Advertising copy refers specifically to the text of an advertisement. This term may encompass the script of a television commercial, the voice over on a radio ad, the words in a direct mail flyer, or the full text of a newspaper ad. Writing effective advertising copy is a skill that can help a business attract new clients or entice existing customers to make a return visit. Some businesses choose to write their own advertising copy, but others may go through an advertising agency.
Writing different types of advertising copy may require different skills. In writing for television advertising, copywriters need to write dialogue or voice-over text as well as create a visual story though action. Radio ad copywriters need to be strongly concerned with word choice, to ensure that the finished product can grab a listener's attention. In writing print advertising, an writer must be able to create strongly worded text that looks clean and easy to read on the page.
Learning to write effective advertising copy is a difficult job that can take years to truly master. There are dozens of different theories on how to make advertising text appealing to customers. Some of the most common strategies include writing for a targeted demographic, making a product or business appear unique from competitors, and starting out with an attention-grabbing headline. For radio and television advertising, another important skill is the ability to write ads that suit the available budget, since chances are a local hardware store won't be able to afford 16 elephants and an aircraft carrier.
When advertising copy is effective, it can help draw new business to an existing company. By creating ads that attract attention, clearly explain goals or products, and connect with consumers' emotions, businesses may be able to tie enjoyment of the advertisement to increased business for the company. Truly iconic advertisements can become somewhat legendary, even helping to renew the prospects of a fading business.
While some businesses choose to write their own advertising copy, an entire advertising industry exists to help companies take their advertising to a more professional level. Not only will advertising companies write copy, they may do extensive research on targeted demographics, competitors, and the current market perception of a business in order to create the most effective ad. Ad copy may go through dozens of drafts, and be tested with focus groups and market analysts for effectiveness before being released to the public. Though expensive, choosing to hire a firm to create advertising can result in a more effective ad campaign.