A List Apart's Nick Padmore looks for The Greatest Copy Shot Ever Written.
The relevance of old-school advertising copy to web writers, developers, and designers is not always fully appreciated. But even on the web, we need great headlines and taglines and all those other clever scraps of text. And even if you’re not doing the writing yourself, it’s always useful to understand exactly why your in-house copywriter has selected that particular sequence of words, that specific linguistic construction. An understanding of what makes a piece of copy really good is one more useful device a web designer or developer can slot into his or her mental tool belt.
So what makes good copy good? Perhaps we can find out by considering what’s made the best of the best…the best.
In the year 2000, some of the stars of creative advertising during the 20th century nominated 115 best slogans, straplines, taglines, and headlines, all of which could broadly be termed “copy shots.” As a resource on which to base a linguistic analysis leading to a mechanism for producing the Greatest Copy Shot Ever Written, this was hard to beat. So I didn’t try to beat it.