What Are the Different Types of FM Radio Advertising?

G. Wiesen

There are a few different types of FM radio advertising, which typically rely on different ways for advertising messages to be conveyed over the radio. One of the most common types of advertising on radio is a pre-recorded paid advertisement played between groups of songs. There are also advertisement opportunities in which a disc jockey (DJ) or other radio personality can read an advertisement aloud during a live broadcast or otherwise endorse a particular business. Live events can also be used as forms of FM radio advertising, in which a personality from a radio station makes an appearance at an event, promoting that event during a broadcast and drawing customers.

A DJ will sometimes mention a sponsor.
A DJ will sometimes mention a sponsor.

This type of advertising typically refers to various forms of advertising used on the medium of frequency modulation (FM) radio. Perhaps the most common form of FM radio advertising is the use of pre-recorded commercials that are played over the radio. These are often professionally produced and recorded, and then sent to a radio station for inclusion in commercial breaks. Such advertisements are easy to create and record, but may offer less flexibility for some markets and can become repetitive for listeners.

The most common type of radio ad is a prerecorded message broadcast between songs.
The most common type of radio ad is a prerecorded message broadcast between songs.

There are types of FM radio advertising in which the disc jockeys and other personalities at a radio station become involved in the advertisement. This can be a simple advertisement, such as a written script provided to a DJ who then reads the script aloud on the air during a live broadcast. Such advertisements are quite easy to utilize and deploy, since they merely need to be written out and the DJ handles the actual performance of the advertisement. They can also be an inexpensive form of advertising, since they do not require additional recording costs and are less likely to become repetitive.

Live events can also utilize local DJs or radio personalities for FM radio advertising. A radio station can be invited to cover and participate in a live event, such as a major sale at a store or opening of a new location for a business. The station can set up a live broadcast from that location, which then directs attention to that event as listeners hear the DJ talk about the event live on the air. Potential customers may also be drawn to the event since they have a chance to meet the radio personalities and DJs they like; this draw can be especially powerful for younger markets and audiences.

A radio station may set up a live broadcast to promote an event.
A radio station may set up a live broadcast to promote an event.

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Discussion Comments


Some of these ads go a bit too far. Those that feature police sirens, car crashes, squealing tires and anything else that could distract a driver should be avoided like the plague. Sure, radio advertisers have to go out of their way to get through to jaded listeners who tend to ignore commercials after years of being beaten over the head with them, but ads that could potentially cause a wreck should be discouraged.

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