Radio Ads Harness the Emotional Power of Voice

Photo of the Moraine Park Technical College mascot in front of a campus building

Radio Ads Harness the Emotional Power of Voice

When Moraine Park Technical College (MPTC) launched its “I Can” campaign, a fresh storytelling approach for marketing communications, Writing by Design took a deep dive into the college’s raw interview audio to write and produce radio ads. The goal of the ads was to speak to the college’s diverse target audiences and communicate the benefits that are most meaningful to students just like them.

It’s no small challenge to communicate specific benefits of the MPTC student experience in 30-second and 15-second radio ads. While humans are natural communicators who spend 70%-80% of our waking hours communicating—and most of that time listening—studies suggest that listeners recall only a fraction of what we hear.

Luckily, we have evolution on our side: it turns out that human nonverbal sounds are even more effective than words in communicating emotions…and not just basics, but a range of at least 24 feelings. That means writing an emotionally persuasive radio ad is not only about choosing the right words, but also about harnessing the complex power of the human voice.

MPTC’s marketing team provided hours of raw audio in which students, in their own words, recounted their decisions to study at MPTC and the many ways the school makes success a possibility, even in the face of life’s obstacles. To get to the heart of the radio ads’ messages, Writing by Design collaborated with the MPTC marketing team to focus on several students’ distinctive, authentic stories and the benefits their experiences demonstrate. With that feedback, the Writing by Design team was tasked with integrating those voices into a 30-second spot where most of the words were coming from student testimonials.

Rather than fully script the messaging and use only professional voice talent, Writing by Design worked with our strategic partners in audio production to write and produce creative radio ad messaging that works in the audio space around, over and under the original student testimonial voices. Word choice was paramount as there was only room for fewer than 50 words that could be carefully placed to help transition the testimonials and amplify their messages. The resulting radio commercials work to amplify the emotion in the students’ voices, their stories and the benefits they highlight.

30-second ad featuring student Dajan
30-second ad featuring student Faith
30-second ad featuring student Gretchen

“When developing our recent campaign for Moraine Park Technical College, we reached out to Writing by Design. Their amazing team brought their expertise to all levels of this project. From ideation to concepting and finally to production, the process was even better than we had imagined it to be,” said Bart Putzer, Creative Services Manager at MPTC. “We feel it is so impressive and impactful, that we’ve decided to make it the focal point of our marketing campaign for all of 2020. The messaging and the quality of the production are top-notch, and I believe it elevates our product to be the best in the marketplace. We have worked with the Writing by Design team on several projects over the years, and they continue to impress.”

Writing by Design can help your organization write and produce new radio ads to capture the attention and imagination of your target audience—using strategies based in sound learning. (See what we did there?) Our experience sourcing voice and production talent means you get big-impact radio ads without the big-ticket price tag. Contact us for a quote and see for yourself.