Monday, 24 November 2008


It's good to learn something on a Monday morning. After a long wait, Copy genius Tim Collins talked the agency through the secrets behind great headlines. If you missed it, here's a recap.

The ten techniques of advertising headlines

1. The Reveal
Misdirecting readers, then pulling the rug from under their feet.
“I never read the Economist” Management Trainee Aged 43.

2. The Q & A
A question that is answered by the body copy.
Ted Bundy. Jeffrey Dahmer. The Boston Strangler. How do you think they got their start?

3. The Curiosity Arouser
A phrase that draws you into the body copy.
We stole their land, their buffalo and their women. Then we went back for their shoes. Timberland.

4. The Double Entendre
A line with two distinct meanings, one of which is relevant to the proposition.
Ever heard people talking about their Volkswagens? They go on and on and on.

5. The Parody
A line that pastiches a well-known phrase and gives it a twist because of the brand.
If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit, join our club. The Edinburgh Club.

6. The Instruction
A headline that tells you how to interact with the rest of the ad.
To find out how quiet our new typewriter is, tap the keys on this page.

7. The Killer Fact
A single fact that conveys the entire meaning of the ad.
Two works of man are visible from space. The Great Wall of China and the fires raging in the rainforest.

8. The List of Three
A line that groups things into three, the third often contrasts the first two.
Delight Children. Impress Friends. Confuse Bumble Bees. Millets.

9. The Contrasting Pair
A line that exploits a contrast in two words.
They appear the same but disappear differently. Ford.

10. Alliteration
A line in which many of the words start with the same letter.
Flowers for the Fearless. Be brave not beige. Ikea.

(And an extra one in brackets) The extra bit in brackets.
An apparently straight line with a cheeky, more colloquial bit in brackets.
In advertising you’re allowed to exaggerate. (that explains the caravan) VW

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think there's something in the interactive press ads. Such a brilliant way of linking offline with online. And so very from St Luke's - ideas you can do - and it would be so very perfect for most of our brands.