Copywriting, like all writing, is a combination of inherent skill and hard work. The words on the page – or screen, or billboard – have to fit together exactly right to evoke emotion. They have to resonate with the readers to provoke the intended response.
While anyone can learn to sell a product, not everyone knows how to make readers feel something about buying a product.
Great copywriting does exactly that.
To be truly good at copywriting, you need to invest yourself in the art. To recognize and understand what an example of good copywriting is, you only need to see it. Most of the time, you only need to read it once.
It’s innovative. Original. By nature, all examples of good copywriting are creative in one way or another. Whether through simplicity, complexity, or pure genius, each of these examples shows why copywriting is a craft.
Here are 15 amazing copywriting examples, written by 8 brands and experts.
Table Of Contents
- 1. The man in the Hathaway shirt
- 2. Brooklinen’s homepage copywriting
- 3. Moosejaw’s fun copywriting examples
- 4. Poopourri’s “crappy” advertisements
- 5. Cards Against Humanity… the entire company
- 6. The Hustle’s art of mastering long copy
- 7. I Will Teach You to Be Rich’s alienation platform
- 8. Intrepid Travel’s commitment
1. The man in the Hathaway shirt
I consider David Ogilvy to be a founding father of advertisement. Sure, now many will disagree because they have an idol of their own. For me, it is Ogilvy.
We could examine many of his copies and ads that he created but I would like to focus on a “most famous one from less famous” The man in the Hathaway shirt:
How can you market a shirt? Will you start saying how great the price is and all the discounts that it has? Will you use words like “pure cotton” “all-fit”? Not in the case of the Hathaway shirt.
When you are turning the pages of the magazine, this picture stands out. The man is interesting, he knows something and you want to know it too. In this shirt, he looks like he has all the right leadership qualities to lead you on an adventure.
The headline says “The man in the Hathaway shirt”. That intrigues you, you want to know more about that man because, in the beginning, you care more about discovering something about him than about the shirt.
It is the brilliantly written text under the headline that sells the Hathaway shirt. Each feature of the shirt is reflected to your day to day life.
“Make you look younger and more distinguished, because of the subtle way Hathaway cut collars”
What about fabric? It’s not cotton, it’s not linen, it is ”remarkable fabric, collected from the four corners of the earth”
Who makes the shirts? “A small company of dedicated craftsmen”
The text leads you to the conclusion that you are not buying a shirt. You are buying an item that was crafted by a few people, just for you, so you can be more comfortable, younger, and distinguished… like the man in the Hathaway shirt.
In the photo above, you can see a Rolls-Royce ad by the same man. Even without a picture, the headline tells it all. No need to talk about the interior, colors, speed. With one sentence you project a vision of what Rolls-Royce is.
It even has a small joke: ‘from the ELECTRIC clock’.
The goal of great copywriting is to project a vision, an image, an idea. It’s to tell a story in a few words. A story that will speak to you directly.
David Ogilvy is truly a master of saying a lot with little. That is why he is number one on the list of copywriting examples.
2. Brooklinen’s homepage copywriting
Brooklinen is a home goods company that focuses on all things soft. They sell sheets, pillowcases, towels, comforters. You name a bedroom luxury item; they make it and sell it.
Fortunately for its customers, Brooklinen also writes witty ad copy.
This first example of their copywriting prowess comes from their landing page. “Really good sheet” makes a play-on-words of… well, you know. The second sentence ties in a play on their main commodity: a good night’s sleep.
This is in the list of copywriting examples for a few reasons. It’s humorous and succinct, for one. The ad also makes you want to connect with the company and the people who run it.
And, most importantly, it’s a pattern for the company that shows a well-developed funny bone. One study from Clutch showed that 53% of people are more likely to remember and enjoy a humorous ad.
Take this second example of good copywriting from the same company:
Like all modern companies, Brooklinen offers a customer support line. But, in offering answers and shopping advice they throw you for a loop, too. Not everyone knows how to put a duvet cover on, and this ad recognizes the struggle in an unexpected way.
Friendly, simple, effective. Brooklinen’s copywriters know what they’re doing.
