Radio Commercials Day
Dig into an online archive for old radio advertisements, and consider how much things have changed over the years—as well as how much they haven’t.
Radio commercials are often seen as an irritation to be endured while waiting for some music to come on, but what some people seem to forget is that they have been an important part of the entertainment business for nearly a century. Not only do they help to generate revenue for the radio stations, but they also provide employment for many people.
This is the perfect day to show appreciation for these ads that are played on the air, because it is time for Radio Commercials Day!
History of Radio Commercials Day
Radio Commercials Day was founded to commemorate the day when the very first radio commercial was broadcast on a New York radio station, WEAF. This took place on August 28, 1922 and the advertisement was for an American estate agent, Queensboro Realty.
While the US got its start with advertisements on privately held radio stations rather early on, it would take more than 50 years for this concept to spread across the ocean. In fact, it wasn’t until 1973 that the UK had its first radio commercial, which ran on LBC and the advertisement promoted Birds Eye frozen food.
Radio Commercials Day offers a super opportunity to change that dial, turn the volume up a little bit higher, and get listening to the radio!
Other exciting days for celebrating the important impact the radio has made on the modern world include National Radio Day as well as World Radio Day.
How to Celebrate Radio Commercials Day
Get into the groove of Radio Commercials Day by celebrating with a variety of activities, whether simple or complex. Have fun getting creative with ideas, or get started with some of these:
Listen to the Radio
With the advent of the internet as well as various music platforms such as Pandora or Spotify, many people have forgone the activity of listening to the radio. In fact, the radio may just be the one setting on that car stereo that never really gets used. But, in observance of Radio Commercials Day, it’s time to go retro, get a blast from the past, and turn on the radio!
Listen to Radio Commercials Online
As it turns out, many of the early radio commercials can now be found online, so a great way to celebrate Radio Commercials Day might be to listen to a few and be transported back in time.
Alternatively, track down some radio commercials from around the world and be entertained by the huge variety of tone and style that are used in radio adverts from different countries, whether from long ago or in the modern age of radio.
Write and Record a Radio Commercial
A fun activity for Radio Commercials Day, especially for older students, might be to have a class project where they become writers for their own radio ads and then read them out loud. This would be a great project for a class that is focused on marketing, advertising or just business in general. For even more fun, give the students access to the school’s radio broadcasting studio and let them record the radio commercials that they have written, so they can also learn the skill of producing them as well.
Watch a Radio Movie or Show
It seems strange that a media that is only based on voice would be depicted on film, but it has been many times. In celebration of National Radio Commercials Day, it might be fun to watch one of these films or shows where the story is all about the radio:
- News Radio. Sitcom running from 1995 to 1999 starring Dave Foley and Maura Tierney.
- Good Morning Vietnam (1987). This film stars Robin Williams as a radio announcer during the war.
- Radio Days (1987). A movie that is set in 1930s Brooklyn, when the radio was the center of life.
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993). A love story that brings together two people from opposite sides of the country because of the radio.