Unlike television, there are no visual elements in radio, and this is often considered one of the biggest disadvantages of radio advertising. Radios are also often used as background noise, and listeners may not always pay attention to the advertisements. They may also change the station when advertisements come on. Also, a listener is usually unable to go back to a radio advertisement and listen to it at his leisure. Certain time slots are also more effective when using radio advertising, but there are typically a limited number, which often fill up quickly.
One of the biggest disadvantages of radio advertising is the lack of visual stimulation. All that radio advertising is able to offer is audio, like voices and music. Television advertising, on the other hand, has an added visual element. Many experts agree that this added visual element is often more effective at worming its way into a potential consumer's mind.
Radios are commonly used for background noise in many places, including homes, offices, stores, and vehicles. This usually means that listeners are not usually actively listening to the radio. This can also result in one of the major disadvantages of radio advertising — listeners will often not even hear most radio commercials. If they do not listen and hear them, they are typically less likely to patronize those particular businesses.
Another one of the biggest disadvantages of radio advertising is that listeners generally dislike advertisements. When listening to a radio station, many listeners change the station during advertisement breaks. They would usually rather listen to the main program, such as music or a talk show. Advertisements that radio listeners don't hear are ineffective.
The inability to study an advertisement at the listener's leisure is another one of the major disadvantages of radio advertising. Readers are able to go back and read a newspaper advertisement, for instance, but they are unable to do this with a radio advertisement. If listeners miss some important information in a radio advertisement, they usually have to wait until the advertisement comes on again By that time, however, they may have either forgotten or lost interest.
Many studies show that most people listen to their radios at certain times of the day. Many people listen to the radios in their vehicles during morning commutes to work and afternoon commutes home, for instance. Only a certain amount of time is devoted to advertising, and there are a limited number of these time slots available each day. These sought-after time slots will often be taken very quickly and they can be very expensive.