Want to become a better copywriter?
Here’s one of the best ways to instantly improve your copywriting skills…
Study the best ad copy, from the most successful copywriters on the planet!
This is what I did when I was a complete beginner.
I would study the best advertising copy examples.
I would read each ad out loud, write them out by hand and break them down, line by line, to figure out WHY they wrote this word, WHY they added this benefit, WHY they used this particular angle, and so on.
I dug deep into each ad to uncover the salesmanship and psychology hidden “between the lines”.
Doing this has improved my copywriting skills tremendously and it can for you too.
In my opinion, this is THE best way to become a kickass copywriter – in record time (along with WRITING… every single day).
I still do this “copy practice” - reading, handwriting & studying the best ad copy examples – almost every day (for over 4 years). Because it works like MAGIC.
If you want to become a better copywriter who gets paid like a king to write for brands you love, you MUST study the best advertising copy, from the best copywriters in the world.
What is Advertising Copy?
Advertising copy (aka sales copy & direct response copy) is the text you see in ads.
It’s designed to sell.
To get readers to take IMMEDIATE action. Usually, to buy a product or get prospects to enter their contact info for something free in exchange (lead magnet).
Back in the day, long-form direct mail ads were extremely popular.
Now, you’ll find advertising copy on dozens of different media, including online, like Facebook ad copy, Google ads, YouTube, LinkedIn ads and so on.
Advertising copy is one of the most in-demand copywriting services. Thousands of companies are actively hiring copywriters to write their ads for them.
If you master this style of copywriting, you can command top fees and make a small fortune.
Why Studying These 10 Ad Copy Examples Will Make You a Better Copywriter - Almost Overnight
Studying the best ad copy makes you a better copywriter because you are internalizing the process and structure of what makes a successful ad.
However, this only works when you study successful ads that have made millions for the advertiser/company.
So, you want to ONLY study DIRECT RESPONSE advertisements, from the best copywriters who have ever lived.
I’ve carefully selected 10 of the best advertising copy examples from the best copywriters of all time.
Each ad you read has made MILLIONS upon MILLIONS for the company.
I will provide links to each ad and give a brief background and explanation of WHY each ad worked so well.
The 10 Best Advertising Copy Examples from the Best Copywriters of All Time
AD COPY EXAMPLE #1 – “Coat of Arms Letter” by Gary Halbert
Gary Halbert is probably the most famous copywriter of all time.
He’s written dozens of million-dollar ads and is widely considered the Michael Jordan of copywriting.
This letter is the MOST mailed letter of all time.
Over the last 30 years, it’s been mailed to over 600,000,000 PEOPLE.
A few reasons:
1. It’s personal
Gary uses the family’s last name to start the message - Dear Mr. Macdonald.
Plus, he uses VERY friendly, conversational, 1:1 copy.
It makes you feel like he’s talking to you and only you.
“If you are interested, please let us know right away as our supply is pretty slim.”
Gary uses scarcity in the call to action (CTA) to put some urgency in his readers’ brains and force them to take action – right now (purchase).
In the P.S., Gary offers a discount if you order 2 or more letters ($1 for two or more letters, instead of $2 per letter).
This simple upsell can MULTIPLY your sales overnight (yes, you too can use this upsell concept to make more mula with your copywriting services.)
AD COPY EXAMPLE #2 – “They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano But When I Started To Play!” – By John Caples
This ad was written almost a century ago and is STILL one of the most swiped ads of all time.
It’s so effective because the entire ad is tied around a dramatic story that is VERY relatable.
The main psychology behind this ad is the need to fit in, to be accepted by the group and to prove our cynics wrong.
As you study this ad…
Pay close attention to how it grabs your attention and keeps you interested through the storytelling and how it paints a vision of the pain of being embarrassed in front of peers and the joy of proving your haters wrong & getting praised for your talent.
John paints this vision very brightly in the reader’s mind and gets them to picture how they can achieve similar results… IF they take action now, by getting the free book.
AD COPY EXAMPLE #3: "Do you make these mistakes in job interviews?” By Gary Bencivenga
Gary Bencivenga is labeled the greatest living copywriter of all time.
This ad is one of his most successful ads.
It’s a great example of how to arouse your reader’s curiosity.
Notice how Gary teases his readers throughout the ad with things they want to know and common mistakes to avoid… but… they can ONLY uncover the answers by BUYING the product.
Also, Gary spends about half the ad talking about the 5 bonuses.
Often, you can sell a product from the bonuses alone.
These bonuses (and the persuasive bullets) make this offer almost irresistible.
