30 Seconds or 60 Seconds?
Since most radio ads are 30 seconds long, those that are longer tend to stand out and get noticed. A 30 second spot will allow you to work with approximately 60 words which isn’t a lot when you consider the promotional tag which takes up about 10 seconds at the end. As well as limiting the amount that we can say, :30 spots also restrict creativity.
XMUSIC have produced an excellent ad to highlight their range of musical instruments. The scene opens up in a mockumentary style. Dad and Mum are being interviewed about their son who has recently picked up the guitar. We’re told of Jimmy who was once such a good kid, with nice slacks and a parting in his hair. The parents tell of their dismay as Jimmy gets a guitar and becomes a successful musician.
Much of the dialogue between the parents is very funny. Mum is horrified to hear that the band is called HornDog and Dad is not so much bothered about the groupies that have started to hang around.
The humour works and credit is due to the two actors who play the parts brilliantly. It was a great decision to go with a :60 spot as it provides a lot of room for creative freedom.
Generally, there are no hard rules that will determine how long your ad should be. The length of your ad should simply be based on what you need to say.