5 Iconic Examples of Advertising & Copy Writing


Its not what you say.

Its how you say it.

These 5 iconic ads and copy writing examples in this post illustrate that.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – Ogilvy (tweet this)


1. How to Create Advertising that Sells

“How To Create Advertising That Sells” is a remarkable 1,909 words long and draws on the direct response foundation laid by Claude Hopkins, John Caples and the statistical polling methodology David Ogilvy learned at Gallup.

This classic ad ran in newspapers in the 60’s and 70’s for Ogilvy & Mather.


2. At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in the New Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock


“the best headline I ever wrote.” – Ogilvy

David Ogilvy is viewed by many in the industry as the most influential advertiser of the 20th century. His advertising ideas have become icons, his writings and books, the bible of what constitutes good and bad advertising.


3. The man in the Hathaway shirt

“What do work are photographs which arouse the reader’s curiosity. He glances at the photograph and says to himself, “What goes on here?” Then he reads your copy to find out. This is the trap to set.

Harold Rudolph called this magic element “story appeal,”and demonstrated that the more of it you inject into your photographs, the more people will look at your advertisements.

Knowing from Rudolph that a strong dose of “story appeal” would make readers stop and take notice, I concocted eighteen different ways to inject this magic ingredient. The eighteenth was the eye patch. At first we rejected it in favor of a more obvious idea, but on the way to the studio I ducked into a drugstore and bought an eye patch for $1.50. Exactly why it turned out to be so successful, I shall never know. It put Hathaway on the map after 116 years of relative obscurity. Seldom, if ever, has a national brand been created so fast, or at such low cost. Articles were written about it in newspapers and magazines all over the world. Scores of other manufacturers stole it for their own advertising–I have seen five copies from Denmark alone. What struck me as a moderate good idea for a wet Tuesday morning made me famous. I could have wished for fame to come for a more serious achievement.” — Ogilvy


4. Lemon for volkswagen

“Give the World a “Lemon”… Showing a car on a plain background was unheard of. But to refer to your new car as a “lemon” was an in-your-face act of daring on the part of the agency, and an act of courage on the part of the client. As closer inspection of the ad’s copy revealed, a scratched chrome plate on the glove compartment made an entire car unfit for shipping. The stunning visual and self-deprecating copy had an appeal absent from other ads. They were disarmingly simple. And effective.”

In 1960, giving a German car a lovable personality meant breaking all the rules – not just for car advertising, but for advertising in general. That task fell to the art director, Helmut Krone, and to Julian Koenig, his copywriter partner. Playing to the simplicity of the product was a practice unfamiliar to DDB’s contemporaries. But DDB’s VW ads introduced us to a car that would come to symbolize anti-establishment and common sense.

“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” – Bill Bernbach (Tweet This)


5. Think Small

“Snowplow” and “Funeral” Television spots made ownership of the VW Beetle a statement in itself-one of practicality and common sense. Instead of feeling the need to show off your car, a VW showed that you didn’t need to show off. “Snowplow” and “Funeral” humanized the qualities of VW ownership-dependability and affordability. Through persistent focus on the product and its simplicity, DDB created what have been hailed as some of the most memorable advertisements of all time.

Watch – Bill Bernbach on Advertising (1977)

Some More Links You Might Like:
· View More Ogilvy & Mather Classic Ads
More about Bill Bernbach
· David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells
· Book – Ogilvy on Advertising

Some Quotes on Advertising


“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” – Bill Bernbach


“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” – Howard Luck Gossage


“The only people who care about advertising are the people who work in advertising” – George Parker


“Rules are what the artist breaks; the memorable never emerged from a formula” – Bill Bernbach


“Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.” – David Ogivly


“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at” – Leo Burnett


“Creativity may well be the last legal unfair competitive advantage we can take to run over the competition.” – Dave Trott


Read More – 101 Design Quotes