What Makes Good Copywriting? 6 Characteristic of Top-Notch Copy

Mad Men fans everywhere remember the pivotal first scene where we learn just how talented Don Draper is at his job.

Faced with an almost-impossible copywriting undertaking, he rose to the occasion to solve a huge problem for his client, Lucky Strike. In spite of research warn customers of the dangers of cigarettes, Draper delivered the iconic motto — “It’s toasted” — to distinguish the brand from its competitors.

Now, we definitely aren’t advocating for smoking cigarettes( or many of Draper’s health options ). But fictional or not, you can’t deny the memorability and catchiness of that tagline.

It’s easy to recognize good copywriting when you see it, but there are actually several characteristics that really separate outstanding writing from the rest of the pack. Want to know them? Read on below to find out.

6 Good Copywriting Examples From Real Brands

1) It tilts your perspective.

Sometimes, all a message needs to break through is a slight transformation in slant. We’ve grow so accustomed to blocking out marketing messages, we don’t even watch them anymore. One of the most powerful things a copywriter can do is break down a reader’s guard with an unexpected approach. Every story has a myriad of angles — your job as a copywriter be able to find the one that resonates.


Source: Silence Sucks

The above ad from Sage Therapeutics pressing the importance of talking about postpartum depression works because instead of asking readers to care about something they don’t know, it puts them in the position of experiencing the struggle that mothers suffering do. Did they miss some readers who promptly passed by the ad reasoning it was for adult pacifiers? Most definitely. But the ad resonated that much more thoroughly with those who read it.

The next time you sit down to write, try out this approach. Don’t take the topic head on. Instead, ask yourself why it matters. Each day you write down an answer, challenge yourself to push it further. Find the larger story passing behind your message.

2) It receives connections.

In 1996, Steve Jobs let the cat out of the bag. He was speaking with a journalist from Wired on the topic of creativity and explained 😛 TAGEND

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something they feel a little guilty since they are didn’t truly do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after awhile.”

Let’s say you have to write an ad for a new pair of sneakers. You could take the assignment head on. You could write about the elasticity of the shoe’s sole or the lightweight design. Indeed, many have. Or you could set all of that aside and instead depict the connection between the product and the experience it evokes.


Source: Pinterest

Two things are happening in this ad. First, the transcript recognizes that for many, operating isn’t about operating at all — it’s about solitude, peace, and restoring sanity to an otherwise hectic life. Second , not only does Nike connect the ad to the experience of running, it actually connects to the audio that those shoes make as they reached the pavement.

This ad is about the complexity of one’s life fading away and being replaced by simplicity and lucidity. As the transcript progresses, the sentences simplify and the copy’s complexity is slowly replaced by the simple and rhythmic pounding of words: operate, operate, operate, operate. The same rhythm one hears when all but their footsteps have faded away. That’s connection.

3) It has a stunning lead.

The following are all headlines or resulting sentences from Urban Daddy, an email-based publication drawing attention to new products, experiences, and eateries.

“Six days. Thatas how long you have until 65% of your body is turkey.” “There are 8,760 hours in a year. And simply one hour in which a stand will be dispensing gratis latkes with homemade applesauce and sour cream in Harvard Square. Yeah, itas not fair. But 60 minutes is 60 minutes. “ “Ewoks. Talk about living.”

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