Editor’s note: To see our tips on how to improve your landing page copywriting, check out our article 4 Copywriting Principles That Will Make Your Landing Page Convert Like Crazy.
3. Moosejaw’s fun copywriting examples
Moosejaw is an outdoor retailer with a sense of humor and self-deprecation. They reflect this in each of their ads in one way or another. By provoking a laugh with an unexpected twist, they upend your expectations and leave you scrolling for more.
This first ad from their website uses a stylistic twist to add depth to their copy. The “30” in 30% looks like folded $1 bills, which is a creative bit of marketing on its own.
The copy beneath the offer, though, is what makes you laugh. “You’ll save so much money, you can start making origami with it.”
Folding money into shapes has been an art as long as paper money has existed. By using origami and making fun with their copy, Moosejaw makes you do a double-take – and then laugh at yourself (and them). And that’s the point.
Side note: using “Bubblegum” as the code makes this ad even better.
This second example of good copywriting from Moosejaw is excellent for several reasons:
- The sassy humor in telling you to follow them (or don’t)
- The wise inclusion of why following them is a good idea
- The devolution from business as usual…
- To America’s love of animals…
- To poking at their sense of humor and copywriting skills (Hi, Mom!)
Did their “or don’t” make you suddenly care a bit more? I am sure it did. In advertisements, we are used to companies catering to us in all the ways possible, so when you see a company saying “duh, we do not care” it gets your attention. They do care, but getting your attention for those couple of seconds is what counts.
4. Poopourri’s “crappy” advertisements
Ah, Poopourri. Whether you think you need their products in your life or not, you most certainly need their ad copy. It’s full of product-related puns.
The entire website is filled with amazing copy examples from top to bottom. Even their pop-up form is top-notch. As a way to get you to sign up – especially considering the nature of their business – it doesn’t get much better.
Starting with the design elements, from the 1950s housewife holding the product to the waviness of the words, the ad catches your attention. It builds your expectations – and then, OH SHIP, they dive right in. (See what I did there?)
This ad is funny, eye-catching, and doesn’t beat around the bush. It demands your attention with the color scheme and leaves you chuckling over the copy.
And, it’s far from the only example of good copywriting on their site.
Take this example from their “It’s Only Natural” page.
The ad starts by acknowledging the company’s commitment to health. This connects with the reader and establishes a sense of good will. (Not to mention the sentence uses the word “poop,” which is “shocking” to see, as you do not expect such words from a serious ad).
Then, the ad tells you how they uphold their commitment to industry-appropriate terminology. They even throw in a little chuckle in parenthesis.
This example of copywriting then ends simply and believably: by tying in their product to their promise to keep it natural. It leaves you wanting to buy their products because you believe in their products.
One more honorable mention for Poopourri: The name of their outreach page is “We Give a Crap.” Their copywriting team has a sense of humor, but just writing jokes would not cut it, you have to use them in a way that will engage the audience with your brand.
5. Cards Against Humanity… the entire company
Ah, the Party Game for Horrible People.
If you’re not familiar with that phrase, it’s the slogan for one of the raunchiest, riskiest card games out there.
Cards Against Humanity is a product that knows not to take itself seriously. The point of the game is to read the (usually awful) questions on a black card. Then, every person around the table offers a white card in answer. The funniest combination wins.
But these combinations are almost always awful. Irreverent. Downright disrespectful.
And the company’s ad copy matches the premise. They acknowledge how often they’re horrible right on their home page:
Not only that, but they make sure to let you know that you’re horrible and awkward, too.
And then they keep going with the submit button on their “Suggest a Card” option…
And let you know in their FAQs that all your questions are dumb. (Also, that they may or may not have bought an island and named it “Hawaii 2”…)
And then, they offer you a chance to contact them. Only once you’ve contemplated the impermanence of all things, of course:
All these examples of copywriting are awful…ly amazing. They take the mission of their game and entrench it throughout their brand. The company is their game, and they’re not afraid to express it.
