Radio advertising for events

I would like to point out to begin with, this isn’t about me touting for business!!!

I run a rock and metal radio station, we have over 1 million listeners a year (around 3,000 per day) and we have just this week launched commercials on air for the first time. Its mainly for bands, tours, new album releases etc but we have had a few festivals and event companies get in touch (although no bites yet from them).

Have you ever paid for radio advertising? Do you feel it worked? Do you have any feedback about what/how you advertised (for example, what was advertised in your script, basic info or deep detail)?

Would be interesting to hear what other event organisers have done on radio or if not, why not? Is it the price? Do you not feel it would be worth it to your business?


Coming from the POV of someone having voiced a multitude of radio ads over the years, I’d say they can still be very effective.

The radio ad industry has changed a lot over the last 10 or so years; back in the day as it were, radio ads were highly prevalent in the voiceover industry - we could easily get 5-10 scripts to voice per day so it was a good bread+butter type thing.
However, rates have been driven down by the big station owners over the years, and less and less ads are being produced at the local level - i.e. your local Heart Station for instance. The bulk of ads now are done more centrally and just sent out to stations around the country.

So ads for local stuff has changed a lot, but they are still made. Quite who makes them now I don’t know, as so many of my VO colleagues have all found that we’re getting far less in radio ad work now that it’s all centralised.

But, as an advertiser, it’s still a popular medium for getting the message out there, as local stations still have a good reach.

Script wise, most were 30s ads, meaning usually no longer than ~70 words per script. They tended to focus heavily on a final CTA, usually a website, with enough of a hook to encourage people to find out more. Styles of ads varied wildly from comedic, minimalist (in terms of not really knowing what the ad is about until the last second with the CTA), to the usual hurried delivery of “DFS sale now on! - Hundreds of savings to be had!” type.

Usually, there won’t be the time within the ad to fit in any form of deep detail, as 30s will go really quickly. It’s best to mainly focus on the top few key points - the who/what/where/when/find out more stuff.

I’ll try and dig out some old radio scripts I’ve had through to give you the general style of what I tended to produce.


Cheers @Voicey very useful info. I am going to get a radio advert done for my own festival on my station (at a good rate of course!!!). Hopefully others who have tried radio advertising can give their experiences too.

No worries, anytime.

(Redacted) examples of previous radio jobs I’ve done, to give you a flavour of the types of scripts that are common:

Join XXXX Football club this Winter, our events calendar is packed full of great entertainment.

Every last Friday, join Quizmaster XXXXX as he presents an evening of fun and frivolity.

This October, we’ll be swinging 60s with XXXXX and November sees the legendary XXXX. Free entry, Doors open 8pm.

Sing along with XXXX this Christmas with karaoke or party with into us into 2015 at our New year Disco!

For more information, visit
XXXX Football Club, Sussex

<Enthusastic, Vibrant>

Award winning XXXX Fish and chip restaurant and bar has now arrived in XXXX, Canterbury.

Our menu provides great quality meals at great prices, and our open bar has a great selection of drinks from beer to champagne.

For bookings please call us on XXXXX, and for more information find us on facebook.

XXXX Bar and Restaurant, XXXX, Canterbury, Kent, XXXX.

At the XXXX Arms, we have everything you need for a good time……

Enjoy the Premier League and other great sport with Sky on our plasma TVs and cinema screen projector.

Or bring out your competitive side with pub darts every Friday, and pool team competitions every Tuesday.

Our fantastic, modern function room seating up to 70 people, is available to book now!

We hope to see you soon at the XXXX Arms, XXXX / village / postcode


I’d reckon radio advertising can be highly effective if you choose a station listened to by your target audience. I often discover events or venues I want to attend listening to my local deep house station. I don’t mind the music being interrupted by the adverts either as it’s about things I’m interested in. As ever, relevancy is the key!

As @Belinda_Booker has pointed out it goes back to your target audience. I’ve advertised various events on a number of radio stations with good results. The most memorable was working with John Culshaw who voiced several characters for a Star Wars Celebration event ad campaign I worked on. He was just brilliant and it was great to watch him find the voices with the pressure that we needed to get Lucasfilm sign off. One of my coolest projects!

The creative needs to encapsulate your core message succinctly and put it across in a manner which speaks to your target audience; with a simple call to action. I usually try to build in some associated activity on the website, emails and social media such as giveaways, competitions. I’ve also got the radio station on site at some events broadcasting live or doing interviews for broadcast later. The additional activity mentioned above used to be offered by the stations as added value but it seems more often now that these need to be paid for…but can still be worth doing. I’ve also got frustrated with “local” stations which are part of a national network and offer fixed, inflexible advertising packages which are what they want to sell rather than tailored to the specific needs of your campaign/product. Overall still a fan of radio though!