16 Ad Copy Samples That Drive Results (and Why)

What is Ad Copy?

Ad copy, short for advertising copy, refers to the text used in advertisements to promote a product, service, or idea. Its primary goal is to persuade the target audience to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or visiting a website.

Crafting compelling ad copy can determine whether a potential customer engages with your offer or simply moves on to the next enticing option. Many copywriters rely on a repertoire of memorable ads for inspiration.

In this article, we present 16 unique examples of ad copy that demonstrate effective strategies. By incorporating these proven techniques into your own writing, you can create advertisements that captivate audiences, drive clicks, and potentially lead to conversions.

1. Liquid Death: Speak Your Audience’s Language

Liquid Death’s approach to branding and advertising demonstrates the power of speaking your audience’s language. By connecting with them on a deeper level, you can create a sense of understanding and loyalty.

Despite selling a seemingly mundane product like packaged water, Liquid Death has successfully differentiated itself through its branding. Instead of focusing solely on hydration or natural sourcing, the company embraces a heavy metal aesthetic, appealing to a specific audience: young people who understand the importance of water but may find traditional water brands unexciting.

This example highlights the importance of understanding your audience and tailoring your messaging to resonate with them. By doing so, you can create a brand that stands out and resonates with your target demographic.

Liquid Death’s Facebook ad copy boldly declares, “Proudly not for everyone,” setting a clear tone and positioning.

Adding a bad review brings home the point. And drives engagement.

This approach extends to its call to action (CTA), which humorously states, “Sell your soul for a free case. Murder your thirst.”

The brand’s strategy illustrates two important lessons:

  1. Targeted Messaging: Not everyone is your audience, and that’s okay. By identifying and focusing on your target market, you can create more impactful and relevant messaging that resonates with them.
  2. Boldness and Authenticity: To truly connect with your audience, you must be willing to take risks and potentially alienate some people. This authenticity can strengthen relationships with those who do resonate with your brand.

Liquid Death’s approach demonstrates the power of speaking directly to your audience and staying true to your brand’s identity, even if it means being unconventional or polarizing.

2. Blume: Challenge the Competition

Blume’s strategy involves highlighting its unique selling point (USP) – superfoods – to differentiate itself from competitors. Unlike other coffee brands that may use refined sugar or syrups, Blume positions itself as a healthy choice for latte lovers.

The brand’s Facebook ad subtly challenges the competition by showcasing its key strengths without directly attacking any specific brand. This approach allows Blume to assert its superiority in a compelling and non-confrontational manner, potentially enticing customers to choose their products over competitors’.

Blume’s marketing strategy effectively positions its product as the superior choice compared to “The Other Guys,” likely referring to big-brand competitors. By highlighting key statistics such as being healthier and more affordable, Blume showcases its advantages over these competitors.

The ad copy also taps into nostalgia by comparing the taste of its Pumpkin Spice latte to “grandma’s pumpkin pie,” evoking a sense of warmth and comfort. This comparison suggests that Blume offers a homemade gastronomic experience that is more appealing than a quick, impersonal drive-thru coffee. This approach aims to create a strong emotional connection with customers, potentially leading to increased interest and sales.

3. Bic: Let Your Audience Use Their Imagination

Global company Bic manufactures a wide range of products, including stationery, beauty items, and lighters. One of its notable advertisements is for the EZ Reach lighter, which demonstrates a keen understanding of its audience and effectively uses intrigue to engage them.

It features businesswoman and TV personality Martha Stewart with rapper Snoop Dogg.

Bic’s advertisement for the EZ Reach lighter featuring Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg cleverly uses visuals and copy to engage the audience. The ad’s copy, “Perfect for candles. And more!” hints at the connection between Martha Stewart’s candle-making reputation and Snoop Dogg’s association with smoking, inviting the audience to connect the dots and imagine the possibilities.

By trusting the audience’s imagination and leaving some elements open to interpretation, Bic creates a sense of intrigue and discovery. This approach allows consumers to personalize the ad experience and feel more connected to the brand, ultimately improving Bic’s brand perception and making the advertisement more memorable and effective.

4. Wix: Show Your Authority

Showing authority in your advertising can help establish your brand’s status and credibility, especially in competitive spaces like Google Ads. By positioning yourself as an expert in your field, you can build trust with potential customers and stand out from competitors targeting the same keywords and audience.

Wix effectively demonstrates this strategy by positioning itself as an industry leader in its advertising. This approach helps to build brand awareness and attract clicks by conveying a sense of expertise and credibility.

Wix’s strategic use of the headline ” #1 Website Builder” in their Google Ads gives them a competitive edge over other website builders like Squarespace. This claim is further supported by compelling ad copy that includes power words like “Everything You Need to Create Your Powerful Website Today” and “No Code Necessary.” These words trigger excitement and convey the message that Wix is the best platform for building a professional website without the need for web design experience.

