The most important thing, first thing read, arouse the interest of the consumer.
Role of Headlines :
Attract Attention: Effective headlines attract attention.
Engage the reader :
Explain the visual: Gives greater meaning to the visual
Lead the audience to the body copy: the headline should prompt the reader to read on.
Sell Message: Ideally, headlines present the complete selling idea.
Present benefits: For example: ‘when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” – (FedEx).
Present Product news: Examples include: free, now, amazing, suddenly, announcing, introducing, it’s here, improved, at last, revolutionary, just arrived, and important development.
Types of Headlines
Typically copywriters use the headline that presents the big idea most successfully.
Headlines may be classified by the type of information they carry. Many headlines are easily combined, the type of headline used is less important than the way it’s used.
* Benefit Headlines
* News/Information Headlines
* Provocative Headlines
* Question Headlines
* Command Headlines
Benefit Headlines :
Promises, utility, rewarding product or service. Examples are :
* Gore-tex Fabrics Keep you warm and dry.
* Regardless of what falls Out of sky.
* Speak a foreign language in 30 days or your money back.
* Zero cavities per teaspoon (Sweet ‘n Low).
News/Information Headlines :
The information must be believable. ‘ A sewing machine that’s portable’ and not ‘A razor that shaves 200% better’. Example: Kent Hepa Pure Air Purifier: “For years, we ensured you drink pure. Now Breathe pure too.” Sub-headline: ”Introducing the revolutionary KENT HEPA AIR PURIFIER”. Amul Links general news with Amul Butter.
Provocative Headlines :
Provoke the reader’s curiosity – to stimulate questions and thoughts. For example snapdeal: “Full on Fashion Sale 50-80% off”. To learn more, the reader must read the body copy.
Types of Headlines contd…
Question Headlines :
To search for the answer in the body of the ad. Piques the reader’s curiosity and imagination.
For example, An ad for Tire store asks: “What makes our tire customers smarter and richer than others?”. A headline that reads: “Do you want to buy insurance?” the reader answers, “No,” and turns the page.
Command Headlines :
Orders the reader to do something. Headlines like ‘Obey your thirst’, ‘Make way for the leader’, ‘Follow your dream’ etc.
Rules of writing a good Headline
No formula can be given for writing a good headline. However, there are several factors that should be considered in
evaluating an effective headline :
* Short, simple words, no more than ten words.
* An invitation to the prospect, primary product benefits, brand, and an interest-provoking idea.
* Selective, appealing only to prime prospects.
* An action verb.
* Enough information to know something about the product and its benefit.
Sub-Heads and its Characteristics
The additional smaller headline above the headline or below it. A subhead above the headline, called a Kicker (or overline) is often underlined. Subhead may also appear in body copy.
* Smaller than the headline but larger than the body copy or text.
* Like the headline, the subhead transmits key sales points fast.
* Carries less important information than the headline.
Subheads are important for two reasons:
1. Firstly, most people read only the headline and subheads,
2. Secondly, subheads usually support the interesting step best, eg. It can spell out the promise presented in the headline, or answer the question asked in the headline.
For example snapdeal
Headline: Full on Fashion Sale 50-80% off
Subhead: 5 days of awesome discounts. Men / Women / Kids
For example Newtons cookie
Headline: Turn your cookie jar into a fruit bowl.
Subhead: If the name of the cookie is Newtons, the heart of the cookie is real fruit.
Body Copy and its Characteristics
The advertiser tells the complete sales story in the body copy or text. The body copy comprises the interest, credibility, desire, and often even the action step. It is a logical continuation of the headline and subheads set in smaller type. Body copy covers the features, benefits, and utility of the product or service.
Structure of body copy or characteristics may be subdivided as follows :
* Proof of claim
Body copy is the amplification of the headline and subhead. What we say, how deep we go, depends on the amount of information our prime prospect needs at this point in the buying process.
A high-cost product, such as a refrigerator or electric range, calls for more explanation than a low-cost product, such as a soap with a new flavour.
If a product has many technical advances, such as a computer or latest smartphone, or deciding for a home loan with flexible interest rates, explain just enough so that your prime prospect will want to go to the dealer or the Bank branch to see a demonstration.
Body Copy and its Characteristics contd…
2. Proof of Claim :
Reassurance to the consumer that the product will perform as promised which are important for high-priced products, health products, and new products offering a special feature.
A number of ways to offer proof :
* Emphasizing the Manufacturer’s reputation: like ‘it’s a Sony’, Mercedes-Benz.
* Trial offers
* Seals of Approval: from accredited sources, like ‘Approved by Indian Dental Association’
* Demonstrations: at outlets and markets.
* Money Back Guarantees.
* Warranties: like, IFB washing machines carry 10 years warranty.
* Testimonials: Testimonials advertising offers proof from a credible source, attention-getting when celebrity endorsers are used, Like for Revital by Salman Khan, or even ordinary people like in Dove soap.
3. Action :
* Advertising should not be passive.
* Moves the consumer some action, usually a purchase.
* Usually, an ad ends on an active note, ‘Get one today’, ‘See your local authorized dealer’, ‘Call this toll free number’,
‘Don’t delay, order Now’ etc.
* ‘Slaugh-ghairm’ for ‘battle cry’. Sum up the theme of a company’s advertising message in a few words.
* Also called ‘theme lines’ or ‘taglines’
* Become the standard statement not just in advertising but for salespeople and company employees.
Slogans have two basic purposes :
To provide continuity to a series of ads in a campaign“Boost is the secret of my energy, our energy”.
To reduce an advertising message strategy to a brief, repeatable and memorable statement.
Like DeBeers: ‘Diamond is forever’,
Slogans are broadly classified into two categories :
Establish a prestigious image for a company. Relying on the image to enhance products. Not changed frequently. Slogans used in political campaigns fall into an institutional slogan.
Have you driven a Ford …lately? (Ford Motor Company)
We bring good things to life (General Electric)
Life’s Good (LG)
Hard Sell :
Highlight the special significant feature of the product or service. Such slogans are widely used to advertise groceries, drugs, beauty aids and drinks, low priced products.
“Have a break, Have a KitKat” -- Nestle
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hand (M&M Milk Chocolates)”
Creating a slogan is one of the fine arts of copywriting.
Elements of a Good Slogan
Designed to be remembered and repeated
Short, clear, and easy to remember.
Boldness: The One and Only (Sony)
Parallelism: Chrysler–best built, best backed American cars, Mercedes-Benz–The best or Nothing
Aptness: Extra medicine for more cold relief (Dristan), Crocine Pain Relief for Pain
The name of the product in a slogan: The American Express Card. Don’t leave home without it, It’s a Sony
Seals, Logos and Signature
A seal is awarded only when a product meets standards established by certain authorities. Because these organisations are recognised authorities, their seals provide an independent, valued endorsement for the advertiser’s products.