How to Create Audio Commercials that Sell

Tips, Tools, Techniques for Writing and Producing Radio Ads, Audio Advertising for Podcasts, Streaming Services and more
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  • Lectures 53
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2016 English

Course Description

Audio Advertising – A Booming and Growing Industry

AM & FM radio, satellite radio, streaming services, podcasts. Together, they’re a booming, multibillion industry. And all of them carry audio advertising. That means there are outstanding opportunities for those who know how to create radio commercials and other types of audio ads – and those opportunities are growing.

How Do You Take Advantage of the Opportunities?

But to take advantage of them, you must know how to create audio commercials that sell. This course provides you with a step-by-step, start-to-finish process that will enable you to easily write audio commercials and get them produced. You’ll be able to create commercials that work to sell all kinds of products, services and more.

Who Are We to Teach You?

How do you we know? Because we – your instructors, the principals of The Norman Agency, “The Sound of Marketing”® – have created thousands of audio advertising campaigns during our careers, for consumer-focused products and services as well as B2B clients. And what we’ll teach you are the skills and techniques that we use year in and year out.

What Are You Going to Get from This Course?

·      3 hours of lectures

·      proven techniques

·      downloadable examples

·      customizable templates

·      the confidence to write and get your audio ads produced

·      access to your instructors through the comments section; answers to your questions within two business days

What are the requirements?

  • To take this course, you should have a desire to write audio commercials that sell. You should also have a stopwatch (probably on your smartphone), voice-recording software (it’s likely on your computer or cell phone already), and the willingness to read out loud – even when you’re among other people! You DON’T need to know anything about the technical side of recording.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Create effective audio ads – ones that sell your client’s or business’s products and services.
  • You'll learn tips, techniques and secrets from two audio ad veterans – each with over 25 years of experience and the principals of The Norman Agency – "The Sound of Marketing®".
  • You'll learn everything you need to write audio commercials that sell – and how to get them produced.
  • You'll learn how to develop the all-important Creative Brief;
  • Powerful opening lines you can use word for word;
  • Customizable script concepts;
  • How to determine production budgets;
  • Where and how to get your commercials produced;
  • How to find and work with professional voices;
  • How to work with celebrities;
  • How to work with clients who voice their own spots;
  • How to create testimonial commercials that feature customers of the advertiser;
  • How to find sound effects and music for your ads;
  • How to present your scripts to clients;
  • How to get the best out of recording sessions;
  • How to give error-free scheduling instructions to radio and other media that will run your ads;
  • And much more.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is designed for you if you’ve never or rarely written and produced audio commercials (that is, ads for radio – AM/FM, satellite – podcasts, streaming services and other media), but you’re in one of the following groups:
  • Staff Copywriters who have recently been hired by a radio station or an ad agency;
  • Freelance copywriters who want to add these skills to their list of services;
  • Radio station producers and freelance producers who might have to write commercials;
  • Radio station sales reps who need to write commercials for their clients;
  • Marketing managers who want to knowledgeably create or supervise the creation of commercials;
  • Business owners who want to fully understand the whole process or write their own ads;
  • Announcers or actors who want to offer audio ad writing as an additional service for their clients;
  • PR practitioners who want to provide audio ads to their clients;
  • Advertising and media students who want to add new skills to their job-search toolkit;
  • Podcast producers and hosts who have to create commercials for their shows;
  • And many others.
  • This course is NOT for people who want to learn the technical skills of recording. In other words, we won’t be covering – and in this course, you don’t have to know or learn – anything about how to use production software or hardware.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Intro - Course Overview

What we'll cover in this course.


We've designed this course for many different types of people, from media students to new copywriters to business owners, and more.


Some info about The Norman Agency's Jim Norman, Creative Director, and Becky Norman, Writer/Producer.


Apart from a desire to create audio ads that sell, just a couple of items you'll need that will be in your possession already, or are available to you free.

Section 2: First Steps

Learn to speak the language of audio advertising with this glossary (2nd edition, 10 pages).


Hint: this is not a screenwriting or comedy course.

Section 3: The Creative Brief

A Creative Brief is a document that serves as the foundation of the commercial you'll write and produce. In this section, you'll learn how to develop this document.


Getting started and organized.


How to determine the cost of creating your commercial.


Answering questions 1 to 4 of 12 of the Creative Brief.


Answering questions 5 to 8 of 12 of the Creative Brief.


Almost done. Answering questions 9 to 12 of the Creative Brief.


Our secret weapon for bulletproofing the Creative Brief.


Why it's so important to get the Creative Brief signed off before you write your script.

Section 4: How to Write the Audio Commercial

After these lectures, you'll be able to easily and confidently write any type of audio ad for any type of advertiser, product or service.


