By Gary Dahl

Your business’s radio ad’s format should get the attention of people you want to become your business’s customers. The radio ad format that your customers find appealing (and informative) can influence how listeners react to the message you’re conveying:


Most dialogue radio spots aren’t effective because nobody talks like that in real life, repeating information over and over again. These spots just cry out to be ignored, if not laughed at, because they’re completely unbelievable.

Don’t offend or insult your listener with a premise and copy that’s unbelievable, contrived, confusing, and just plain dumb. If you do, you have no one to blame but yourself when that listener reaches over, punches the radio button, and makes you instantly disappear.


Like dialogue spots, a poorly conceived comedy premise and badly written copy do a lot more harm than good — so tread lightly. Setting up an amusing idea, including some copy that actually sells your product in an entertaining manner, and then delivering a good punch line in the span of 60 seconds is difficult.

A straight read

A single voice reading 60 seconds of clear, concise, fact-filled copy that motivates and sells listeners is always a good bet. No frills. No jokes. No unrealistic dialogue. Just the offer — the selling proposition — read by a good, strong voice. You may want to toss in some background music or even some sound effects.

A straight read is the most effective copywriting method you can use to convey a selling message. And it’s the easiest, which, if you’re new to the game, may be the best reason of all to employ it.