Everyone’s been there. We’ve all been whistling a tune or singing a ditty over and over again and can’t quite place where it’s from.
Then suddenly…click. It’s the tune from ‘washing machines live longer with Calgon’ (if you didn’t sing that in your head as you read it, you’re lying).
Love them or hate them, these are called ‘ear worms.’ The jingles that you just can’t get out of your head and will forever remind you of one particular brand. Personally, Queen’s Flash will never be the same again thanks to that bloody singing dog.
Radio really is going through a renaissance right now. It’s had to sit on the sidelines with the rise of streaming platforms like Spotify and the like in recent years, but with more people being forced to stay at home than ever before, more and more listeners are tuning back in to their favourite stations for their music fix.
Listener stats are doubling
Local radio stations are reporting a 30% rise in listening through Smart Speakers alone, with Radio Newquay saying their online listening figures doubled in March compared to February when the coronavirus lockdown fully took force. That’s mega – the station said they had their “best-ever online figures” in March and, the best part, is that their April stats are on course for more of the same.
Couple this with all of those people listening for a lot longer as well as enjoying the company of someone other than the people they’re locked down with (which presenter has become your new best friend?) and it seems like their audience is tipped to be sticking around for good.
Could your brand put a jingle out to rival the “ba dah ba ba baa” of McDonald’s or the”holidays are coming” of Coca Cola? Is there a whole cross section of audiences that could be hearing your message instead of someone else’s…?
As the figures show, right now is the perfect time to think about radio advertising, so here are our top tips on how to make a kickass ad to cut through the noise.
1. Content is king
Writing a radio script is a completely different discipline than writing for social media, blogs, press releases or anything else in between. The rules of language seem to get flipped around and it can feel a little lawless at times, but go with it. Just remember to be authentic and playful alongside getting your key messages in so that your brand’s personality shines through. Other than that, the sky is the limit.
2. The right music can make it or break it
It can be frustrating trying to find that perfect piece of music to suit both the flow of the words and the impact of the message; too soft and it might fade into the background, too hardcore and it could overpower what you’re saying. It’s best to settle on what you want the listener to feel after they hear it right from the very start so that you can find music to complement your messages. Do you want them to feel empowered? Pick a chest-beating tune. Compassionate? Go with something a little softer and caring. Invigorated? Enthusiastic and upbeat is the one.
3. Be original
You’re not just confined to a straightforward 30 second advert, you know. Play around with the space; start with a 10 second teaser at the start of the ad break and then come back in with the full shebang at the end to own the entire section, don’t mention your brand at all for the launch message (risky, but very powerful with the right jingle) or hire in a famous voice to make your ad instantly recognisable. Radio advertising is all about being remembered – so make sure you stand out from the crowd.
4. Don’t try and cram too many messages into one
30 seconds might not sound like a lot of time, but it can either drag or feel to full depending on the script and how many words/messages you’re trying to tell the audience at once. Our top tip is to leave just enough breathing space to give the listener some thinking time and to let the message resonate with them.
5. Don’t panic about not having a jingle
I know I’ve spoken about having a jingle to rival the heavyweights of McDonald’s and Coca Cola, but you don’t always need to have an ear worm up your sleeve to hook the listener in. Perhaps you’ve booked a month-long campaign – why not rotate your messages weekly around a core theme instead? How about having a positioning statement or a particular hashtag to encapsulate the campaign? Odds are your sign off will include your brand’s identity, so as long as there’s a powerful punch behind it (this goes back to having the right music/voiceover artist) you’re one step closer to your messages being the ones the listeners remember. Have it played on repeat, and you’ve got an ear worm of a different kind (“have a break, have a KitKat” anyone?)
So, there you have it. Now, tell us your favourite ear worm jingle of all time…