AD COPY EXAMPLE #4 - “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” – By David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy (The Father of Advertising) created THE most successful Rolls-Royce ad of all time.
It’s also considered to be one of the greatest advertisements ever written.
This ad is loaded with features and benefits of the Rolls-Royce.
The headline is very successful because it is specific - “60 miles an hour”, it features the “NEW”, and, most importantly, it gets you to imagine yourself sitting in a Rolls-Royce and experiencing the peace & quiet from the daily destruction going on around you.
AD COPY EXAMPLE #5 – “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?” – By Max Sackheim
This ad ran unbeaten for decades and was swiped by the world’s greatest living copywriter, Gary Bencivenga (see ad example #2).
It works so well because of the headline and main theme.
The headline grabs your attention by asking you a relevant question that piques your curiosity.
Naturally, you’ll want to know if you too make these mistakes in English. Because humans naturally want to escape embarrassment from mistakes.
Notice all the proof elements and specificity sandwiched between the claims.
This ad really stresses how easy and achievable the claims are, which makes them more believable.
Gary Halbert explained how one of the biggest reasons why readers DON’T buy, even though they want to, is because they don’t believe they are good enough to use the product and achieve the result.
By stressing how easy it is and giving specific examples and proof, you remove this common “buyer’s block” and open the floodgates to more sales.
AD COPY EXAMPLE #6 – The One-Legged Golfer Ad – By John Carlton
Like John Caples’ piano ad, this ad has one of the most famous and swiped headlines of all time.
Because of the unique “hook” John Carlton (“the most ripped-off writer on the Web”) uses to grab his readers by the throat & keep them engaged, with a fascinating and unique story.
Hook = “one legged golfer”
This is probably the most successful golf ad ever written and it all has to do with the fascinating hook and story that sucks you into the copy until the very end.
AD COPY EXAMPLE #7 - The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches – By Joe Karbo
This classic ad made Joe Karbo an overnight success.
Over time, it’s sold over 3 MILLION copies.
For years, this ad ran in hundreds of magazines, including every major newspaper.
This is one of the original “get rich quick without effort” ads and was extremely successful because of this appeal – we want to get rich without all the hard work.
There’s a lot at play here.
Here are the main takeaways:
Karbo tells a “rags to riches story” that the audience can identify with, he raises and handles objections like a true pro, and gives tons of social proof to make his BIG CLAIMS believable.
AD COPY EXAMPLE #8 - "Now! Read 300 Business Magazines in 30 Minutes!" – By Eugene Schwartz
Eugene Shwartz made Boardroom an overnight success.
They have sold hundreds of millions of newsletters and books and are one of the most successful publishing companies of all time - thanks to this ad written by a true legendary copywriter.
You should spend a lot of time reading and analyzing this ad because there’s a lot of psychological principles hidden between the words.
The most notable is the BIG promise in the headline – read 300 magazines in 30 minutes.
Schwartz came up with a grounding BIG idea for this ad – that you can “download” the insider investing tips and secrets - in minutes. Time-sensitive information that you cannot get anywhere else (and can’t afford to miss out on).
AD COPY EXAMPLE #9 - "Vision Break-through" - By Joseph Sugarmen
This ad made BluBlocker sunglasses a FORTUNE – over 20 million pairs sold.
Joe grabs your attention and pulls you into his ad with his fascinating headline and sub-head, and keeps you glued to your seat with his exciting story.
He also brings up some very serious health problems associated with normal sunglasses and offers a very strong risk-free guarantee at the end.
Like most of these ads, a big reason why this ad was so successful has to do with the revolutionary BIG IDEA behind it.
AD COPY EXAMPLE #10 - How to Win Friends & Influence People - By Victor Schwab
This self-improvement classic has sold over 30 MILLION copies.
This advertisement from copywriting legend – Victor Schwab, is the reason for its HUGE success.
A big reason why this ad is successful is because of the irresistible headline:
“How to Win Friends and Influence People”
These are two psychological appeals that EVERY human wants:
We all want friends, and we all want to influence people.
Schwab tapped into this common psychological appeal and ran all the way to the bank with it.
Where Can You Find More Advertising Copy Examples?
For a golden library filled with hundreds of successful ads to study, go to https://swiped.co/
It’s 100% free and has a wealth of classic direct response ad copy examples.
There you have it. 10 of the most successful advertisements of all time.
To get the most out of these 10 advertising copy examples…
Read them out loud, write them out by hand and STUDY them intensely.
Break them down, line by line, and uncover the psychology, benefits, hooks, emotional triggers, etc. that are baked into these ads.
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