Normally, a radio commercial is 30 seconds long. Take off five seconds for a phone number or website address and you’ve precious little time to make your case, tell your story, woo your listener.

30 seconds -it’s a good discipline, meaning the writer has to make every word count.

And that’s the currency so that’s it – or is it? 40 seconds is a maybe sometimes but second for second a lot more expensive than a 30.  60 seconds – now that’s as rare as hen’s teeth. Imagine then 90 seconds.

The general rule is that wherever possible it’s the creative that should drive the ad duration, not the ad duration that should drive the creative.

If media is a frame and creative is a picture, well a frame that’s too small is going to cause you no end of problems!

Here at Radio Experts, our clients regularly call us to simply discuss their marketing challenge. We’re able to immediately tell them what ad duration or durations will best fit their objectives. It can save everyone a whole lot of time, in more ways than one!

Tim Cowland is a Founder Partner at Radio Experts, a London based specialist radio advertising agency.

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