Whale Rock on Flinders Island, Tasmania, Australia

Radio Copywriting

I have spent may years behind the microphone and behind the pen in a variety of radio stations (that's just the way it is with radio). In that time I have even won a national award for my copywriting; but the only award that ever matters is a satisfied client.

It's all about keeping the focus and using a variety of means to achieve a single aim in a very short space of time.

Whether the ad is for branding or it is a call to action, the important communication happens long before the advert is ever made; it happens when the script and concept is being presented to the client for their approval. If they don't get it, they won't approve it, and the advert will never reach the eyes and ears it was intended for.

Working as a senior creative writer at a busy radio hub, I will write more than 2200 radio commercials in a year. Let's say each of those commercials runs just 30 times (on a 30 x 30 contract), I am responsible for 33,000 minutes (550 hours) of radio during the year.

What does a radio advert look like? Here's one I prepared earlier - I have removed the names and identifiers of the advertiser.

Remember, with radio, I can play tricks on you. It is all about theatre of the mind. Radio ads are cheap to produce. With a few clicks and beeps and a crackly audio line, I can put a man on the moon.


FVO - bright and bubbly, happy

MVO - deep voice

Scenario In a lingerie shop

ANCR            (loud whisper) There’s a bra fitting in progress... let’s listen in.

FVO              Okay... let’s try this one for size and fit.

sfx               Cartoon stretch

FVO              Now this strap should fit snuggly over here.

sfx               Cartoon stretch and snap

FVO              And this strap should fit flat across your back.

sfx               Cartoon stretch and snap

FVO              Perfect... how does that feel?

                   It should be very comfortable.

MVO           Yep... that’s fits perfectly... I’ll take two.

ANCR            <name>’s trained staff individually fit bras to give you the best support and the most comfort.

                   For a perfect fit every time, whatever your body shape... <name>... <address>.

That one got the whole town talking, and ran for months.

Not sure of the terminology?

FVO - Female Voice Over SFX - sound effects
MVO - Male Voice Over ANCR - Announcer



Here are a couple more examples of my radio scripts.

MVO 1   **evil laugh**
MVO 2   Evil Santa is getting ready for the Christmas holiday season.
When you're not looking, he'll get into your house and steal all your presents.
MVO 1   **evil laugh**
MVO 2   This year, don't let him in.
Talk to <name> about your home security.
Deadbolts... window locks... burglar-proof security doors... <name> has you covered.
Get peace of mind today... talk to <name> security and slam the door on Evil Santa.
MVO 1   **evil laugh**


Evil Santa bears no relation to the real Santa... he's just a common criminal and an identity thief.