Ad Copy Examples: What Great Ad Copy Looks Like
Digital advertising changes so rapidly, that it’s hard to keep up with what’s new and exciting.
But one thing never changes: the importance of ad copy.
Great ad copy commands your attention. It may take you by surprise, standing out for its clever wit. Perhaps it stirs a deep emotion or makes you think. You know great ad copy when you see it. If it’s really good, you might even recall it for years to come.
No matter what type of ad you’re running, from TikTok video ads to PPC or native ads, your ad copy has a key role to play in whether the audience will take notice, and whether they will click and ultimately convert. Even if they don’t convert right now, good advertising copy can build brand awareness, and make your company or product more memorable. This can lead to more customers and conversions down the road…
Amazing ad copy is both an art and a science that involves creativity, strategy, and an understanding of your target audience. Let’s take a look at some of the best ad copy examples we’ve come across, and explore what makes them so engaging and effective.
Tempting Language: Summersalt on Facebook Ads
Amazing ad copy communicates the value of a product or service clearly. On the internet, where attention spans are so short, this can be tough. It’s not just attention that is limited – online ad platforms have character limitations so you have to choose every word of ad copy wisely.
Summersalt is a fashion brand that clearly knows its target audience (people with disposable income who enjoy sleep), and its copywriter knows which words to use in order to get those people’s attention.
The title of the ad states that these are “The most comfortable pajamas” – which is a pretty standard claim in retail marketing. But take a look at the clever and immersive copy in the post itself. It speaks of “buttery-soft pajamas” whose “side effects include…zen-like feelings.”. This kind of copywriting does more than highlight the unique benefits of the product and why it is the best. The ad copy succeeds in drawing in the customer, making them feel the product’s magic.
People scroll through their Facebook feeds fast, and by hitting on the customer’s emotions and piquing their senses, Summersalt’s ad copy definitely tempts scrollers to stop and participate in the ad experience.
Cheeky Does It: HoneyBook Search Ad
There’s a lot of work that goes into creating great PPC ads, but the most important job of all is creating ad copy that effectively answers a search query. Rather than fighting over popular keywords and trying to get attention away from competitors, HoneyBook, the business software company, uses a clever trick with unexpected ad copy that’s disruptive and memorable.
In this campaign, HoneyBook chose to use its competitor’s name as a keyword, but the search result brought HoneyBook as the top sponsored result, with the cheeky copy: “You Meant HoneyBook, Right?”
True, this sneaky tactic of sponsoring search results targeting competitors’ brand keywords is not new, but it is the subversive ad headline that really makes the difference here. Plus, after grabbing the user’s attention, HoneyBook also highlights that their software is “Built for Small Businesses”. Although the user might not have been searching for HoneyBook, the brand smartly offers their product as a front-and-center alternative with convincing ad copy.
Reverse Psychology: Hinge Display Ad
Clarity is key in ad copy, especially online. With so many digital ads and content competing to be seen, you need to get to the point and convey your message succinctly. Your audience should immediately understand what you’re offering.
This ad for the dating app Hinge certainly does that but in a funny and memorable way too.
First, the headline identifies with the audience’s pain point: “Fall in Love”. It doesn’t get much clearer than that! But the next bit is where it gets really interesting: rather than imploring the audience to download Hinge, they are told to “Delete Hinge”. This is a brilliant example of reverse psychology; after all, people using dating apps generally want to be off the apps as soon as possible. The ad copy delivers the message that Hinge is so good, you will find love fast and no longer need the product. So smart, so unexpected, so succinct! Ad copy at its finest (and most ingenious).
Back to Basic: “Car Thing” from Spotify on TikTok Ads
We have to make an admission before we discuss Spotify’s Car Thing. It’s no longer “a thing”. The product was discontinued, but that aside, we love the ad copy surrounding the release of this gadget.
The Car Thing is (was) just a Bluetooth device that controls your phone via voice commands while you drive. While the product may not be revolutionary, this ad copy example certainly focuses on the pain points users experience listening to music while they drive. And it does so with the simplest possible word: THING.
Let’s start with the product name, which is brilliantly disruptive. Spotify could have branded this as a “touchless tune maker” or “voice vibes” or anything of the sort, but instead, it chose to call the device “a thing”, more specifically, “a thing you would use in the car”, AKA “Car Thing”. Totally different and memorable!
Next, the copy continues the “thing” theme, noting how people use their phones for everything in their cars, including playing music, but the phone might not actually be the best thing for that. What could possibly take its place? The Car Thing by Spotify. This ad copy is really someTHING, and we love it!
Bold, Resonating Statement: The Economist Display Ad
Ever embodying the “sage” brand archetype, The Economist likes to shake things up with an irreverent twist now and again. The magazine has been masterfully crafting terrific ad copy examples for decades, with billboards stating “Great minds like a think” and “It’s lonely at the top, but at least there’s something to read.” This is a brand that boldly writes whatever it believes will be both intellectually deep but also disruptive.
In this ad copy example, The Economist takes a well-known phrase (“Crime Doesn’t Pay”) and then surprises the reader with a twist that is so clever and surprising, it makes you go back and read it again.
The Economist knows better than to bombard the audience with flashy promises. Instead, it stands out by leveraging its reputation for authoritative journalism and insightful analysis. This is reflected in its ad copy too, which stands out as fresh, thought-provoking, and intelligent in a world filled with a lot of same-old repetitive copy noise.
Action-Driving Copy: Oatly Captcha Ad on Wetransfer
Can you tell the difference between cow’s milk and plant-based milk? The dairy industry thinks not, and the European Parliament agreed. In 2020, they voted in favor of implementing stricter guidelines for the packaging of plant-based milk.
Oatly, the Swedish oat milk brand, responded with an incredibly clever campaign in collaboration with Wetransfer, the file transfer platform. They leveraged the concept of a captcha, those security tools that ask internet users to verify they are not a bot by selecting the relevant squares in an image. The ad shows a captcha with an image of a milk carton and Oatly carton side by side, hinting at the familiar “check all the boxes which show milk” concept. But the ad had a deeper purpose than just fun; it invites the viewer to click and sign a petition to rescind the regulations that Oatly sees as censorship in the language they use in their packaging.
This campaign got incredible results, and without the copy, that wouldn’t have happened. Over its month-long run, the campaign got half a million interactions, of which 20% restarted the captcha to try and see it again. What was even more impressive was that the EU withdrew Amendment 171. Now that’s great copy in action.
Copy that Tells a Story: Google Year in Search 2017 Video Ad
If words are a reflection of life, then Google’s Year in Search videos use copy in the most powerful way. To end the year, Google provides a recap of the popular search queries in the past 12 months, providing fascinating insights into the topics and trends that defined us. In this 2017 example of ad copy, the brand’s video shows a bunch of the most popular “how to” search queries throughout the year, creating a beautifully woven narrative of the year that was.
What is so brilliant about this ad copy is that it is based on Google search terms – it is not even ad copy in the strictest creative sense. But it just goes to show how the best ad copy might already be right in front of you. It’s simply a matter of using it in the best way.
Plus, we love the copy that closes the video: “Search on”. It is hopeful, inspiring, and motivating. Pretty much what every good ad should be!
A Few Final Words About Good Advertising Copy
Words matter. They have power and in advertising, they have the potential to uplift, inspire, educate, and make you laugh. Most of all, they can compel the audience to take action, to make a purchase, to click that button, to become a customer. While there are tips to help you become a better copywriter, it’s understanding what really speaks to the audience and taking creative risks that make for exceptional examples of ad copy.