By incorporating words like “#1,” “best,” or “industry-leading” into your ad copy, you can effectively showcase your authority and differentiate yourself from competitors in the eyes of potential customers. This approach can help you stand out in competitive spaces like Google Ads and attract more clicks and conversions.

5. Huel: Solve a Pain Point

Solving a pain point in advertising involves addressing a problem that your customers experience, demonstrating that you understand their struggle and offering a solution. Huel, a nutritionally complete plant-based food, effectively does this by acknowledging a common issue: the difficulty of maintaining a healthy diet when short on time.

Their Instagram ad features a succinct headline that likely draws the audience in by addressing this pain point directly. This approach helps Huel connect with its audience and position itself as a solution to their needs, ultimately driving engagement and potentially increasing sales.

Then the caption hammers home the benefits.

  • Challenge: Finding time to cook a nutritious meal
  • Resolution: “Huel Hot & Savoury is ready in 5 minutes”

Emojis are used to highlight important features, indicating that Huel is a healthier choice than fast food and won’t cause afternoon lethargy. Additionally, it’s budget-friendly.

This advertisement demonstrates that ad copy doesn’t need to be elaborate; its primary goal is to prompt action.

To create effective copy, research your audience, understand their behaviors and issues, and present your product as the solution.

6. MailerLite: Let Your Customers Do the Selling

Happy customers can be your best advocates. Research shows that a large majority of consumers rely on online reviews when making purchasing decisions, trusting them more than industry experts, professional reviewers, and even brands themselves.

Utilizing customer reviews in your advertising can be highly effective, as demonstrated by MailerLite’s LinkedIn ad. Instead of crafting a catchy headline, MailerLite uses a customer testimonial as social proof to sell its product. This approach can help build trust with potential customers and encourage them to choose your brand.

The customer review in MailerLite’s ad effectively positions the brand as a superior alternative to MailChimp. By highlighting specific statistics such as a 50% increase in open rates and an 800% increase in click-through rates after switching, MailerLite provides compelling evidence of its effectiveness.

Furthermore, the review comes from a Chief Digital Marketing Officer at an established brand, adding authority and credibility to the endorsement. This detail can significantly influence others in similar positions to consider MailerLite as a viable option.

This example underscores the power of using customer testimonials in advertising. Customer feedback can serve as a powerful selling tool, as it provides real-world evidence of your product’s benefits and can help build trust with potential customers.

7. Lord Leo the Lazy Pom: Show Your Authenticity

Being authentic in advertising can help your brand stand out, especially since people are generally skeptical of ads. A survey by Edelman found that only 8% of respondents automatically believe what they see in ads, and 41% need to see the information repeated once or twice before assuming it’s true.

To reassure skeptics and instill trust, your ad copy should be authentic and transparent. An example of this is seen in social media influencer Lord Leo the Lazy Pom’s approach to sponsored content. Rather than simply adding “#ad” to content that appears organic, creator Nick Sheingold includes the disclosure in his ad copy and explains why Lord Leo the Lazy Pom is running the ad. This approach helps maintain authenticity and transparency, which can resonate with audiences and build trust.

By openly acknowledging that content is sponsored, influencers like Lord Leo the Lazy Pom can build trust and respect with their audiences. This transparency shows that they’re not just promoting something for financial gain but are genuinely supporting a product they believe in.

If you have a genuine affinity for a brand and its products, don’t hesitate to express it in your advertising. Embrace the fact that it’s an ad and be transparent with your audience. This authenticity can resonate with viewers, leading to a more positive reception of your message.

8. Earth Shoes: Share Your Purpose

Earth Shoes’ approach to advertising focuses on selling the values and purpose behind owning a pair of their shoes, rather than just the shoes themselves. This strategy is effective because customers are more likely to buy from, trust, and advocate for brands that have a strong purpose.

By highlighting what it means to own a pair of Earth Shoes, the brand emphasizes its competitive advantage and connects with customers on a deeper level. This approach can help differentiate Earth Shoes from competitors and build a loyal customer base that shares its values.

Earth Shoes’ copywriting strategy appeals to customers who value purpose by emphasizing the sustainability of their products and the company’s commitment to giving back.

This can create a sense of pride among customers, knowing that their purchase is not only beneficial for them but also contributes to a greater cause.

9. DuckDuckGo: Distill Your Benefit

Your unique selling proposition is the one thing you excel at compared to your competitors. Don’t hesitate to promote it boldly.

DuckDuckGo’s billboard advertisement exemplifies this principle by succinctly conveying its value proposition. The ad addresses a common concern among internet users – online tracking – and positions DuckDuckGo as a solution.

