How To Write Ad Headlines Part 1 [Copywriting Guides]

Ever wanted to write the perfect headline? Then this week’s mini series is for you. Here’s some doing the rounds today:

1. “£49 Watch Can Save Your Life”

2. “Own Your Own Holiday Home”

3. “This $47 Monocular Better Than $3000 Telescope”

4. “Man Mocks Woman On Plane, Doesn’t Realise Who Is Behind Him”

The above are all from display ads. The first three share one thing in common, they’re simple and get to the point. The last one was probably written by an ex-tabloid headline writer.

The first uses fear and hope in equal measure and is aimed at people in the UK interested in buying a watch. Instead of focusing on the watch itself, it uses a seemingly unconnected angle (USP) to give it an edge.

If you search for “£49 Watch Can Save Your Life” in Google, you’ll find this angle has been used countless times to sell all sorts of watches. There are YouTube videos too, and the oldest reference I found dates back to 2016. Evidently there’s some mileage in this one still.

The second one uses ownership (status) as its motivating factor. But the fact that people in lockdown are moving house to the countryside in droves (and even buying second homes) during the pandemic tells us why this ad is working today.

The third is completely unbelievable. The claim is so outrageous, it will get the curious clicking. The idea is that the price is so low (having been anchored by the larger price of $3000) that it will be an impulse buy. The landing page doesn’t mention the larger price at all, and instead focuses on the product’s light weight and portability as its USP.

The fourth ad is total crap (but is still an ad). I talked about ads like this in the last series, so we’ll ignore them for now (click here to search this site for “ads” – there’s lots more you might want to read).

In part 2 we’ll make a start on headline types and how to write them.


ads, headlines

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