Here are 7 ways that sound effects can be used in a radio commercial, when you write your scripts, add notes, describe what you want to convey – you want to give your producer the best chance to nail that sound effect perfectly:
1. Create Atmosphere: Sound effects can be used to create atmosphere and set the tone for your commercial. For example, using sounds such as rain, wind, or thunder can create a sense of tension and drama. But is it a light storm, a heavy storm – don’t just write ((STORM EFFECTS)) – give some direction.
2. Emphasize Key Points: Sound effects can be used to emphasize key points in your commercial. For example, using a sound effect such as a bell or chime can help to highlight a special offer or promotion. My favourite way of doing this is adding a production note tied to a symbol I include in the script, eg: #=Gong sound effect
3. Add Humour: Sound effects can be used to add humour to your commercial. For example, using a silly sound effect like a honking horn or a cartoon sound effect can create a light-hearted tone. Make it the opposite of what you would expect and it will stand out more.
4. Create realism: Sound effects can be used to create a sense of realism in your commercial. For example, using the sound of a car engine or a door closing can help to create a more immersive listening experience. If you can get isolated sound effects recorded at a business – do it! Nothing beats ‘actuality’
5. Create tension: Sound effects can be used to create tension and drama in your commercial. For example, using a sound effect like a ticking clock can create a sense of urgency and encourage listeners to take action. But don’t over do it – I find that any sound effect that runs longer than 5 seconds on radio will lose its effectiveness.
6. Create a sense of location: Sound effects can be used to create a sense of location in your commercial. For example, using sounds such as seagulls, waves, and boats can create a sense of being by the ocean. Again make sure you describe the scene in your notes to make sure you are getting it just right.
7. Create brand recognition: Sound effects can be used to create brand recognition. For example, using a signature sound effect or jingle can help to create a strong association between your brand and a specific sound.
By using sound effects in these ways, you can create a more engaging and memorable radio commercial that captures the attention of your target audience.