July Great Books Club Selection: How to Write a Good Advertisement

I agree totally with your point about the importance of headlines. Victor Schwab put it like this in “How to Write a Good Advertisement” (published in 1962):
“The headline of an advertisement is like a flag being held up by a flagman alongside a railroad track. He is using it to try to get the immediate attention of the engineer of an approaching train–so that he can give him some kind of message. In the case of advertising, on that flag is printed the headline of an advertisement.”

"How To Write A Good Advertisement"— Vic Schwab

6. How to Write a Good Advertisement by Vic Schwab

‘How To Write a Good Advertisement’ -

As Victor Schwab puts it so succinctly in his best selling book, How To Write A Good Advertisement: Every one of the fundamentals in the "master formula" is necessary. Those sitting across from you at your dining, people who are "easy" to sell may perhaps be sold even if some of these factors are left out, but it's wiser to plan your advertisement so that it will have a powerful impact upon those who are "hardest" to sell. For, unlike fact-to-face selling, we cannot in printed advertising come to a "trial close" in our sales talk - in order to see if those who are easier to sell will welcome the dotted line without further persuasion. We must assume that we are talking to the hardest ones - and that the more thoroughly our copy sells both the hard and the easy, the better chance we have against the competition for the consumer's dollar - and also the less dependent we will be upon the usual completely ineffective follow through on our advertising effort which later takes place at the sales counter itself.

How To Write A Good Advertisement

With that in mind, I’ve adapted the following tips from Bly’s “How to Write a Good Advertisement” (in Chapter 6 for those playing along at home). Here, then, are nine criteria a blog post must satisfy if it is to be a successful post:

If you have to sell your pet, it's useful to know how to write a good advertisement. Here's how!
Victor O. Schwab, How to Write A Good Advertisement William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style

How to Write a Good Advertisement: Victor O

In his series of 5 articles titled, “How to Write a Good Advertisement,” Victor Schwab outlined his 5 step copy-writing formula for great headlines:

This simple outline from Schwab's masterpiece

July Great Books Club Selection: How to Write a Good Advertisement



A fun excerpt from "How to Write a Good Advertisement" by Victor O Schwab. This "advertising rhyme" will help you create good advertisements and marketing copy (even though it was written in 1942 and sounds like Dr. Seuss!)

How To Write a Good Advertisement (A Short Course in Copywriting) was published in 1962. It teaches you how to write compelling advertisements that will make people notice them, read them and act upon them.

Check out my Google+ for more advertising and copywriting best practice.

A fun excerpt from

How to Write a Good Advertisement

The good news is that the art and science of copywriting has been around for way longer than PPC and you can still learn a lot from books like Scientific Advertising (written in 1923!), The Copywriter’s Handbook, Tested Advertising Methods, Ogilvy on Advertising, How to Write a Good Advertisement, and many others.