6. The Hustle’s art of mastering long copy
The Hustle is a media news publication that tries to do business differently. From the subjects they cover to the way they write, they try to convey important topics in a new light. Their copywriters reflect this mission.
While longer than some of the examples on this list, The Hustle’s copywriting proves that brevity isn’t always the answer.
Take this example of good copywriting from their “About” Page:
This piece does several things well. Let’s break it down:
- By using the second person “You,” they connect with their readers;
- They tap into your thirst for knowledge by recognizing that not everyone has access to every story and stating how they plan to fix the problem;
- Casual language such as “whatever” further strengthens their link to readers;
- They leave you wanting more by telling you that there will be more;
- They exemplify the traits of their workers in explaining who they’re looking for in their jobs page: ambitious, open-minded, talented people.
In a dozen lines of copy, The Hustle tells you who they are, what they do, and who they want to hire. Not only that, but they do so in a way that is simple and leaves the readers wanting to know more. That’s exactly what good copywriting is supposed to do.
7. I Will Teach You to Be Rich’s alienation platform
Humor, social justice, and clever wordplay are the backbones of many copywriting campaigns. However, sometimes the most effective method is brutal honesty.
Take founder Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich. He is a personal finance company that teaches people how to be responsible with their money. And he does it with an effective, callous message:
This copywriting does three things right off the bat.
First, it catches your eye by bolding the important words. This lets you know where the company’s priorities stand.
Second, it expresses that common financial advice is not always the best advice. Instead of “lecturing you about saving $3 on lattes,” Ramit offers you “Big Wins” worth so much more. Whether those wins work is irrelevant – he’s hooked you in with the mere possibility of becoming rich.
Third, Ramit immediately alienates an enormous customer base for his premium subscriptions.
This is a bold move, especially in the personal finance industry, where everyone is used to inspirational quotes with pictures and a different approach. Instead of using his paid platform to help people get out of credit card debt, Ramit focuses on those who don’t have credit cards. He even states the financial cost of his decision: millions of dollars per year.
This is an example of good copywriting that pushes away one customer base in favor of another. This commitment to moral or brand decisions will draw in his desired audience (customers who want to get rich).
This ad may not forge the connections that many other examples of good copywriting do. But what it does do well is entice readers in with the promise of riches. And, it does it while also promising 98% of his material for free.
8. Intrepid Travel’s commitment
Intrepid Travel is an Australian travel company with a focus on traveling responsibly. They put their money into sustainability, leaving no trace, and uplifting damaged communities. Where many travel companies only acknowledge how they destroy the environment after the damage is done, Intrepid cuts it off at the pass.
The copy on their “About” page reflects this promise in the most passionate way possible:
Every word of this copy packs a powerful punch. Each syllable is there to direct your focus to the issues that matter. In explaining their business, they highlight where the industry goes wrong. Then, they tell you what they’re doing to make a difference.
Instead of pointing fingers at the bad bananas in the bunch, they encourage positivity. Instead of alienating competitors or visitors who disagree, they say in simple terms that they offer “real-life experiences” without the negative connotations.
In one paragraph, they outline their mission. They sell sustainable travel, commitment to human rights, and passion for wildlife conservation. Rather than dancing around the issue, they state boldly that they’re going where many have gone before – without damaging the environment in the process.
There is nothing special about this copy. There is no gimmick, no humor, no dramatic declaration. This is who they are. This is what they do. They know that they’re taking the right path – and you’re going to go with them.
So we can add it to great copywriting examples.
Many years ago there was a Skittles ad. There was a man, milking a giraffe, which was eating a rainbow. The ad seemed completely ridiculous to me, only later I understood its purpose. While many years had passed since I saw it, I still remember it was a Skittles ad.
The same may apply for copywriting. The goal of this post was not to show you the “daily” copywriting, but rather list copywriting examples that you may have missed that may inspire you.
Great copywriting is about balance. Balance of three things:
- Attention – is the copy good enough to stop your eyes, and make you read the rest?
- Brand – is the copy in line with what the company wants to represent?
- Sales – does the copy deliver revenues?
In the copywriting examples above, I believe that you may find all of these in a perfect balance.