Should Your Ad Spot be 30 or 60 Seconds?

60 Second Spots Are More Effective


Through my years in advertising, I’ve heard people say that they want to get the most exposure possible so they’re going to run a 30 second spot! And then they (or I) proceed to work on the script which tries to get everything they want to say to their customers in 30 seconds.

Have you ever tried to come up with a 30 second elevator speech? It’s kind of tough. I mean, first of all, you’re in the elevator and it’s an invasion of personal space, right? It’s hard enough trying to get your point across without other people interrupting, as well as just trying to make it plain and interesting in 30 seconds. That would be very difficult, don’t you think?

So I have come up with a simple guideline that determines whether or not your ad should be 30 seconds long or 60 seconds long. If you have an unknown or complex topic and people don’t know who you are or who your company is, then you should probably do a 60 second spot. If your listeners know who you are and they know what your product is, then you’re OK to do a 30 second spot.

I have had some clients who have thought, “We have a 30 second time slot so we’re going to create a message that is amazing in only 30 seconds!” But that’s very hard to do even for seasoned professionals and it certainly is challenging for amateurs.

Imagine this: I don’t know who you are and you come on the radio with an ad that talks about your great new invention that’s going to save my life and explains why this invention will help everyone… By the time you get 20 seconds into your ad you really should be telling them how to contact you but you’re still trying to explain what it is you do! 30 seconds is simply not enough time!

Why? Because a 30 second ad is approximately 70 words. Go ahead. Write about your business, your name, what you do, your phone number and physical address or website… add up the words.  Read it and time yourself. See what I mean?

A 60 second spot is, obviously, twice as long and twice as many words – approximately 140.  Now read your script and time yourself.

You really need a 60 second spot. Give people the time to understand what you’re talking about. Get them engaged emotionally, and let them get connected emotionally to your product or service and then tell them how to get your offer, where to go, your phone number and/or website.

When you have a broadcast radio ad and people know who you are, and you’re well known in your area, then you can get away with a 30 second spot and get more exposure.

Let me ask you a question. Do you think you’re saving money if you have one hundred 30 second spots that nobody responds to as opposed to fifty one-minute spots that many people respond to? I know that’s a tongue-in-cheek question but I just gotta ask. Don’t you want to make sure you get the most reach for the dollars that you’re spending?

So often people say they want to have a great ad but they don’t budget for it. So maybe this is a little talk about setting aside 10 to 20% of your ad spend to pay for a great production of a great radio ad spot.

Also, we can assist you with writing your script. Need help? Call 800-208-7154 or fill out the contact form.

By Sean Pearce and Pete Miller


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