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Headlines and Taglines First Get Their Attention Chapter 9 Adapted from 2013 SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Headlines and Taglines First Get Their Attention Chapter 9 Adapted from 2013 SAGE Publications, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Headlines and Taglines First Get Their Attention Chapter 9 Adapted from 2013 SAGE Publications, Inc.

2 Information Overload “Consumers are exposed to twice as many ads today as they were 15 years ago, but pay attention to only 20% more.”

3 The 5-Second Rule Most ads and marketing communications have only five seconds to grab the consumer’s attention… Or else…

4 Headlines to the rescue! Typically the single-most important line of copy in any ad. “On average five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” (Bly) “Headlines” are not unique to print. Also appear in digital, tv, radio, direct response, etc. formats.

5 Why have a headline? Get immediate attention Select the audience Lead readers into the body copy Complete the “creative equation” Deliver the entire message

6 Types of headlines

7 Some Headline styles

8 The clever / straight debate Do I say it clever or say it straight?

9 How to… Headlines Word association brainstorm followed by “mix and match”. Describe, Associate, Compare, Evaluate (Broyles, adapted) “Say it straight, then say it great.” Write many headlines – discard the bad ones, keep the good ones Write body copy first. Then back into the headline. Consult your swipe file for inspiration and ideas.

10 Headline Techniques & Refinements (to follow) Can make a mediocre/good headline great. Some are “clever”, some are straight

11 Headline writing techniques Be specific. “At 60 miles per hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls- Royce comes from the electric clock.” (Rolls-Royce) “Introducing Vacuum Bags and Filters That Eliminate Odor” (Arm & Hammer)

12 Headline writing techniques Rhythm and rhyme “So easy, a caveman can do it.”(Geico) “In by 9, out by 5.” (dry cleaners) “A light at night to aim just right.” (toilet seat light) “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” (Folgers) “Leggo my Eggo.”(Eggo Waffle)

13 Headline writing techniques Alliteration “Every kiss begins with Kay.” (Kay Jewelers) “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance.”(Geico)

14 Headline writing techniques Puns, wordplay and double entendre “Go Long.”(Kaiser Permanente) “BORN on the plains, RAISED on the rocks.” (Bulleit Bourbon) “We measure satisfaction by the foot.”(Zappos)

15 Headline writing techniques Parallel construction “When you’ve got it bad, we’ve got it good.” (Florida Tourism) “Learn it. Do it. Profit” (Marketing Consultant) “Oven-proof. Dishwasher proof. 401-k proof.” (Crate & Barrel) “Explore. Engage. Apply.”(NDNU)

16 Headline writing techniques Twist / Irony (the unexpected)

17 Headline writing techniques Relevance (Currency) “In today’s economy, you can’t be too careful with your money.” (bank)

18 Headline writing techniques Mention product/brand “I should’ve had a V8.”

19 Headline writing techniques Understatement/overstatement: Headline-visual synergy; Is the product already amazing?

20 Headline checklist 1.Let it sit. Come back to it. (applies to all creative endeavors) 2.Does it work with the visual? Subhead(s)? Body copy? Tagline? 3.Does it fit nicely on the page with the other elements? 4.Will it work in a “billboard test?” 5.Does it appeal to reader’s self interest? 6.Does it pull reader into the body copy? 7.Is it the best you can do? 8.Do you need a subhead to explain it? 9.Be careful with puns. Do they serve a good purpose? 10.Think campaigns—can it be extended, repeated?

21 Evaluating Headlines – Masterson’s 4Us Is the headline: – Urgent? – Unique? – Ultra-specific? – Useful?

22 Subheads Clarify the headline Reinforce main idea Break up large blocks of copy Lead readers into body copy Does subhead complement or compensate for the headline?

23 Which is the headline? Which is the subhead? Or does it even matter…? Clever complementary subhead here.

24 Taglines / Slogans Provide continuity for campaign (i.e. “travel well”) Crystalize and brand the “One Thing” associated with brand Brand the advertising Amplify the meaning and significance of the brand Good slogans become part of peoples’ daily conversations

25 Coca-Cola’s Slogans Open Happiness (2009) The Coke Side of Life (2006) Life Tastes Good (2001) Always Coca-Cola (1993) Can’t Beat the Real Thing (1990) Red, White and You (1986) Coke is It! (1982) Have a Coke and a Smile (1979) I’d Like To Buy the World a Coke (1971)

26 Good Taglines… Creatively mention the clinching benefit Get to the point in as few words as possible Have a “ring” to them Are easy and fun to repeat Typically have meaning beyond the brand – Most brands can’t afford to be so vague…

27 Classic headline uses irony and specificity to make its point. Disparaging your own brand to gain attention?

28 Sounds obscene.. But it’s not. Gets right into how consumer interacts with the product.

29 Simple mysterious “yeah” text invites you in. No visual, but it works. Breaking the rules on how numbers should be presented.

30 Clever, but takes some thought to understand.

31 Visual explains the headline.

32 Clever reversal of a commonly used phrase.

33 Where do I put the tagline?


35 Headline Exercise – Brainstorm and Create Pick a brand, product, concept or company Write down all the words about the brand, product, concept or company that come to mind. Let it all out… Now, revise the list to only include positive words that could sell the product. Now, pick two or three positive words that seem to go together and create a headline out of them. Have a classmate edit your headline to make it better.

36 Headline Exercise – Masterson’s 4 U’s Choose two similar headlines for the same product / brand / concept. Rate the headlines using Masterson’s 4 U’s: – Urgent? – Unique? – Ultra-specific? – Useful? Tally the ratings. Which headline did better?

37 Tagline Exercise – Top 3 Choose an existing brand. Create three different taglines for the brand. Number them 1-3. Now rank your own taglines in order of preference: Best, Worst, Middle. Put the ranking right next to the tagline. We will now discuss your taglines as a class.

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