Why do some people distrust Google? Because of its pervasive tracking practices across its suite of services.

How can DuckDuckGo attract these individuals? By alleviating their concerns.

“Tired Of Being Tracked Online? We Can Help.”

Being direct in communicating your value is key. As advertising mogul Maurice Saatchi once said:

Simplicity is key. Simple logic, straightforward arguments, and clear visual images are paramount. If you can’t distill your argument into a few concise words and phrases, there may be an issue with your argument.

10. QuickBooks: Use Search Intent to Inspire Your Copy

Search intent refers to the reason why a user enters a query into a search engine. It could be to find an answer to a question, locate a specific website, read reviews for a product they’re considering purchasing, and so on.

Google Ads allows you to create ads targeting specific keywords, enabling you to reach users based on their intent.

QuickBooks, an accounting software brand, demonstrates effective use of this strategy by using relevant ad copy to attract clicks. For example, when searching for “Freshbooks alternative,” a QuickBooks ad appears, showcasing their understanding of user intent and their ability to provide a relevant solution.

QuickBooks recognizes that users searching for alternatives are likely in the market for new accounting software. They leverage this high transactional intent by offering a compelling discount: “90% Off For 6 Months.”

The supporting copy reinforces this offer by highlighting additional benefits to reduce buyer friction and enhance the offer’s appeal, such as “No Contracts,” “Cancel Anytime,” and “Save 8 Hours A Month.”

This approach aligns with search intent, providing users with what they are likely looking for and increasing the likelihood of conversion. When offering an attractive deal or limited-time offer, it’s essential to present it when the searcher is ready to act. By combining the right deal with the right intent, you can significantly increase your chances of conversion.

To determine search intent for your PPC campaigns, you can use Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Simply enter your keywords into the tool’s search bar, and it will provide you with related keywords along with their corresponding search intent.

Semrush categorizes search intent into four main types:

  1. Navigational Intent: When users are looking for a specific webpage or website.
  2. Informational Intent: When users are seeking information or answers to questions.
  3. Commercial Intent: When users are researching products or services before making a purchase decision.
  4. Transactional Intent: When users are ready to complete a specific transaction, such as making a purchase.

By using the Keyword Magic Tool, you can identify the search intent behind your chosen keywords and tailor your PPC campaigns accordingly to better meet the needs of your target audience.

11. The Athletic: Tell Customers What You Aren’t 

Sometimes, the most appealing aspect of your product is what it lacks. Highlighting the features you do away with can resonate with your audience by promising a simpler, less stressful, and more enjoyable product experience.

For example, sports site The Athletic uses the power of contrast to demonstrate why it’s the best choice by emphasizing the absence of certain elements that may be present in other sports news sources.

The Athletic effectively positions itself by highlighting what it isn’t—ads, pop-up videos, clickbait—and what it is—”Simply the best football writing from the best football writers.” This approach allows the audience to make a comparison with other news sites that may disrupt the reading experience with multiple pop-ups and ads, without specifically calling out competitors.

By identifying and exposing competitors’ weaknesses in this subtle manner, The Athletic effectively emphasizes its own strengths and offers a compelling reason for users to choose their platform for sports news.

12. Curio: Appeal to Your Audience’s Aspirations

Appealing to people’s aspirations in your advertising can show them what they can become, helping to build lasting relationships and keep customers coming back for more.

Curio, an app that turns handpicked content from leading publications into narrated audio, exemplifies aspiration-led ad copy. Instead of focusing solely on its features, Curio’s copy sells the benefits of the app, such as keeping users informed about current affairs.

This approach aligns with a classic sales technique: selling the benefits, not the features. By emphasizing the outcome of the product rather than the product itself, Curio effectively communicates the value it provides to its users.

The ad copy for Curio speaks directly to customers’ aspirations, promising that the app will help them “become the most interesting person in the room.”

While the Apple App Store recognition adds credibility, it’s the headline that really grabs potential customers’ attention. This is because it taps into their desire for status and social validation.

To create compelling ad copy, it’s important to understand what your customers ultimately want to achieve. For example, Curio offers the best journalism so users can stay informed on the go, always being in the know, and ultimately becoming the most interesting person in the room.

13. Caliber: Turn Ads Into a Conversation

Conversational copywriting is a powerful style because it feels natural and informal, avoiding the typical sales pitch. It can be particularly effective in engaging audiences who are wary of being sold to.

Caliber, a workout app, demonstrates this approach well in its Reddit ad. The ad copy from Justin Fauci, one of the founders, adopts a conversational tone that resonates with Reddit’s community.

Reddit users can be a challenging audience for ads, as they are often skeptical of advertising. Even a growth marketing agency, Ladder, found that Reddit advertising didn’t yield the desired results.

