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Linguakey’s Favourite Copy

Great copy is made up of many elements. Read on to find out our team’s favourite pieces of copy!

As writers and marketers, we recognise good copy when we see it. In this post, we’re shouting about each of the team’s favourite piece of copy that we’ve come across. But first, in case you’re new around here, let’s get into what exactly can be defined as copy.

So, what counts as a piece of copy?

In the world of marketing, copy is essentially anything that contains the written word. In fact, you come into contact with copy more than you realise. From street posters, to online articles, company slogans to scripts: it’s all copy!

 

In both marketing and advertising, copy refers to the work of copywriters. The title of a copywriter isn’t a one size fits all approach, as some specialise in different types of copy. But there’s one thing all copywriters and marketers can agree on: good copy makes a difference.

 

At Linguakey, we’re a team of marketing experts and I was curious to find out all of our favourite pieces of copy, as well as what each of us thinks makes good copy. You might recognise some of our favourites, read on to find out our thoughts on what makes  great copy!

Jeremy: transport banner 

Jeremy is the most experienced marketer among us, and I was eager to hear about his favourite piece of copy. And it didn’t disappoint! 

 

“Years ago, I was standing in Newcastle station and the banner opposite me had a scenic image of the UK north-south line. In large type the headline simply stated:

 

“Airplanes are fast. Airports aren’t.”

 

Then, in smaller type, at the base it stated, “Step out into London city centre in under six hours from Edinburgh.”

Advert for a train with the text "Airplanes are fast. Airports aren't"

I asked Jeremy: why this piece of copy specifically? 

“It left an impression from all those years ago. It’s simple, stripped down, and punches hard.”

 

A long-lasting impression is definitely a good sign of great copy! Finally, I asked Jeremy what he thought makes a good piece of copy and he responded:

 

“Context and storytelling. The message has to be self-contained in just a few words. It’s relatively easy to write 1,000 words that make an impact, but it’s infinitely harder to write less than ten words with an equal impact.”

 

Annabel: Tiffany & Co

Annabel is clued up with all things fashion, and it didn’t surprise me when they’d shared that their favourite piece of copy was a Tiffany & Co ad!

Tiffany & Co advert with the same ring repeated 4 times with the years 1886, 1944, 1968 and 2012 underneath. The title says "What They're Wearing This Year"

But, why this piece of copy in particular? I asked them and they responded with the following:

 

“The ad is so simple but is incredibly effective. Not only are the rings and diamonds classic in design, but they can be passed down through generations because of their high quality. It also demonstrates how timeless Tiffany & Co is as a brand. As a newspaper ad, it stands out against the large double-page spreads packed with lots of text. You don’t need to say a lot to make an impact.”

 

This is a very good point, and the advertisement is on-brand! Finally, I asked them what they think makes a good piece of copy.

 

“I really enjoy short, punchy pieces of copy. With attention spans shortening and brands becoming more and more international, if not global, getting a short message across that transcends dialects and cultures is not easy to do, but when done well is guaranteed to be memorable.”

Alex: Yellow Pages

Being the wise owl Alex is, I was curious to find out his thoughts on copy. I first asked Alex about his favourite piece of copy and he shared this with me:

 

“There’s a special place in my heart for the Yellow Pages Christmas advert. It’s nostalgic, evocative and the subtext in its meaning is timeless.” 

 

Evocative is always good when it comes to copy! I asked him: why this piece of copy? “A young boy uses the Yellow Pages to kiss his (much!) taller crush under the mistletoe. At face value, it’s funny and cute. At a much deeper level, it’s about using a phone directory to connect people. When you think about it, its genius is obvious.”

 

The copy in question is older than most of the Linguakey team, but it goes to show just how timeless a piece of copy can be. After all these years, even after the extinction of the Yellow Pages, it lives on through the legacy of the copy created for it. I went on to ask him: what does he think makes a good piece of copy?

 

“Simple and effective interpretation of the brand’s mission.”

Rebecca: KFC’s chicken shortage

Rebecca is a food connoisseur (with a food Instagram and all!), so when I asked about her favourite piece of copy, I wasn’t surprised that she came back to me with KFC’s response to their 2018 chicken shortage.

That is a great piece of copy relating to an especially weird time for chicken lovers. I asked her why this piece of copy: “Because it simultaneously laughs at itself and injects humour into the copy, but also takes responsibility for the shortage. I think they hit the target demographic on the head and created a visually appealing and self-deprecating advert.”

 

Yes, we love it when brands don’t take themselves too seriously and own up to their mistakes! I went on to ask her about what she thinks makes good copy:

 

“I think copy needs to, first and foremost, compel the reader to take action. Whether that be buying a product or subscribing to a service. It also needs to be entertaining – attention spans are short and you don’t have time to procrastinate.”

Daniel: Tim Riley’s copy for Nike

Dan is extremely creative when it comes to marketing and I was particularly interested in his favourite piece of copyhis answer didn’t disappoint: ‘Michael Jordan 1 – 0 Isaac Newton,’ by Tim Riley for Nike.

Nike Air advert with a photo of Michael Jordan dunking and a large caption saying "Michael Jordan 1. Isaac Newton 0"

But why this piece of copy? His answer: “Riley achieves the copywriter’s ultimate goal: saying the most in the least amount of words! On top of that, it’s a creative repurposing of pop culture and general knowledge. He reframes the sporting image of the scoreboard while utilising Newton’s theory in modern pop culture. In other words, he borrows imagery to minimise word count and maximise impact.”

 

Indeed, sometimes you just need to say less to say more! I asked Dan what he thinks makes a great piece of copy:

 

“Great copy is bold and straight to the point (i.e. Michael Jordan is the GOAT). It sticks in your mind and stays there, like the image of Jordan, mid-flight dunking, does.” 

Lauren: Heinz

So, what’s my favourite piece of copy? It’s nothing elaborate or fancy but it’s a phrase that’s stayed with me since I first heard it in an advert when I was very young.

 

“Beanz Meanz Heinz.”

A tin of Heinz beans with the front label saying "Beanz meanz Heinz" and the reverse label saying "Celebrating 50 golden yearz"

That’s it, those three words and you instantly think of the blue packaged tin of beans by the much loved Heinz brand. 

 

It’s simple and effective. It does exactly what it says on the tin—pun intended! I love how all three words are written as ending with ‘z’, the consistency and wordplay. I haven’t seen an actual Heinz advert in years but this phrase has stuck with me for a long time. 

 

I adore a catchy slogan or phrase, I think if you manage to create something memorable, short, and snappy then you’re onto a winning piece of copy!

What do you think makes a great piece of copy?

In essence, the best approach to great copy is through storytelling and making sure you capture the message in fewer words as possible. But make sure those words are bold, evocative, and compelling.

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