might be a little traditional, but it can actually draw attention towards your brand from huge masses.

“A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” – David Ogilvy

Radio Advertising is buying commercials, frequently called spots in the radio industry to promote a product or service. Advertisers pay a certain amount to the radio station for airtime and in exchange they broadcast their ad to it’s audience. However there are various ways a company can advertise it’s product or service.

Now let’s see what are the Advantages/disadvantages of the radio advertising 


# Budget-Friendly

Radio advertisement is one of the most cost-effective form of advertising medium. Radio slots costs far lesser than the TV and print commercials. As they just require a script to be prepared that can be either announced by the radio host or can be pre-recorded for the station to broadcast. Advertisers just have to buy a slot at different radio stations and set the frequency to reach broader audience within a limited budget.

# Audience Selectivity

Radio offers a wide range of selectivity in terms of contextual, geographic and demographic targeting. It becomes easy for advertisers to focus on specific audience who speak different language and stay in different area. For example if a local business wants to promote it’s brand locally and to a selective audience, radio is the best medium to reach out to bulk audience. You can also get an access to average listener per hour with demographic breakdowns. This will allow you to know which market you should target for your specific need.

# Easily Editable

Among all the media platforms, radio is the most flexible platform. Radio commercials can be created in a shorter span of time and could be easily edited even right before the broadcast time. Same script of the ad can be easily converted into different languages to suit the market dynamics. The frequency of the ad can also be altered as and when necessary and as per the requirement.

# Multiple options for Business

Radio is a platform that offers various options of advertising to businesses as per their suitability. They can have an ad created and pre recorded, just like television commercials. The radio station can then broadcast their ad as agreed upon terms and conditions. Another option is to let the popularly known radio host read out the ad live. He may act as an endorser of your brand. Business can also do a combination of audio advertising along with ad banners that can be visible on the radio website. Another best option for you as a business owner is to appear on the show as an interview guest where you can directly explain about your services and products.

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Disadvantages of radio advertising

# No Visuals

Radio being an audio platform, the most significant disadvantage of radio advertising is that it has no visual appearance. A business may not be able to demonstrate or show it’s product or service to the audience. Usually, people tend to remember the things that they have seen it before. Since radio does not have any imagery to play with, it can only make an impact through sound. Hence, unless the ad is too catchy in terms of its sound or jingle, it may take a while to register in minds of people.

#Fragmented Audience

Radio listeners are fragmented into different radio stations at a time. The number of listeners, listening to one particular channel is very less. Thus, if a business wants to advertise on a radio, it will have to strategically buy slots in multiple radio stations. As just one station might not reach out to mass audience. The timing also have to be taken into consideration. People tune into the radio usually when they are driving to work.

# Limited Listening Span

People tune into radio just to listen to music and they consider commercials or RJ talking as a distraction. Hence, if one song gets over, people immediately switch the channel to listen to another song, ignoring the commercials in between. As a result, higher chance of listeners to ignore the advertisement that your business is broadcasting. Thus, it is a disadvantage for radio advertising as it is difficult to attract and retain listener’s attention to commercials.

# Less Durability 

If you have heard an advertisement on radio. it becomes difficult to remember the details unless it is repeated. This is not the case in other form of advertisement like pamphlet  or newspaper where you can save the information that you require. Hence this is also one of the disadvantage.


Types of radio advertisements

One is when a Radio announcer reads the script live. This is a type where the listeners can hear commercials that are read in real time online. Sometimes, the ad can carry an extra weight and create a good impact if a really popular RJ announces it in his own voice.

Second is by way of Sponsorship. Many times radio stations call in for sponsorships for their different radio segments such such traffic report, weather update, sports news etc. You must have heard something sounding like, “This hour’s traffic report brought to you by ACME Service. Download the app for all your Laundry needs.”

Third is by way of creating a commercial. This could be either in a monologue form of a well written script that briefly describes your product or service. Or it could be in a way of multiple voices, sound or jingles. Jingles can be a good way to catch listeners attention.

Image by annca from Pixabay

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