Despite this challenge, Caliber’s ad stands out by speaking the Reddit users’ language, acknowledging their skepticism, and engaging them in a more genuine, conversational manner.

Caliber’s Reddit ad garnered significant attention, amassing 6,200 upvotes and over 2,600 mostly positive comments.

The key to its success lies in its conversational tone, which distinguishes it from traditional ads. Caliber’s ad doesn’t feel like an ad at all.

Justin Fauci, one of Caliber’s founders, writes in a personal, first-person style, instantly making the ad more relatable and appealing than a typical brand-written ad.

The headline is also effective, highlighting benefits that readers are interested in.

Rather than trying to disguise the ad, Justin openly acknowledges its nature. His active presence on Reddit adds authenticity and shows that the ad comes from a genuine place.

He also addresses potential objections, such as how Caliber can be profitable when the app is free, demonstrating foresight and understanding of the audience’s concerns.

The ad concludes with a non-pushy call to action, inviting users to take the next steps and offering assistance if needed.

The personal approach taken by Justin makes him and his brand more likable.

The lesson here is the importance of honesty and transparency in advertising. By incorporating these qualities into your ad copy, you can build personal connections and make your ads stand out.

14.  Who Gives a Crap: Create a Sense of Urgency

Adding urgency to tasks, even those perceived as unimportant, can make people more likely to perform them over more important tasks, as shown in research published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

To increase your conversion rate, consider adding a dose of real or implied urgency to your copy.

Who Gives a Crap, known for its eye-catching branding and bold personality, has grown from a crowdfunded toilet paper startup to a multimillion-dollar company.

The copy for its social media video ad is a great example of how to use FOMO (fear of missing out) to prompt customers to act.

The ad copy example from Who Gives a Crap includes several phrases that express urgency, such as “Last Chance,” “Limited Edition,” and “Gone for Good!” The call-to-action (CTA) button also reinforces this sense of urgency with “Hurry, Order Now.”

These phrases create a sense of scarcity, making customers feel that the product won’t be available for long, and they need to act quickly to avoid missing out.

Consider experimenting with urgency in your ad copy to potentially drive quick purchasing decisions from your audience.

15. Campaign Monitor: Less Is More

Simplifying your delivery can focus your message and its impact, while adding the right amount of wordplay in your ad copy can enhance its effectiveness.

For example, Campaign Monitor’s ad campaign by BarrettSF uses only homophones to sell its email marketing product. The campaign emphasizes the importance of creating engaging emails that capture attention and drive action.

By using wordplay that plays on the sound and meaning of words, Campaign Monitor effectively communicates its message in a clever and memorable way.

The Campaign Monitor ad campaign by BarrettSF uses homophones, which are two words that sound the same but have different meanings, to sell the value of its email marketing product. The clever use of homophones complements Campaign Monitor’s tagline: “Send email your customers can’t ignore.”

In addition to the clever copy, the art direction of the campaign is also noteworthy. The bold colors and contrasting images help highlight the difference between the two terms, making the ad visually engaging and drawing viewers’ attention.

16. Patagonia: Distinctiveness Is Memorable

To stand out in a crowded market, consider doing what others aren’t doing. For example, outdoor clothing brand Patagonia took a unique approach during Black Friday. While most brands and retailers encourage buying, Patagonia ran a New York Times ad with its signature fleece under the headline “Don’t buy this jacket.”

Patagonia’s ad is a prime example of the importance of an attention-grabbing headline.

The “anti-marketing” approach stops you in your tracks because it’s the opposite of what you’re used to seeing. The ad copy explains the meaning of the headline, encouraging people to consider the impact of Black Friday on the environment so they only purchase what they need.

But it also subtly positions Patagonia’s jacket as the best product you could choose.

Running this type of ad is a risky strategy. A bold approach may come across as hollow if you don’t back it up.

However, it worked for Patagonia because of its long track record of making good on its claims. The company donates a percentage of sales to the preservation and restoration of natural environments and supports grassroots organizations. This gives the ad credibility and rallies people behind the cause. In fact, Patagonia’s sales rose by 30% in the year following the campaign.

To stand out, dare to be bold with your ad copy. But don’t do it only for effect. Ensure your messaging stays true to your purpose and mission. Actions will always speak louder than words.

Use Semco to Improve Your Ad Copy

The advertising copy examples above demonstrate various ways to encourage customers to take action. However, it’s crucial to keep your target audience at the core of every technique, tactic, and word choice.

At SEMCO, we leverage strategies like these to enhance bidding strategies for clients, streamlining campaign management and optimization. We provide insights into competitive strategies, keyword analysis, and performance tracking to refine Google Ads campaigns for optimal results. Get started today with a free website audit.