30-second Radio Ad Script
The Ever-Shortening World
The number of lollies in the pack may be the same but have you noticed how the individual
sweets have gone anorexic. The old wrappers are too large for the tiny new temptations. The
same thing is happening on the radio.
The workhorse of radio advertising has long been the 30 second spot. But times have and are
continuing to change. In particular, the time allotted for properly paced commercials is changing.
The sacred 30 seconds is under threat of erosion. As an endangered species, the radio 30 could
soon turn out like the 15 and 20-second verbal blitzkrieg versions we see on free to air TV.
The 5 Sec Hit
On a recent visit to the West Isle, there
was a 5 second TV spot on Gold Coast
television. Yes, a 5 second stand lone
TV spot. Now here comes both the
good and bad news. On the good side, I
think it was for an online ad agency so
it showed a certain brave new world
So the challenge goes out to the
copywriters and producers. To the
engineers and voice over artists. We
need a concerted effort to maintain the
premier position of the thirty-second
Media Buyers need to be reminded that
compared to shorter ads, 30 second
radio advertising messages are more
cost efficient and effective at building brand awareness and driving sales.
A 30-second time frame gives the creative writers and producers time to develop a theme or
storyline with a beginning, middle and end. Something interesting that the audience will listen to
and act on.
How Long Should It Be?
When paced at about 2 to 3 words per second the average 30 second script will have about 75
As with all media, the amount of time or space needs to be as little as possible but as much as is
Sometimes you need more than thirty seconds. However, to include all the information needs too
many words. The listener will just shut it all out. The Sales Director will want to include every
last detail. Somewhere there has to be a voice of reason. If you’