There is no louder sound on radio than the sound of silence. It’s the worst nightmare of any radio presenter when it all goes quiet. However, in radio advertising it can be used to great effect.
The recent campaign from Irish Rail is a perfect example.
In a slow and calm tone, the voice-over encourages us to relax.
‘And now, for anyone facing into a long day, here are the soothing sounds of the 9am train to Cork.
And then silence. For 7 long seconds, we hear the chatter from the passengers as the train moves along the tracks. The voice-over returns and encourages to take advantage of fares starting from €14.99.
This is a brilliant execution from Irish Rail. One of the goals of the campaign was to engage with drivers in their car (hopefully in traffic) and to remind them about the benefits of rail travel. Silence can be very powerful in advertising. It’s a technique that is rarely used and it would be great to see more use of it on Irish radio.