With the buzz of podcasts and the allure of streaming services, it’s easy to overlook the enduring power of radio ads. Yet, the impact of radio on audiences and advertisers today is far removed from these common misconceptions. A July 2023 Statista report unveiled that radio maintains its strength as one of the most influential platforms in the United States, with 82% of adults tuning in on a weekly basis.
Also, the audience share of radio is genuinely remarkable, surpassing ad-supported Spotify by 19 times and ad-supported Pandora by 13 times. Coupled with the affordability and flexibility of radio advertising, it is undoubtedly one of the best options for brand marketing today.
We’ve curated a collection of the top 10 radio ads created in recent years. We hope these inspire!
1. Marmite: You Either Love It or Hate It (2020)
Marmite’s famous “Love It or Hate It” campaign sparked a national debate. To boost sales, Adam & Eve DDB used behavioral science insights to create a transformative campaign. Starting out as a normal advertisement, the voiceover is unexpectedly interrupted with hypnotic Marmite not-so-subliminal suggestions to ‘love it’. The brand implanted subliminal messages to customers in TV, radio, print, and outdoor ads, which led to a 400% increase in brand awareness. 100,000 new households purchased Marmite, and 80% of the haters who watched the film became favorites.
2. Fundaparkca: Parkinson’s Scale Radio (2023)
When 28,000 individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease lack access to their medication, their combined tremors can be more unsettling than an earthquake. To highlight the gravity of this issue, the Fundaparkca Parkinson’s Foundation collaborated with Wings The Agency to unite the genuine voices of hundreds of patients in need. The audio ad was created and shared on both local and international radio stations in Venezuela. It’s purpose was to spread awareness as well as collect funds to support these patients in need.
3. Pedigree: Teenagers. The Only Option Is Adoption (2023)
Mars’ dog adoption campaign for Pedigree called ‘Teenagers. The Only Option is Adoption’ was cleverly created by Colenso BBDO. According to leading neuroscientists, teenagers’ rational thinking temporarily takes a break to allow their brains to develop, explaining why they often behave in ways that teenagers are known for. Pedigree’s new campaign delves into the mysteries of teenage behavior and suggests to parents that adopting a dog is the “only option.” The campaign emphasizes Pedigree’s mission to find loving homes for dogs and how dogs can bring out the best in everyone, including irrational teenagers.
Three radio spots launch the campaign, brought to life by an eccentric German psychiatrist, with more to roll out in the new year.
4. Hato Hone St John: The Hello Project: Is Joan OK? (2023)
In Aotearoa, the lives of 180,000 elderly residents often depend on neighbors noticing warning signs. The bystander effect, common among New Zealanders, can lead to these signs being missed. To address this, Stanley St. introduced The Hello Project, an awareness campaign urging Kiwis to take action, including checking on neighbors like Joan and observing simple signs like porch lights left on during the day. The campaign effectively prompted faster responses to warning signs, increased welfare calls to the NZ Police, and gained support from Fire & Emergency and Neighbourly. It also gained over $1.1 million in earned media, even making national news.
5. Renault Triber: Tweebuffels (2023)
The Renault Triber is known for its roominess. However, instead of focusing on this practical feature, they choose a less literal meaning: that the Triber has space for everything. As a French brand, they wanted to convey their USP of space in a way that resonated uniquely with South African audiences in a lighthearted way. To do this, they showcased a range of double-barrel, unique names often found in South Africa. In this radio ad, they crafted a love story involving two individuals burdened with long and complicated last names, illustrating how they finally found a place they fit in the Triber. This campaign’s core message is that the Renault Tribe has space for everything.
6. Victoria Bitter: England Bitter (2023)
Inspired by the English cricket team’s decision to forgo a post-match drink following a demoralizing defeat, Victoria Bitter introduced “England Bitter”. The campaign included a radio ad that went so far as to change their famous jingle to include a mention of their newly named brew to the English. Receiving a ton of PR coverage, giggles, and debate, it was an overnight sensation, although for the English, it led to more bitterness. As part of the campaign, Victoria Bitter promised to send a whole case of beer to the England team if they changed their mind.
7. KFC: Man Meals (2016)
In a changing world where gender stereotypes are shifting, KFC is pushing back against the idea that non-masculinity is a sign of weakness. To support this, they created “Man Meals,” a series of creative radio ads. These ads challenge the old notion that ordering a cute cocktail or a pumpkin-spiced latte makes a man less manly. KFC wanted to show that Man Meals aren’t just for tough, macho guys – they’re for every man. The campaign was produced by Ogilvy, securing both the Grand Prix and a Golden Lion in the radio category at the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
8. Volkswagen: Zero to Crazy – Girlfriend (2021)
The new Volkswagen Golf GTI TSR boasts lightning-fast acceleration, going from 0 to 100 km/h in under 6.5 seconds. To vividly convey this astounding speed through a radio ad campaign that would bring smiles, DDB Aotearoa crafted a set of six distinct stories. In one of the crazy tales titled “Girlfriend“, the narrative revolves around a man who decides to end his relationship with his girlfriend in less than 6.5 seconds. His reason? He’s in love with her grandmother and is getting married.
9. Samaritans: Do you ever let your ears stop and smell the roses? (2023)
Listening is at the core of Dublin Samaritans‘ mission – a dedicated act carried out every day, every minute, of every week. This campaign pays homage to the powerful act of providing a listening ear and acknowledges its remarkable effect on individuals dealing with emotional distress. It aims to emphasize that, regardless of the difficulties you encounter or when you encounter them, Dublin Samaritans will always be there, prepared to listen and offer support.
10. Kleenheat: Greensleeves (2022)
Kleenheat’s dedicated team devotes every moment to gas-related matters so that their customers can enjoy peace of mind. To convey this message with both effectiveness and humor, they featured their employees singing “Greensleeves,” but with a twist – the only word in the lyrics is ‘gas’. Simple but effective.
Radio ads remain an enduring influence on a wide audience, regardless of the numerous additional ad-supported audio channels. Making them a popular format in marketing. We hope you enjoyed our top radio examples and found inspiration for your next campaign.
To kick off your next audio campaign, selecting the right audio format is crucial. Explore our essential tips for choosing the best audio format. You’ll gain insights into the distinctions between formats, receive guidance on selecting the most suitable one, and discover how to ensure your audio files are pixel-perfect.