Radio ads: putting you in a spot

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While it is believed that more than 90% of advertising is mediocre, the fact comes through loud and clear (literally) in our radio spots, specially the ones on Bangalore’s FM stations. Most of the spots are voiced by adults who think they are in some 7th Standard school play, hamming away to glory.  There are the usual filmi spoofs (there must be a Government ban on using any characters or dialogues from Sholay) and the jingles (‘when you have nothing to say, sing it’) variety. Very few of the spots actually take advantage of the medium. Like this award winning spot from UK.

Road safety

Since coming up with an idea is such hard work, the easy way out is a question-answer conversation. The conversation could be about anything from apartments, paints, cars. So to put an end to the misery of moronic-conversation-as-radio-spot, herewith a handy template.

Voice 1: Hey, how come your teeth are so clean and spotless?

Voice 2: Haven’t you heard? That’s because I use Cycle brand tooth picks.

Voice 1 (mock surprise, joy): Cycle brand toothpicks?

Voice 2: Yes, Cycle brand toothpicks. They are designed to reach the innermost parts of your mouth and pick out the smallest of food particles, leaving your teeth clean and spotless.

Voice 1: Wow! I didn’t know that. Cycle Brand toothpicks. I must buy a pack today.

Voice 2: Wait, that’s not all. Cycle Brand toothpicks are safe, hygienic and available in 5 colours. So whether you eat Chicken Tikka Masala or Bisi Bele Bath, Cycle Brand toothpicks are a must for you.

Voice 1: I am going to buy a pack today. Bye!

Voice 2: Hey, where are you rushing?

Voice 1: To buy Cycle Brand toothpicks, of course!

MVO: Cycle brand toothpicks. Khana bach ke kahan jaayega? Available for Rs. 10 only. Available at all leading grocery stores. Buy now.

Replace the category, brand and the benefit and you have a readymade radio spot.

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  1. Hi,

    Nice post. In fact that is the reason why radio advertising here doesn’t really get anywhere, with the exception of a precious few. Especially Sholay, which seems to be the last-ditch solution, the ‘ESC’ in any creative writing block, the livelyhood of many a voice artist..

    Ironically, its funny you should brand the toothpicks as Cycle because radio creatives for Cycle Agarbattis won at the Cannes..


  2. Absolutely true… but I believe that Radio advertising would come off age here in India in the near future like TV and Print!!!

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