There are several little things you can do to make your radio commercials more effective. First off, it pays to catch the listener’s attention right away, and there are two sure-fire ways to do that. One is to start the spot with some sort of loud sound – whether it’s an odd sound effect or an opening note of music.

Another way that’s particularly effective in a dialogue spot is to have one of the actors use someone’s first name. That signals the ears that a conversation is about to follow, and whether or not we admit it, we all like to eavesdrop.

When you’re doing a spot with dialogue (or an actor in a monologue who describes a situation for which your product or service is a response), keeping the sales pitch separate preserves realism and adds credibility. A sure sign of a bad spot is for Bob and Jane to begin a conversation, and for Bob to say, “Well, Jane, that’s why I like Victor veeblefetzers. Their patented spring action cradles my radishes so they can be cored more precisely.” Normal people don’t talk like that in conversations.

Instead, it’s better for Bob and Jane to have their conversation, and then to have a separate announcer appear with the pitch, as in:

JANE: But I’m tired of improperly cored radishes.

BOB: I was, too, but not anymore.

ANNOUNCER: If poor coring is hurting your radish production, you’ll be glad to know that Victor veeblefetzers have a patented spring action that cradles radishes so they can be cored more precisely.