If you read Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins, you might see the phrase “advertising is salesmanship” throughout the book. And if you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, you’ve seen me say that “copywriting is salesmanship in print” in more than one post.
So, if we put some crazy math equation together – which we won’t – you can easily conclude that advertising copywriting is about salesmanship.
I’ve mentioned before that there is a difference in the approach to marketing copywriting and advertising copywriting. Marketing copy looks to connect prospects with the offer while advertising copy looks to convert prospects into customers.
So yes – advertising copy is about sales. And there lies the tricky part: how does ad copy generate sales effectively?
I can’t tell you that there’s a formula to create ads that convert 100% of your prospects into customers because there isn’t. But I can tell you that studying some of the most effective ads will give you an idea of what makes an ad effective in sales generation.
Advertising Copywriting Examples
Drawing from my knowledge and experience as a direct response copywriter, I’ve picked three advertising copywriting examples you can study to get a better grasp of what works and what doesn’t in advertising.
Johnson Smit Co. Catalog Ad
In 1967, the Johnson Smith company presented an ad featuring popular and curiosity-inducing items to promote their catalog service in magazines and newspapers.
You can see that most of the items in the ad get a descriptive, short headline and copy that presents the item’s benefits and features to the reader. And at the bottom right corner, you get an order form and contact information.
This ad focuses on trying to peek at the reader’s curiosity – getting the prospect to buy at least one time of interest. Then, the prospect would get the entire catalog hoping they would buy more.
This ad has multiple examples of great headlines for you to save as part of your swipe file. The best one is “New Ram Jet Engine Burns Gasoline” because it introduces the product and presents a promise quickly.
Ogilvy & Mather Corporate Advertising Advertorial
“How to create corporate advertising that gets results” was part of Ogilvy & Mather’s successful “how to” five-part campaign in 1982.
This ad doesn’t have any flashy designs or cute dialogue. Yet, it managed to do what it was supposed to: sell a lot of lucrative contracts.
This ad presents the agency’s knowledge of corporate advertising and copywriting. As simple as that. And it’s not “hard-selling” either – it just gives you the agency’s contact information.
So, what should you learn from this ad? That valuable information earns you trust quicker. And trust earns you sales quicker.
Baby Squirrel Monkey Ad
This ad will NOT fly in our times. But, as a standalone marketing piece, it is impressive.
First of all, who hasn’t wanted to have a pet monkey? I think everyone has at some point – which is why the headline of this ad is so powerful.
The ad features pictures of adorable monkeys bound to get your attention. And the copy focuses on letting you know the many ways that owning a monkey could satisfy your life.
The copy is very descriptive of the cuteness of the monkeys, and the order form gives you specific instructions on how to order one.
This ad can teach how to structure an ad that gets attention and communicates effectively and persuasively enough to get orders.
3 Advertising Copywriting Examples for You to Study
Now you have three advertising copywriting examples that can help you understand ad copy better. Study the Johnson and Smith Catalog ad to learn how to make the most of your ad space. Read the Ogilvy and Mather advertorial to appreciate the value of helpful information. And break down the Baby Squirrel Monkey ad to see each copy element (headline, lead, copy, and CTA) in action.
Have a question or thought about the advertising copywriting examples I presented? Let me know your point of view with a comment. And, if you think this piece can help someone you know, feel free to share it with them.