While buying radio spots at a competitive price is key to launching your campaign, you can’t forget that the writing needs just as much attention.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have the budget to hire an external copywriter, you might find yourself staring at a blank screen, waiting for a flash of inspiration. On the other hand, you might find yourself wondering how you can possibly compress your message into a 30-second slot.
While writing a winning radio commercial may feel impossible at times, the good news is that you’re hardly the first person to feel this way. Better yet, there are plenty of 30-second radio ad script examples you can use as a guideline for writing your own ads. This is the most common format for radio ads, so writing a great ad for this timeframe is essential for your audio campaigns.
In this post, we’ll cover some basics of writing a 30-second radio spot and provide some examples to help you get started.
What does your radio ad need?
A 30-second radio ad generally includes three main parts: a hook, a pitch (or value proposition), and a call to action.
The hook is your chance to catch a listener’s attention. It’s where you ask a question or say something interesting that makes listeners want to turn up the volume rather than put your ad on mute.
Successful radio advertising scripts quickly move on to the main pitch. This is where you present your product or service and quickly explain why listeners should choose it. Focus on what differentiates your brand from competitors in your niche, be it your pricing, years of experience, or a unique value-adding service that others don’t provide.
Some radio commercial scripts also use this section to highlight a special promotion. This could be a special discount code that is exclusive for radio listeners, or a seasonal sale. If you’ve ever listened to the radio or watched TV during the holidays, you’ve undoubtedly heard more than your fair share of these.
Finally, close the ad with a strong call to action (CTA). Because you have limited time, you need to be direct and to the point. Tell listeners exactly what you want them to do, be it visiting your store or buying from your website. Provide clear, specific instructions.
Writing for a 30-second ad
Thirty seconds is the sweet spot in radio advertising: It’s long enough to develop a clear theme or story that listeners will remember but not so long that they’ll start to tune out halfway through.
So how do you know that your ad is going to fill a full 30 seconds? A good rule of thumb is that the average person speaks about two to three words per second. This means your final 30-second script should be around 75 words (give or take). If you use a lot of long words, it might need to be shorter!
If you find your script getting too long, hone in on which details are essential for your listeners. Cut anything that distracts from the main message and call to action. You don’t necessarily have to include every possible detail about your product or service, either. Focus on one or two key selling points that listeners can focus on and remember.
You can also shorten your script by cutting out filler words and using contractions (like won’t instead of will not). Don’t be afraid to let a second pair of eyes look over your script to find areas that can be trimmed if you’re having trouble!
30-second radio ad script examples
While these script-writing guidelines sound great in theory, they might be tricky to put into action. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with several sample scripts.
Here’s a sample script for an auto dealership:
Looking for a used car in Montreal? Come on down to Pierre’s Auto Dealership today and explore our latest offers and deals. On top of the widest selection of high-quality, low-mileage cars and affordable in-house financing tailored to your needs, our extended warranties and protection plans will have you driving away with a smile. That’s Pierre’s Auto Dealership located at ADDRESS. Come on down today. Your new car is waiting for you.
This example catches the listener’s attention right away by posing a question. If the listener can answer “yes” to that initial question, they’re going to be paying close attention to everything else the announcer says. The ad then differentiates the business by highlighting the dealership’s wide selection, quality vehicles and services, and affordable financing. Finally, it ends with a CTA that provides the dealership address where customers can come to visit.
Here’s another one of our sample scripts for a grocery store:
Now at Pierre’s Grocery Store, when you order online, our personal shopper will carry your groceries straight out to your car. That’s right: it’s the fastest, simplest and easiest in curbside pick-up. Just go to https://pierresbusiness.com/ to pick out all your favorite products, and we’ll put your order together and have it ready for your arrival. So leave the heavy lifting to us! At Pierre’s Grocery Store, groceries have never been easier. That’s door-to-car-door delivery. Order online today at https://pierresbusiness.com/.
This example jumps straight into a new value proposition for the business. Focusing on an exciting new service instantly grabs the listener’s attention, while a friendly, relatable voice keeps things engaging throughout. Notably, the website (and CTA) are repeated twice — a good idea, since listeners are often doing something else while the radio’s on. They may not catch your web URL or phone number the first time.
And finally, for something a little different, here’s a script template for a criminal defense attorney:
If you or a loved one is the subject of a police investigation or has been charged with a crime, you have rights. At Pierre’s Criminal Law Firm our expert criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to protect your good name and future, providing any and every accused with the city of Montreal’s most aggressive, creative, and compassionate advocacy. Call NUMBER today for your completely confidential consultation. Once again, that’s Pierre’s Criminal Law Firm at NUMBER.
As with our other script examples, the call to action varies based on what method is most effective for the target audience. In this case, the phone number is repeated twice to drive that point home. The tone is also notably different from the previous ads, with a more serious feel that is more appropriate for a criminal defense attorney.
The final pieces of your radio ad
Hopefully these 30-second radio ad script examples are already giving you some inspiration for writing your own ad copy. Before you start typing, here are a few extra things to consider:
Jingles and sound effects
These have long been a popular addition with radio ads, but when putting together a 30-second script, you may not have time for a jingle or sound effects. Writing and recording a jingle can be tough, and you want to have enough time for your voiceover.
Match the right tone with the right voice:
Would the criminal defense attorney script sound good if read in a peppy, upbeat voice? On the other hand, a serious, gruff voice for the grocery store ad would sound a bit silly. Whether choosing an AI voice or a professional voice actor, make sure the delivery matches the script.
Practice reading your script out loud
Thirty seconds can feel like a long time when writing a script. At the same time, it’s all too easy to end up with a script that is too long for a 30-second slot. You can keep yourself on track by reading your script out loud and timing yourself so you can know how much to add or cut. You could also practice with your voice actor to identify areas that are too wordy or time how long it takes to read your script out loud.
Bring your 30-second commercial script to life
These days, radio advertising encompasses so much more than over the air broadcasting. With digital audio platforms and podcasting, your 30-second script can reach a broader audience than ever before. And with a strong script and voiceover, it’ll also help you give your best pitch to your target audience.
We hope these 30-second radio ad script examples give you a good starting point as you develop your own radio commercials. It may take a bit of practice, but as you follow these guidelines, you’ll write persuasive and compelling radio ads.
At Decibel, we want to help you succeed. In addition to providing inspiration with our own 30-second radio ad script examples, our innovative platform helps level the playing field for digital ad buyers. With Decibel, you can get competitive placements that help you reach your target audience. AI voiceovers and other convenient resources make it even easier to turn your script idea into a finished ad.
Get started today to start making your campaign a reality!