April 30th, 2022

Copywriting in Advertising

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Written by Copycat Staff

Copywriting in Advertising: Everything You Need to Know

Meet Nigel, the owner of a small electronics shop. That’s him in his office, wearing a look of pure consternation as he reviews his most recent quarterly reports. The numbers only affirm what he already knows: business could be better.

All things considered, Nigel is a star at running his business. He works hard to make sure his business is profitable. He stocks his shelves with the latest electronics, offers them at pocket-pleasing prices, and hires the friendliest, most knowledgeable staff he can find. 

Recently, he’s even devoted extra resources to his marketing budget with the hope of attracting new business. 

So, why aren’t the results of his efforts just as impressive? 

It’s not that Nigel doesn’t have what it takes to succeed, or that his shop isn’t giving people what they want and need. He just doesn’t have the secret ingredient that makes his advertising and his business stand out from the competition: top-notch copywriting.

Wondering what copywriting in advertising is, and how it makes a difference for businesses big and small? Here’s what we told Nigel. 

What is Copywriting in Advertising? 

The first thing Nigel needed to know was what copywriting in advertising even was. Although the term was familiar to him, it didn’t conjure very clear associations in his mind. 

Copywriting is the art of creating compelling, interesting, and engaging writing to sell or promote a company, service, brand, or product. 

If that seems like a broad definition, that’s because copywriting includes a broad range of advertising mediums, from the classic to the newfangled.

A few examples include:

  • Outdoor advertising like posters, billboards, and bus depots
  • Radio and television commercials
  • Websites, online ads, blogs, and social media accounts
  • Product jingles and slogans

Whenever you encounter a piece of advertising, you’re also encountering the work of a copywriter (or a whole team of copywriters). From unforgettable fast-food slogans to that email letting you know about the latest shoe sale, copywriters diligently craft expert pieces of content that connect people with the products and services they need. 

So Wait, Advertising is Art Now? 

Are we really saying that the guy who wrote “I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Weiner” is comparable to renowned artists like Leonardo DaVinci or Beethoven?

In some ways, yes. Just as DaVinci’s paintings and Beethoven’s compositions have stood the test of time, we know that copywriting in advertising has the same potential for impact, endurance, and longevity.

To illustrate our point, we asked Nigel to close his eyes and think of as many specific advertising examples as he could in three minutes. No mediums or ad types were off-limits. At the end of that three minutes, no one was more surprised than Nigel by the number of ads he’d been able to think up. 

Just a few of his examples included:

  • Burger King’s “Have it Your Way” jingle
  • McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan
  • The Bounty “Quicker Picker Upper” jingle
  • Pringles’ “Once you pop, you just can’t stop” slogan
  • Wheaties’ “Breakfast of Champions” slogan
  • Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan

There’s a good chance that if we asked you to do the same, your list might not look too different from Nigel’s—and may even include a few more.

That’s because effective copywriting implants itself into the consumer’s consciousness and stays there. Just ask anyone who still thinks of those late-90s Budweiser commercials whenever they hear someone say, “Wazzuuuuup?” 

Most artists can only wish for that sort of cultural cache. 

What Makes Good Copywriting in Advertising?

Specific examples of successful advertising are a great start, but we knew Nigel needed more information. If he was hoping to spruce up his advertising efforts, either by hiring an in-house marketing team or outsourcing to a copywriting agency, he needed to know the characteristics that distinguish the best from the rest.

You know you’ve encountered a stellar piece of copywriting when it: 

  • Knows its audience – Successful copywriting sinks or swims on the strength of its ability to connect with consumers. Even for national or global campaigns that aim to reach as many people as possible, understanding the needs, wants, interests, and behaviors of consumers is crucial.

  • Knows what it’s selling – Excellent copywriting knows the product it’s advertising inside and out. But it knows the brand behind the product just well. It considers factors like brand image, consumer expectation, and market trends to produce ads that build brands in addition to boosting profits. In this way, copywriting can change the consumer’s preconceived notions about a product or brand and alter their perspective.

  • Is unique, engaging, and memorable – The average person is thought to encounter between 6,000 and 10,000 distinct advertisements every day. That’s a lot of copy! To cut through the crowd, excellent copywriting must draw its audience in and leave a lasting impression.

  • Tells a story – Superb copywriting thrives on storytelling. The best copy works for its audience the way the best novels work for their readers—by finding the emotional meat of a subject and building a narrative around it. In copywriting, this narrative taps into the needs and desires of the audience and illustrates how a given product can satisfy them.

  • Features a clear and compelling call to action – The call to action is a necessary hallmark and vital feature of all copywriting. It instructs the audience toward a specific behavior, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, clicking to learn more, or visiting a store. It also reinforces the unique benefits the consumer stands to gain by doing so. 

What Does It Take to Write Good Advertising Copy?

It should be obvious that incredible copy begins with a team of skilled copywriters. But what are the qualities that make up a good copywriter? Nigel wondered. 

Like all artists, copywriters must be:

  • Creative – Consumers don’t just want products—they want tools to help them live happier, healthier, and more enjoyable lives. Quality copywriters find the invisible connections between the brands they're writing for and how they can help consumers reach their most important life goals. In other words, a car ad is never just about the car. It’s about creating a story that convinces the consumer that this car, above all others, will take them where they want to go in life.

  • Curious – Like all writers, good copywriters are endlessly curious about the world around them and how people live. They’re always investigating the intricacies of human experience, desire, and relationships. It’s this curiosity that makes storytelling possible.

  • Resilient – No truly skilled artist ever became so without a little fortitude. The same goes for copywriters, who must fine-tune their copy to suit a client’s vision and their own. From enduring editorial feedback to pleasing clients and consumers alike, copywriters must develop some resilience if they want to succeed.

  • Collaborative – In rare cases, the stereotype of the artist working in complete seclusion may hold true for copywriters, too. But the truth is that most artistic endeavors are impossible without the combined efforts of many individuals. The same is true of copywriting. Across advertising mediums, all copy is crafted and formed by many pairs of hands, from the initial copywriters to copy editors to video directors, commercial actors, and so on. 

How Can Copywriting in Advertising Boost Your Business?

By now, Nigel’s interests were piqued. It was time to convince him of the ways copywriting in advertising could help his business scale and grow. 

Professional copywriting helps businesses: 

  • Reach new customers – Professional copywriters craft clever, creative ads that stand out in consumers’ minds so that they remember your business. But they’re also masters of the algorithm and use search engine optimization to boost website traffic and increase conversions.

  • Build customer loyalty – Copywriting can help you build a consistent, recognizable, and trustworthy brand that consumers will want to return to again and again.

  • Increase profits – Engaging, relatable content, clear and consistent branding, and techniques to optimize your web presence can all conspire to drive sales and boost profits.

Amplify Your Advertising with Copycat Copywriters 

After learning all about copywriting in advertising, Nigel knew the best thing he could do for his electronics shop was find a top-notch team of copywriters. He found them at Copycat Copywriters.

Okay, Nigel is a fictional character we made up for this article. But if he was real, he definitely would have gone with Copycat for all his copywriting needs—and he would have been tickled pink by the results. 

Why? Because we’re the coolest and most creative copywriters around. From email and web copy to white papers, blog posts, and listicles, we know how to craft online content that’s cohesive with your brand and threaded with your story. 

At Copycat Copywriters, nothing makes us purr like helping businesses stand out online. Try us for free today.

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