mktg 463 quot copywriting for radio advertising quot

MKTG 463

Application Exercise #6 – Copywriting for Radio Advertising


  1. To give students an opportunity to use their creativity and apply advertising strategy to a real-world advertising problem.
  2. To give students practice in implementing good copywriting principles for advertising creative development, using radio as the medium.
  3. To give students practice in presenting their creative copywriting work in standard radio script format, and in the process help them develop a creative portfolio piece they can be proud to show to interviewers.


Imagine that you are the copywriter at an advertising agency hired by SIU to design an advertising campaign for the SIU College of Business online undergraduate degree completion program. Your task is to develop a creative concept and prepare the script to execute that concept in a 60-second radio advertisement to run on local radio stations across Illinois and surrounding states.

Your strategic objectives for this campaign are to create both AWARENESS and KNOWLEDGE of the program and its central benefit to the student who enrolls in the program. It’s your choice of which benefit(s) you focus upon – for example, you could focus on the online/24-hour-a-day convenience of the program, the speed in which you can finish your degree, or the university’s quality and accredited status. As a customer of this program yourself, you should understand the key “selling points” of the program, but for more information take a look at its webpage:

Keep in mind that the timing is critical – a radio advertisement cannot go one second longer than 60 seconds, and ideally it should only be 58 seconds to allow for transitions between ads. Similarly, it absolutely can NOT be shorter than 58 seconds, or the station would be broadcasting “dead air.” (But it is always better to err toward too short than too long – if your ad is too long, it will be cut off by the station.) You MUST use a watch and time your PSA perfectly as you write and rehearse it to be sure that it fits in the time allotted. You will probably find that your initial copywriting must be altered for time as you rehearse the script.

Also keep in mind that your ad must be creative. It must effectively break through clutter and grab the listeners’ attention right from the beginning. It must communicate the key customer benefits. And it must reinforce the advertiser’s name repeatedly and have an appropriate call to action. You can use any format or techniques you feel are appropriate for your creative concept and response objectives – for example, you can write a jingle, prepare a dramatic or comedic story, use a straight voiceover narrative, use sound effects, choose appropriate background or donut music, create a memorable slogan, use testimonials or a


dialogue/interview format, or whatever other options you think are ideal. I strongly encourage to use one of the broadcast commercial formats described in the text and lecture (Chapter 9, Module 5 Goal 1 lecture), in a way that is easily identifiable. (If I can’t tell which format it is, that’s not a good execution.)

Pay particular attention to implementing the recommendations and tips for effective copywriting presented in the chapter and lecture. Demonstrate your understanding of these principles by applying them to your own creative efforts.

Professionally present your work in the form of a final script of the commercial, following the format examples shown in both the text chapter and lecture listed above. Be sure to include indicators for all music, sound effects, voice overs, character voices, vocal direction, production notes, timing, etc., as appropriate for your creative execution.

Grading Criteria:

The assignment will be graded on the following criteria:

  1. The level of creativity demonstrated in the advertisement, including:
    1. The appropriateness of the message “big idea” and execution for the stated advertising response objectives of awareness and knowledge.
    2. The originality/novelty of the idea and execution – it should not be derivative of other ads (no “copy cats”), it should not be boring or expected.
  2. The effectiveness of the copywriting – including attention to and application of the copywriting principles taught this semester, particularly the principles for writing effective radio copy.
  3. Whether or not the commercial would comfortably fit a 60-second advertising window – neither too long nor too short – so take particular care with timing.
  4. The correct, complete, and professional presentation and formatting of the script itself, following the examples given in both text and lecture for radio scripts.