Posts filed under ‘Great opening lines of ad copy’

Favourite First Copy Lines

As any copywriter will confirm, the first line of copy is always the hardest to write.

And the most important to get right. (Well, arguably the last line could be too).

The first line is the lipstick on the face of your ad – it grabs the attention and if not properly applied, could say all the wrong things.

I often spend as much time crafting this first line as I do the rest of the copy.  Not only do I try to link it to the visual or headline but I also have it set the scene, or tone if you like, for the rest of the copy to come.

Over the years I have collected examples of great first lines from some of the best copywriters – here’s a few of them below –  with the hope that they may inspire more great opening lines in ads in the future.

  • “A gentleman’s waistline is nobody’s business but his own.”  Tony Brignall for Dunn & Co. mens’ clothiers uses the language of his TM
  • “If you persevere with this wall-to-wall text, you will be rewarded with an introduction to Dollar cost Averaging, the minor marvel that could help make you rich.” One of John Bevin’s epistles for Bankers Trust financial services challenging us to succeed. 
  • “One thousand dogs are killed in Britain every day” David Abbott tell it like it is for the RSPCA
  • “Supposing a pair of ears came up for review in a hi-fi magazine. Just what would the reviewer say?” Adrian Holmes entices us with this curious opening for Canon wide imaging stereos.
  • “Life isn’t all fun and games but in San Francisco, you can at least pretend it is.” Unknown copywriter let’s us know we’re in for a good time in SF
  • “That’s me lying rather nervously under the new Volvo 640” David Abbott again being frank and alluring
  • It’s easy. All you do is walk up to it. It won’t run away.” I know there are three sentences here but they all appeared on the first line of an ad by Lionel Hunt which carried the headline: How to kill a baby, for an ad about the slaughtering of baby seals.
  • Watch out for more good first line posts and love to hear examples of others from anyone else too!

August 29, 2011 at 4:42 am Leave a comment


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