Copywriting in pictures: more examples of advertising copy

Copywriting in pictures: more examples of advertising copy

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Last week, I presented you some of my favorite advertising copy examples so that you can understand what it is better and what results this type of persuasive writing can yield, if done right. As promised, I’m back today with the second part of the previous article.

We’re about to analyze more telling examples of advertising copy that are going to move, impress, make us laugh or even inspire us in our own advertising or marketing campaigns. Whether you’re an online titan or just started marketing your company’s products and services, you still have a few valuable lessons to take home from the masters of advertising. Let’s begin...

More examples of advertising copy

#1 BMW – blending awareness with the grotesque

For those of you who don’t know this information, I’ll explain briefly what awareness campaigns are, in my own words, without too much theory. We’re referring to those types of online or offline campaigns dealing with political, environmental or social issues, whose end-goal is to change behaviors, draw attention to a specific problem, raise funds etc.

These objectives can be achieved via various means, from website banners to creating dedicated pages for online campaigns or even using outdoor advertising (billboards, banners, flyers).

In this ad, BMW’s purpose was to draw attention to the dangers of drinking and driving. I chose this example because the message is equally grotesque and true. Moreover, BMW chose their words wisely, only selecting those which the target audience can easily respond to, those that create quick mental associations for drivers (e.g. spare parts).

Most drivers are only preoccupied with car maintenance and they neglect their personal safety. The ad emphasizes that, if spare parts for cars can be found easily, the same cannot be said for „human” parts. A quite grotesque copywriting example but one that fully reaches its intended goal.

#2 Don’t smoke, least out of vanity if not for health concerns

Anti-smoking campaigns usually deliver the best copywriting examples, to my mind, at least. The reasoning is simple – you’re driven to be as original as possible, since people are dead-set on smoking, no matter how many health statistics you present, no matter how much shocking imagery you deliver (rotten teeth, charred lungs on cigarette packs or shown via other communication means).

Therefore, American Cancer Society chose a different route: if people don’t care about their health, they sure as hell care about how they look.

The end result emphasizes the copywriter’s craft, given the fact that the message „If what happened on your inside happened on your outside, would you still smoke?” also has cultural significance. The American society is preoccupied with beauty and personal grooming, which is why it’s going to be even more receptive to such an approach. The message manages to determine smokers to think twice about the impact of their behavior and the picture of the woman is both shocking and suggestive.

#3 The unseen effects of smoking

The following example I prepared for you is yet again taken from an anti-smoking campaign. Why did I choose it? Again, a pretty original approach can be seen here. As we all expected, this example also focuses on emotional targeting. This is the most frequently chosen route by those who write anti-smoking slogans.

This time, however, the execution is pretty straightforward. Gone are the classic, shocking sequences depicting the negative effects of smoking. Instead, what we see is a sensitive approach that manages to catch our eye, too. The slogan „Daddy couldn’t give me pocket money (because he’s a smoker)” shows us a different side to addiction that many of us don’t see, the economic one.

This one also affects family relationships. We don’t see a picture of a crying child or a parent with tears in his eyes because he can’t offer his kid what he needs, but a piggybank filled with cigarette butts alongside that text message is equally impactful. This is an advertising copy that shows us you don’t always need to resort to shocking imagery to draw attention. Sometimes simple is better.

#4 Competition doesn’t scare us...or does it?

To change the scenery a little, I also prepared a unique copywriting example that is bound to make you smile. We all know the famous Coca Cola-Pepsi rivalry. I’m sure that, among the readers of this article, we can identify Cola fans and Pepsi haters or vice-versa.

Well, the guys from Pepsi took full advantage of this known rivalry on Halloween and hit the competitors exactly where it hurts with a funny execution, but certainly not a very ethical one. What happened to fairness among competitors? All we can do is smile thinking that, for Pepsi and its consumers, there’s nothing scarier than being Coca Cola for a day. Ouch.

#5 Real life and movies – expectation vs. reality

Oh, Titanic. What a lovely and 100% fictional story. The copywriter from Utopolis is certainly not selling any illusion but instead provides a cruel glimpse into reality, stripped off of fantasy and romance, just the way it is. I chose this copywriting example not just because it’s funny in terms of execution (message + visual), but also because it presents a different, less glamorous side of advertising.

Most of those seeking to sell us something embellish reality, lie to us, exaggerate the benefits of a product, promise and don’t deliver. This example of copywriting is, as the English man would say, a breath of fresh air. Moreover, it reminds us that honesty is the best policy, even in the creative industries.


What can we learn from all of these examples of copywriting that we’ve analyzed now and in the previous article?

If we are in the industry or seeking to enter it, a few important lessons to be learned are – you always hit the winning jackpot if you go for a fresh perspective, be honest, move people, draw attention and, last but not least, are not afraid to spark controversy.

A good copywriter juggles with all of the above and manages to inspire us to push the boundaries, overcome our limits and also come up with head-turning, smile and laughter-inducing advertising that moves even the most cynical and arrogant of the bunch.

What is your favorite advertising copy? Do you believe in the power of words to bring life and impact to advertising? Share your opinion below!

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