Why original, competitive ad
copy matters so much
There are two types of advertising- Bone lazy, and
highly successful. The bone lazy type is predictable.
It’s totally unoriginal. It’s what everyone else is doing.
It doesn’t work. It only gets published because it’s
“industry standard”, aka appalling.
Some office bureaucrat gives it the OK, and it gets
Successful ad copy works on the same principles as
basic marketing and sales:
• Unique selling points
• Novelty and news values
• Interest levels based on information for clients
• Market positioning
Why pay a fortune to advertise something anyone
can see on your web page for nothing?
High value ad copy is based on providing actual
information about the product, not the price.
The customer decides values, not the advertiser.
“Something for sale, $14,000 ea.”
Do you think it’s likely that readers would want to
know what they’re paying $14,000 for?
Whatever the product is, they need to see a reason
to pay $14,000. The first thing they’ll do is look for
something under $14,000.
A variation on this theme:
"Contract cleaning services for as low as $500 a
Uh-huh. Some guy with a vacuum cleaner, or a full
spread, do-everything cleaning service?
The bizarre theory that everything is a catalog simply
doesn’t work, either.
If it did, none of the top brands would exist.
Why buy a Mercedes? Because it’s a Mercedes?
Buyers are typically brand-loyal, and, interestingly,
The name Mercedes means something to people.
Mercedes does good copy, good PR and knows
how to manage a highly respected brand. It’s also a
particularly good product.
If you’re looking for information about Mercedes
cars, you can get all you want. You get a mix of sales
copy and useful information. You find out about
luxury seating, suspension and performance, colors
and onboard systems.
You know what you’re paying for, in effect, and you
can make informed comparisons with other
Ad copy is information.
Good ad copy is good information, generating sales
Original ad copy also generates new sales leads,
which is what every business is all about.
Good ad copy is different, better information.
Continuing the Mercedes analogy- I selected an
article at random from Mercedes Benz AMG
I’ve never been on this site before, but I knew this
material would be there.
Check out this copy. It’s not written by idiots or for
It’s written for interested people looking for product
information. It’s pure unadulterated sales copy, but
it’s also very useful.
Most importantly- It’s lead copy. It directs the reader
That’s what your copy should be doing.
A catalog-type ad will generate phone calls and
It will also generate a conversation between an
almost entirely uninformed customer and a bored
salesperson repeating the information which should
have been in the ad.
A good ad, with interesting copy, will generate
motivation, interest, and a much more productive
conversation with sales.
The customer knows enough to be interested and
want more information.
Mercedes web copy is also very well organized.
Did you know you can get your Mercedes
customized and personalized?
Guess how customers find out.
They give you a link, with a picture of a brand new
Mercedes, leading to all the information in ad copy
Do Mercedes owners and customers want to know
Of course they do. Why wouldn’t they? Mercedes
ads are designed to generate interest in a very high
So, from our list of ad copy basics above:
• Unique selling points- The Mercedes ads
supply literally hundreds
• Novelty and news values- The site is all news
• Interest levels based on information for clients-
In this case, very interested clients about to commit
to a high value purchase
• Engagement- Can’t miss. The Mercedes stuff is
all about “your new car”, which is likely to be why
people are on their site.
• Market positioning- Slap bang on target, aiming
for real buyers.
You may be thinking, “OK, but everyone knows
Mercedes, so if they want a Mercedes, they’ll buy
Mercedes is in one of the most competitive markets
in history. The luxury car market is ferocious. They
have to sell, and sell well. They have a high
maintenance market. It wants everything, and
expects to get it.
If the ad copy doesn’t work, they lose, and they lose
big money on their products, not just their
advertising. Imagine a production run of 1000
Mercedes that didn’t sell. They’d lose billions. Their
advertising has to work, and work very well.
Their ads, in fact, are their direct competitive frontline.
Mercedes ads are no trivial exercise, they’re very
much part of the sales process.
Which leads us, again, to originality in ad copy.
Every single thing in this very heavy duty Mercedes
copy has to be original. They’re not selling “whiter
and brighter”, they’re selling top of the range cars. In
their market, it’s class that sells, and class that buys.
This is not an audience that wants to be bored.
This audience is well aware of the competition. It’s
also very likely to say “Well, there’s the new
Porsche…” if information is substandard or
This is a hypercritical audience.
Non-information or lack of information is not
appreciated, particularly with a price tag like that.
Imagine if Mercedes didn’t include things like
performance information in their copy. It’d be
suicidal, and very uncompetitive.
Their copy emphasizes differences and product
value, the exact opposite of a catalog-type ad, which
usually means the only difference is price, not
Originality really matters, and that’s why.
If you’re looking for original, competitive ad copy,
talk to me. Whatever your product or service, it’s
what I do best. My copy is all about sales, and
creating market advantages.