We introduce and take you through our exclusive "Decision Maker Chart", which allows you to quickly make important decisions about your script before you write it.


Tone and attitude are important "make or break" aspects of commercial. In this lecture, how to decide on the tone and attitude that will best serve your ad.


Hint: wrong question.


How to quickly know if there is too much info for your script. What to do about it if there is.


Or, "Gee, Blanche, what is wrong with this locution of which you speak?"


Yes, some commercials should really be about "you."


How to heighten the connection with your Target Audience by connecting emotionally.


Use this script format to be organized and clear with instructions for production and performers.


How to start your commercial and grab attention. We tell you, word for word.


Customizable concepts designed to work hard for your clients.


Even MORE customizable concepts designed to work hard for your clients.


The delicate balance between the boss and the business of effective voice overs.


What to keep in mind before and while you write a script for a celebrity.


When to use commercials that feature the advertiser’s customers, and how to create them.


How to really make the sale.


The important “call to action” – and more.


Now we show you how to use our secret weapon to bulletproof your script.


You’ll have to do this again and again. In this lecture, you’ll learn how.


How do you pronounce "advertisement"? There are two accepted ways. How would you tell performers how you want your "advertisement said? Learn how to easily spell out for performers how to say even the hardest words in a script.


Why you need to find these while you’re writing your ad. See Lecture 43 to learn how to find them.


When to be funny, when not to be. The perks and potential problems with using humor in commercials.

Section 5: How to Find Performers (Voices) for Your Commercials

Whether you'll have a radio station produce your commercial, or need to hire freelance announcers or actors, this section will show you how to find the voices you need.


The opportunities, benefits and limitations of station performers.


You've got the world to choose from. How to find and narrow down the choices.

Section 6: Presenting Your Scripts to Clients

Now, that your commercial is written, it needs to be presented to your client for approval. We'll tell you exactly how to do it successfully.


How to write the document that introduces and presells your script.


Our step-by-step guide to getting your script approved for production.

Section 7: Pre-Production: Getting Ready for the Recording Session

It's almost time to get your commercial recorded. Almost. First, you need to find sound effects and music, book performers, and decide where to get your ad recorded. In this section, you'll learn how to do all those things.


Where and how to find and buy or license them.


In this lecture, we'll cover the many things to take care of to make sure your choice of performers are booked and ready for your recording session.


Three main options, plus the pros and cons of each.

Section 8: The Recording Session

The big day is here. Time to get your commercial produced. In these lectures, all the information you need to ensure your session goes perfectly.


Want to make sure your recording session goes smoothly? Then, first, be sure to take these items.


Includes the recording process and directing the performers.


“My half-caff soy latte is cold and do I have to say that line?” Surprisingly, not always.


How everything comes together into a final production, and what you can do to ensure you end up with the great commercial you hoped for.

Section 9: Trafficking Your Ads

The ins and outs of getting your commercials to the media you're advertising on, and how to give them error-free "traffic instructions."

Section 10: Outro

A couple of closing thoughts before you head off to create audio advertising.

"How to Create Audio Commercials that Sell" Copyright © 2016 The Norman Agency.

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Instructor Biography

Jim Norman, Creative Director/Owner, The Norman Agency

Jim Norman is Creative Director and Owner of The Norman Agency, which has been in business since 2000.

He has spent his whole career writing, producing and sometimes even voicing high-impact radio commercials and other audio marketing communications. He has worked at leading Canadian media companies, including Rogers Communications, Maclean's Magazine, and others. His mission has been to help marketers build their businesses, and his client list has been impressive.

He’s worked with thousands of businesses from local restaurant owners to multinational brands including DeWalt, Nokia, Symantec, TSC, and MidMichigan Health, from consumer-focused product and service advertisers to B2B clients.

He’s a winner of over 45 international and national advertising awards. As well, Jim has written a critically acclaimed suspense novel and recorded three albums as a singer-songwriter.

Jim holds an MBA, which he received in 2008 from Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh Business School, UK.

Instructor Biography

Becky Norman, Writer/Producer, The Norman Agency

Becky Norman is an award-winning writer and producer at The Norman Agency, as well as its Project Manager. She's been writing and producing – and even voicing – radio ads for over 25 years now. And in that time, she's worked not only at the Agency, but also at some of Canada's leading radio stations and as a freelancer. She's written for almost every type of product and service. In addition to creating radio ads, Becky has been the producer of several top-rated radio talk shows, as well as an award-winning ACTRA performer.

She holds two degrees: a BA and a Bachelor of Education.

Becky is passionate about creating marketing-related audio and has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share. 

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